Liberty's 3-game streak ends against Chicago

New York Liberty (23) Cappie Pondexter drives past

New York Liberty (23) Cappie Pondexter drives past Chicago Sky (10) Epiphanny Prince during a WNBA basketball game at the Prudential Center. (June 10, 2012) (Credit: Jason Decrow)

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NEWARK -- Cappie Pondexter didn't need to have an epiphany. She knew her team might be sluggish playing its fifth game in nine days.

The Liberty star was correct, as the Chicago Sky won, 73-64, Sunday afternoon at the Prudential Center to break the Liberty's three-game winning streak. The Liberty (3-6) now embarks on a three-game road trip beginning Friday in Connecticut.

"Everybody's tired across the board," said Pondexter, who had 22 points, six rebounds and seven assists. "We can't make it an excuse . . . they were the better team today."

Former NYC high school and Rutgers standout Epiphanny Prince led the Sky with 26 points, but failed to become the first WNBA player to score at least 30 points in four straight games. The WNBA's leading scorer at 25.2 points per game, was 10-of-18 from the floor, including 5-of-8 from three-point range.

"Epiphanny had a field day," said Pondexter about Prince, who arrived at Rutgers the year after Pondexter left.

Chicago (6-1) has won five straight and is tied for first place in the Eastern Conference with Connecticut. The Liberty had won six straight at home against the Sky.

"This is my first time winning here," Prince said. "And I get to do it in front of my dad [Jerry] and some of my close friends."

Another Rutgers product, Kia Vaughn, scored a season high 16 points for the Liberty on 6 of 12 shooting, but the rest of the team struggled from the floor, shooting only 38.5 percent.

"We just weren't sharp," Liberty coach John Whisenant said. "We were a step slow on loose balls. Offensively, we were standing like we were running through mud. Defensively, we tried at times, and bothered them a little bit, but we couldn't maintain it. All in all, that's what leads to a loss."

After Liberty forward Nicole Powell knocked down a three to make it 25-22 Chicago with 6:10 left in the second quarter, the Sky went on a 10-0 run over the next 6:12 and the lead was never less than eight the rest of the way.

Tamera Young scored 12 points off the bench for Chicago, and Sylvia Fowles added 10 points and 12 rebounds for her seventh straight double-double. After the game, Whisenant called Prince and Fowles "the best 1-2 scoring combination since Cappie [Pondexter] was in Phoenix with [Diana] Taurasi."

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