Cappie Pondexter celebrates after scoring a buzzer-beating field goal to...

Cappie Pondexter celebrates after scoring a buzzer-beating field goal to end the first quarter against the Atlanta Dream. (June 5, 2012 Credit: Jason DeCrow

NEWARK -- Cappie Pondexter played the role of Mr. Sandman Tuesday night.

The Liberty guard's runner with 8:54 left put the Atlanta Dream to bed, as the Liberty never trailed again in a 79-74 win at the Prudential Center. New York won its second straight after an 0-5 start.

"I've never had that in my career," said Pondexter, who scored nine of her 26 points in the fourth quarter. "I knew we'd turn it around eventually, I just wasn't sure when."

The Liberty started the fourth quarter on a 13-4 run, including Leilani Mitchell's big corner three that extended New York's lead to 66-62 with 6:04 to play. Mitchell matched her season high of 13 points in the first half and finished with 18, shooting 7-for-11, including 4-for-5 from three-point range.

"We're much better offensively with Leilani in the game," said Liberty coach John Whisenant. "And I've just been playing her wheels off and she's been responding."

New York shot a season high 44.9 percent from the field and held Atlanta, which put up 100 points on the Liberty on May 25, to 37.8 percent shooting. Dream forward Angel McCoughtry, the WNBA's second-leading scorer coming into the game, finished with 21 points, 14 rebounds and seven steals, but turned the ball over six times and shot 8-for-22 from the floor.

Atlanta (2-4), lost consecutive games for the first time since July 31-Aug. 2 of last season.

Kia Vaughn had 15 points and eight rebounds and Plenette Pierson added 10 points for the Liberty, which will play four of its next five on the road.

Pierson scored six points during the Liberty's 10-2 run to close the first half to give New York a 48-43 lead.

The teams traded the lead 14 times in the first half. McCoughtry scored five straight points to close the third quarter and make it 62-61 Dream, and then Pondexter's runner opened the scoring 1:06 into the fourth to make it 63-62.

After that it was good night, Atlanta.


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