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Liberty rallies for win over Sun

Liberty player Cappie Pondexter reacts after scoring in

Liberty player Cappie Pondexter reacts after scoring in the third quarter against the Connecticut Sun. (June 14, 2013) Credit: Jason DeCrow

NEWARK - The Liberty's offense has been a work in progress so far this season.

Finding ways to improve its scoring got even tougher last week when second-leading scorer Essence Carson was lost for the season after tearing the ACL in her left knee four games into the season.

The Liberty had the answers Friday night as Cappie Pondexter scored 18 of her 20 points in the second half in a 78-68 win over the Connecticut Sun at Prudential Center.

"When [Pondexter is] engaged like that offensive-wise, we're really good," Liberty coach Bill Laimbeer said.

The Liberty (4-2) entered Friday's game leading the WNBA in turnovers at 19 per game and the team was third from last in scoring (70.8). It appeared as if the Liberty was going to at least equal those marks after a dreadful first half in which the team shot just 8-for-34 from the field, committed 13 turnovers and trailed 33-24 at the break.

"In the first half, we just threw the ball all over the gym and it was kind of embarrassing to watch," Laimbeer said. "We got it together finally in the third quarter and showed how good we can be."

Trailing 35-24 with 9 minutes, 44 seconds left in the third quarter, Kara Braxton hit a free throw and Pondexter followed with a jumper, sparking a 41-20 run that gave the Liberty a 65-55 lead with 8:10 remaining in the game.

"We need a 40-minute game," Pondexter said. "It's a 40-minute game and in the second half, we need to be more focused."

Leilani Mitchell had 16 points off the bench, Braxton had 11 points and 13 rebounds and Katie Smith 10 points.

Allison Hightower had 17 points and Kara Lawson 16 for the Sun (2-4).

It was a special night for Smith, in her 15th pro season, who moved into second place on the WNBA's all-time scoring list with 6,272 points, surpassing former Los Angeles Sparks center Lisa Leslie.

Smith, who also played two seasons in the now-defunct American Basketball League, is the all-time leading scorer in American women's professional basketball with 7,705 points.

Notes & quotes: Laimbeer announced the team will waive veteran forward Cheryl Ford (knee) Saturday. Laimbeer said her knee had not responded to treatment the way they hoped it would.

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