Plenette Pierson, Cappie Pondexter help Liberty end losing streak with win over Seattle Storm
NEWARK - Playing a game just two days after a lopsided loss can be a good or a bad thing, depending on a team's temperament.
"It depends on if you can put it behind you fast enough," Liberty coach Bill Laimbeer said. "Sometimes it sticks with you and carries over."
Fresh off a 29-point loss to Chicago on Sunday, Laimbeer said he didn't expect any carry-over into Tuesday night's game against the Seattle Storm.
His faith was validated as the Liberty (6-7) halted its three-game losing streak with a 66-57 win over the Storm at Prudential Center.
Laimbeer shook up his starting lineup again, adding rookies Kelsey Bone and Toni Young.
"We're still learning each other," said Plenette Pierson, who had a season-high 22 points. "Bill's still learning us and he's still learning who can play together and who gives him the best lineup."
Cappie Pondexter had 13 points and Young eight points on 4-for-5 shooting and four rebounds for the Liberty.
Tina Thompson had 13 points and Tanisha Wright 12 for the Storm (5-8).
The Liberty took control early, but Seattle came back, slicing a 36-19 halftime deficit to 40-39 with 3:00 left in the third. But the Liberty found its offense the rest of the way and ended the quarter on a 9-4 run for a 49-43 lead after three.
"Sometimes you have a little slippage in a game," said Pierson, who scored nine points during a 17-14 fourth quarter for the Liberty. "We haven't figured out how to put 40 minutes together. But the biggest thing is we came back and we fought."
Pondexter was impressed with the way her team held off the Storm after a brutal third quarter. "You can tell that we really wanted to win today," Pondexter said. "We wanted to win badly and it showed."
Notes & quotes: The Liberty honored Seattle's Thompson before the tip. Thompson, the WNBA's all-time leading scorer and last remaining player from its inaugural year in 1997, will retire after the season.