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Fumbling Liberty routed by Fever

Liberty's Cappie Pondexter and Toni Young react to

Liberty's Cappie Pondexter and Toni Young react to a referee's call in the second quarter against the Indiana Fever during a WNBA basketball game at Prudential Center. New York lost to Indiana, 74-53. (July 13, 2013) Credit: Jason DeCrow

NEWARK - Bill Laimbeer wouldn't call his team's home game Saturday against the sub-.500 Indiana Fever a trap, but said if the Liberty didn't "stand up" they would lose.

He was right.

The Liberty didn't stand tall in a 74-53 loss to the Fever at the Prudential Center. It was the Liberty's third loss in four games.

The third quarter told the story as the Fever, sparked by five three-pointers, dominated the Liberty 31-6, for a 68-40 lead after three.

It was the lowest point total in a quarter for the Liberty since scoring five in an 87-62 loss to the Los Angeles Sparks Aug. 25 of last season.

"For some reason the third quarters haunt us right now," said Cappie Pondexter, whose squad went the final 5:10 of the third without a field goal. "The good thing is we get to see them [in 10 days] and we can get a win on their home floor."

Laimbeer said he warned the team before the season that scoring was going to be an issue and that wins were not going to be easy to come by.

"We had a little false sense of hope with our start to the season," said Laimbeer. "We're not that good. We have to play so hard and be so efficient in order to just get a win."

The Liberty (6-8) have gone 2-6 since starting the season 4-2.

Plenette Pierson led the Liberty with 12 points, Pondexter had 10 points and Kelsey Bone added 10 points and nine rebounds.

Former Liberty forward Erlana Larkins had 15 points and Shavonte Zellous added 13 points for Indiana (5-8).

Sloppy ball handling also told part of the story as the Liberty committed eight turnovers in the third and 22 for game.

Pondexter gave her take on the turnovers.

"I'm not going to necessarily say that are killing us, it's just the timing," said Pondexter, who committed three turnovers. "When we need to score a basket or when they're making a run we turn the ball over."

It's been a season unlike any other for Pondexter.

A shooting guard for her entire WNBA career, Pondexter has been moved to point guard under Laimbeer. It's a responsibility that she's taken in stride.

"It factors back to me. I am the lead guard and leader of the team," said Pondexter. "I put this one on me."

New York Sports