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Liberty loses to Indiana, 76-63

Cappie Pondexter tosses the ball over her shoulder

Cappie Pondexter tosses the ball over her shoulder after being called for a foul against the Indiana Fever during a game at the Prudential Center. (Aug. 30, 2012) Photo Credit: Jason DeCrow

The Liberty quite literally threw away an opportunity to take over sole possession of the fourth and final playoff spot.

In its first game back from a five-game road trip, the Liberty had 21 turnovers in a 76-63 loss to Indiana last night at the Prudential Center.

"Obviously, we turn the ball over 21 times and any team can capitalize off of that, and Indiana definitely did on both ends of the court," Cappie Pondexter said. "But at the same time there has to be a sense of urgency from us from the beginning, not just in the fourth quarter."

After Pondexter opened the fourth quarter with a layup to pull the Liberty within one, the Fever went on a 14-2 run, capped by a three-pointer by Jeanette Pohlen to make it 63-50, the largest lead of the game.

Jessica Davenport, the Fever's 6-5 backup center, scored all eight of her points in the fourth.

The Liberty made one last run -- Nicole Powell hit a jumper and Essence Carson converted a layup off a steal by Plenette Pierson to cut the deficit to seven with 3:43 left -- but wouldn't get any closer.

The Liberty failed to attack the rim, getting to the free-throw line only three times, compared to 21 for the Fever. "We threw it away 21 times and we shot three free throws and they shot 21. That's the difference in the game," Liberty coach John Whisenant said. "They had us out of sync offensively and we weren't good enough defensively to overcome those turnovers."

Tamika Catchings had 22 points to lead the Fever (15-9). Pondexter and Essence Carson each had 18 points for the Liberty (9-16), which trails Chicago by a half-game for the fourth spot.

Pondexter was surprised by the number of free throws the Liberty shot. "Lack of aggressiveness, obviously," she said. "I don't know when the last time that's happened . . . You can't win games like that."

New York Sports