Ugly Beats Bad As Liberty Beat Mystics

Just the Facts, Ma'am: Cappie Pondexter's 26 points, including the lay-up that gave her team the lead, led the New York Liberty to a 69-66 victory over the Washington Mystics. New York led by as much as 16 in the game. For Washington, Crystal Langhorne had 25 points and six rebounds.

For tackling, pushing, shoving, glassware, point guards, shenanigans, and things we'd like to never see again, join your intrepid and absent-minded blogger after... oooh, shiny object!

 

There are words I can use to describe this game accurately and succinctly. Unfortunately, none of them are suitable for the family audience that Swish Appeal is looking for, so I have to find paragraphs and not be succinct. But what else have you come to expect from your intrepid blogger? Surely not brevity!

You're not going to get any cool pregame shenanigans, other than my joy at discovering that with all connections coming through loud and clear, I can make it to my seats at about ten to seven. Of course, that's with minimal delays on a bus and three different trains run by two different transit authorities- and with me cheating out of work three minutes early to catch the early bus. These results are about as normal as Nakia Sanford hitting a three.

I like that the Liberty have upped the number of giveaways available to season subscribers. I like seeing loyalty rewarded. I also love Liberty glassware- it goes with the rest of the house. (And thanks to Melissa for letting me pick up my mom's, too. I'm giving it to her at Thursday's game. She was under the weather. {Well, so am I, but priorities. If I can go to work, I can make the game.})

Lacey really tightened up her rotation. Not that it had much room to be tightened, but Dunlap didn't play and Kerri Gardin only had a couple of sequences. Gardin was mostly matched up with Kara Braxton in Braxton's original role as first post off the bench; Lacey abandoned that matchup when the situation changed. Jasmine Thomas saw a lot of time down the stretch, and while her three-point shot was falling, she wasn't an asset to the rest of the offense, or primarily to the defense. I'm really not sure whether Lacey's doing this to temper her for the future or simply because she's an idiot. On the one hand, if you're playing for the future, and you don't care if you're winning games now, it's a good idea to get your rookie some crunch-time reps. On the other hand, since losing games now gains you nothing except the undying gratitude of the Minnesota Lynx, you might as well try to win now. On the other hand, you'd have to run the table to reach .500, so what does winning games get you other than pride? On the other hand, where did all those hands come from? As for DeMya Walker, she looked slightly less washed up than she did against Connecticut, but she was up to her old tricks: the Sacramento step-through, the traveling, the flopping, and the theatrics. She's pretty much been the same for 11 years. If you're reading this blog, you know DeMya Walker's game.

Nicky Anosike doesn't seem to like us for some reason. I can't possibly imagine why. It's not like she has any past history with any of our players or anything. In any case, she kept making with the grabby hands, and occasionally she even got called for it. Matee Ajavon was her usual ballhogging self. I really only wanted to strangle her once, when she hit the three to give Washington the lead. Well, no, I wanted to strangle her on the flop on the Mystics' first possession, too. Kelly Miller was fairly steady- wasn't awful, wasn't great, and was certainly better than Jasmine Thomas. Marissa Coleman played decent defense, was at least a threat (even if an empty one) from the perimeter, and did a nice job boxing out. But honestly, Crystal Langhorne needs to slap them all upside the head and ask them when she's going to get some help, because she can't do it alone. What amazes me about the way she does it is that she's as glamorous as an R train doing it; she doesn't go on runs and make you whistle in awe. She just keeps going and suddenly she has 25 points.

No, seriously, this exchange occurred with one of my neighbors.

"Who's #1 for Washington?"

"Crystal Langhorne."

"She has 21 points," said in a tone of stunned awe.

Kara Braxton, we need to have a long talk. No, not about those, though I'm fairly certain they should be be credited with a block (and if they're not, Thomas should be). I'm talking about your inability to hit a lay-up, despite being the tallest person on the floor. I'm talking about your inability to look over a defense, despite being the tallest person on the floor. I'm talking about your inability to hold on to the damn ball. Honestly, she'd be close to a double-double if she could just get it together. And we needed her to step up- at least she did on defense in the crunch, when we needed her to be a big presence in the middle so the Mystics couldn't steal the game. Now, if she could just hit a damn basket... ahem, moving right along. Ta'Shia Phillips saw one extended run, did not do anything of note, and disappeared off the face of the earth thereafter. Alex Montgomery played excellent defense and lousy offense. Team ACC really brings out Alexandria's Georgia Tech tendencies, doesn't it? Essence Carson played decently, though you'd think she'd know Ajavon's tendencies by now. I mean, it's not like they're from the same draft class, or played four years at the same school, or anything like that.

Cappie Pondexter stole this game for us with shots that flat-out defied the laws of physics, but I still can't get past her forgetting which basket we were at to start the game, which led to us committing an over-and-back violation on the first possession of the game. Why, yes, I did yell "Partial qualifier!" at that play. Some things you just have to heckle, no matter whether they're your team or not. Kia Vaughn must be kicking puppies in her spare time (has anyone heard from @KV15NYCsToes, anyway?) to have earned the foul calls she got. The sixth foul was a legit call. The three before it, I'm not so sure about. She started off well, and then got derailed. Plenette Pierson was on fire in the first quarter, then let it get to her head. And then she got hot again, so it was okay. She brought a little bit of a nasty edge that we needed, given the nastiness that Walker and Anosike were dishing out. A hip check from Anosike did something to Nicole Powell's leg- she was moving gingerly after she took the hit, and sat out a long stretch of the second half- but she wasn't exactly making herself useful before that, either. I don't know how she wangled all the assists. Leilani Mitchell played better than the box would suggest, but I can't put my finger on it. Maybe she's healed up a bit and that's what I'm seeing.

You would have gotten halftime notes, but your intrepid blogger needs to eat, so your halftime notes are as follows: the chicken tenders at the Prudential Center are excellent, but the fries they come with are beyond awful. The ratio is unfortunately tilted towards fries, as well. These have been your halftime notes.

The child in the Essence Carson gear during the dress and dribble should have taken her shooting tips from Essence, not Plenette. That baby hook doesn't work for Plenette, it's not going to work for an itty-bitty.

Dear Prudential Center, please please please clarify the signage for your sections. I'm really tired of telling people, "No, this is section 9, section 8 is on the other side of the aisle, now please get out of my seats, yes, really, I know where I sit, I have season tickets, SECTION 8 IS OVER THERE."

If Sue Wicks's hair gets any darker, I'm going to have to stop differentiating the Sues by hair color and start calling Bird the short one. (These are the perils of being friends with UConn fans; we mean different people when we squee about Sue.)

These refs. My goodness. I'll grant to the Mystics fans that the three calls at the end of the game favored the Liberty (though I think we would all have preferred if they'd waved off the last foul on Coleman). However, there was a fair amount of contact by the Mystics that wasn't called (I'm looking at you, DeMya- nice job flat out shoving Kia to the ground there) and some ticky-tack stuff that was called on the Libs that seemed to be missed at Washington's end (travel upon travel). We were fairly apoplectic by the middle of the third quarter. I'm also curious to know how holding a ball between one's legs counts as a kicked ball (while it might be a violation, I don't think Roy Gulbeyan asked the ball to point on the dolly where the bad woman touched it). Between the hair and the questionable calls, I was starting to wonder if Angelica Suffren was related to Trudi Lacey.

Screw up this badly at Carnesecca Arena. I dare you. Because you will hear me, and you will have no grounds to have me ejected, because I can let you know what you messed up without resorting to profanity or coarse language.

There was a quite a contingent from St. John's around- our point guard and what appeared to be her whole family. (I think I scared her. She changed sections at the half. Damn it, Nadirah, you knew about us before this.)

If you were in section 9, and you know who the very tall young woman was who swung by to say hi to someone at the start of the fourth quarter, please let me know, because I felt like I should have recognized a well-built 6'3" or so young woman.

There were autographs of some kind after the game, and someone who was there can tell me who was signing, because I was too busy tracking down my umbrella and trying to get home, because it's a long haul from Newark to Queens.

After you read these notes, forget this game ever happened. You'll be saner for it.

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