Liberty 77

(8-13, 4-7 away)

Sky 67

(8-12, 4-8 home)

    8:00 PM ET, August 21, 2012

    1 2 3 4 T
    NY 16 24 21 1677
    CHI 21 11 17 1867

    Top Performers

    New York: P. Pierson 21 Pts, 6 Reb, 3 Ast, 3 Blk

    Chicago: S. Fowles 18 Pts, 8 Reb, 1 Stl, 2 Blk

    Cappie Pondexter, Plenette Pierson lead Liberty past Sky

    Associated Press

    ROSEMONT, Ill. -- Cappie Pondexter scored 25 points and Plenette Pierson added 21 as the New York Liberty beat the Chicago Sky 77-67 Tuesday night.

    The Liberty (8-13) saw an 18-point second-half lead trimmed to six early in the fourth quarter, then rebuilt a double-digit advantage and maintained it the rest of the way. New York pulled a half-game behind Chicago for fourth place in the Eastern Conference.

    "The team we were competing for the playoff spot is Chicago," Liberty coach John Whisenant said. "So getting a win here was very important to us, trying to claw our way back into the playoff race."

    Sylvia Fowles scored 18 points, Shay Murphy had 16 and Epiphanny Prince added 10 for the Sky (8-12), who lost their seventh straight and 11th in 12.

    Prince, playing in her third game since returning from a foot injury, was carried off the court with 4:51 to play after rolling her right ankle. She didn't return but was seen standing courtside through the final minutes.

    Fowles and Cash had six points apiece as Chicago led for all but the opening seconds on the way to a 21-16 after one quarter. Pierson paced New York with eight points.

    Pondexter scored back-to-back buckets over a 21-second span late in the second quarter to give the Liberty their first lead since the opening minute. It was part of an 13-0 run that helped New York to a 40-32 halftime lead. Pondexter, who grew up in Chicago, had eight points in the period.

    "Obviously it's important, because you have a buildup of excitement from being home, but more importantly, we needed this win to inch closer to the playoffs," she said.

    The Liberty more than doubled the lead in the third quarter behind 12 points from Pondexter. New York led 61-43 with 1:23 remaining before Chicago pulled within 12 entering the final period.

    "We have to put together longer stretches of defense," Sky coach Pokey Chatman said. "You know what New York is going to bring. It starts with Cappie (Pondexter). She is the head of the snake and we didn't do a very good job of cutting that off. Plenette (Pierson) is back and healthy. They made plays."

    New York had lost four of five entering the game, the third meeting of the season with Chicago. The Liberty have now won two of three meetings.

    Fowles shot 8-for-14 to become the franchise leader with 811 field goals. Candice Dupree (808) had the previous mark.

    "A lot of credit is due to my teammates," Fowles said. "I just have to continue to work hard and push forward."

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

      New York Chicago
    Points 77 67
    FG Made-Attempted 27-57 (47.368) 27-71 (38.028)
    3P Made-Attempted 7-19 (.368) 5-19 (.263)
    FT Made-Attempted 16-23 (69.565) 8-14 (57.143)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 7-27 17-38
    Assists 17 17
    Turnovers 11 16
    Steals 14 8
    Blocks 9 7
    Fast Break Points 14 7
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 16 (0/0) 17 (0/0)