Liberty Fights Back to Claim Overtime Win

Just the Facts, Ma'am: The New York Liberty stormed back from a 19-point deficit to take a three-point lead in the last minute and held on in overtime, 84-81, to beat the Connecticut Sun. Cappie Pondexter had 27 points for the Liberty, while Essence Carson had 19 and Kia Vaughn had 17 points and 11 rebounds. Connecticut's Tina Charles led all players with 29 points and 14 rebounds.

For a studied lack of swearing, bobble-goggles, the Usual Suspects, and illegal drugs, join your intrepid and maybe amusing blogger after the jump.

 

Stupid bus. Stupid dress code. Stupid evil HR woman. The only reason I saw intros was because I was sitting with my mother for part of the first quarter, before realizing that I missed my regulars in section 9 and heading back across the way.

It's 40-39 Connecticut here at halftime, and our court has been taken over by a large group of dancers who are not completely awful. We've gotten lucky on leaving McCray and Montgomery open for threes that they've missed, but it's also burned us. We're not hustling after loose balls and we're not rebounding, and for some reason Nicole Powell is sitting out. (I told you she was hurt last game, Whiz. I know what I'm talking about sometimes.)

The crowd is sparse and dead. I'm getting really tired of people turning around to stare at me when I start chanting DE-FENSE.

This "Remember When" is making me miss Loree and Ashley.

Third quarter interlude: whatever John Whisenant is saying in the locker room at halftime, he needs to stop saying. I've fled to the Ice Lounge to recharge my laptop and keep from swearing at everyone and anyone in sight. Scott Twadorski is acting like Essence Carson personally told him he couldn't have one of her bobble-heads- she's taken three hits to the floor and gotten no calls in her favor- gotten called for the foul on one of them, even.

And apparently whatever was said at the quarter break needs to be said a lot more often. What a comeback! What a defensive stand! What an amazing cluster of officiating incompetency in the last few seconds of overtime!

Tan White showed a distressing tendency to go for a player's injured body parts in the fourth quarter- I'm pretty sure she got in a cheap shot on Plenette Pierson that caused Plenette to hit the deck for the second time. I like her fire, but sometimes it's much of a muchness. There were brief Alison Hightower sightings. I don't remember whether they were relevant to the flow of the game or not. Kelsey Griffin was brought in mostly for defensive purposes, which seemed uncharacteristic. I think the bulk of her minutes were while I was hiding in the lounge, recharging my computer and swearing at our inability to get a rebound. Kara Lawson brought the big offense off the bench.

Tina Charles is a beast, and I have the sudden urge to go strangle Carol Blazejowski. I've missed that feeling. It's been months since I've had it, but watching Charles disassemble our front line reminded me that we could have had her if we didn't trade our first-round draft pick for a player who Los Angeles probably would have had to cut anyway. But I'm bitter, and digressing. Asjha Jones went quietly about her business, scoring with occasional bouts of violence. She's a great complement to Charles, though I wouldn't necessarily call it a Batman-and-Robin relationship. Maybe more Iron Man and Rhodey. Renee Montgomery took a lot of shots, some of which she had no business taking and some of which she had no business hitting. I didn't appreciate some of her theatrics, though. That went double for Kalana Greene, whose blatant dive could have given the Sun the game if they had been able to convert on the possession. She showed an old knack for being in the right place much of the time. Danielle McCray was a threat early, and showed some nice play-making abilities, but didn't seem to be in as much down the stretch.

Someone is going to end up hitting Kara Braxton upside the head by the end of the season. Yes, yes, I know, I know, this is nothing new and nothing to be surprised at, and anyone who's ever seen her play and knows anything about the league knows how inconsistent and lazy she can be. However, she's never done it in New York, and even in New Jersey, we're not exactly gentle. She keeps blowing lay-ups and committing stupid fouls, she's going to hear it from the fans. That all being said, I liked her as a defensive presence tonight. She's good at filling space, even if she's not always sure where that space is supposed to be. She's not afraid to play big, which is rather useful for a post. Sydney Colson had a brief cameo and did not do anything that I recall. Ta'Shia Phillips is not as quick as her teammates think she is. Alex Montgomery saw a lot of time because of our short bench (Nicole Powell was out with what texting and Twittering informed me was a bruised knee) and while she's a nice piece to have, I don't know if she's ready to play high rotation minutes yet. She looked like she was in over her head.

I don't like Cappie Pondexter. Never really have, probably never really will. We all know this and have incorporated the existence of this bias into our readings of my blog, right? However, if she continues to make the laws of physics go away so she can hit big shots, and if she continues to win us games by dint of sheer effort... that's what we brought her in for, and I can respect her talent and appreciate her work. No, seriously, the three that gave the Liberty the lead near the end of the fourth quarter was something out of the Matrix. Whoa. Leilani Mitchell's three-point shot is starting to wander back to her, a message of which I heartily approve. However, her teammates appear to be taking sadistic pleasure in throwing passes that she has to leap to catch in the corner. Guys, there's a reason we call her the fluffy little bunny. Plenette Pierson took a beating late in the game, but she put in work- she was at least following shots, unlike some people I could name. She needs to realize that not all chicks dig the long ball, though. Go towards the hole. Kia Vaughn put in work on the offensive boards. I don't know why she spent so much time sitting in the fourth quarter, unless Whiz was that certain that we were going to need her in overtime... of course, possibly putting her in a little earlier might have meant that we didn't need to take it to overtime, but I'm willing to grant that he's a championship-winning coach and I'm an amateur raconteur in section 9. Essence Carson stepped up bigtime for Nicole- she hit the big shots, she made the spectacular interceptions, she took the hits, she got the final steal.

So much offense from Rutgers players. Somewhere, C. Vivian Stringer is clutching her pearls and wondering where she went wrong.

FOLLOW YOUR SHOTS. If there is one thing I would be screaming at them right now, that would be it. I can't count the number of times that Kara, or Kia, or Cappie, stood and watched a shot that had no chance of going in. FOLLOW YOUR SHOTS. Follow ALL the shots. And chase the loose balls. You can't give a Thibault team extra possessions. You can't give Kara Lawson extra possessions.

These refs. My goodness. My section was overreacting to every call by the end of the game (yes, Plenette, if you stick your foot out and someone stumbles over it, that's a trip; yes, Kia, if you bang your hip into someone it is a foul), but there were some horrible, reprehensible calls. Essence got banged around repeatedly with no call. Plenette took shot after shot with no call. I wasn't the only one questioning the officiating, either; one gentleman on the train remarked that he thought #8 was high; the frightening part was that I thought Humphrey was the best of the lot.

The reviews at the end of the game were enough to drive a woman batty. About the first call, it looked like it went off Tan White, but I'm not completely certain. I don't think there was enough evidence to overrule, but I won't argue too much. And I certainly agree on the second review that Plenette Pierson was clearly out of bounds with the ball. I do, however, think it is germane to the matter that the cause of Plenette being out of bounds was Asjha Jones's arms around her waist, pulling her down in a fair impression of Michael Strahan dealing with an opposing quarterback not named Brett Favre. And by the third review, there was much swearing about the land; sure, Essence can't get a call all night and they finally decide to call a foul for her as the horn sounds and we're all thinking, "Great, we can go home!" Which would be less hair-tearing-out-of if this hadn't been exactly how the Washington game ended TWO BLEEPING DAYS AGO, with the same margin and the same result.

There is what I hope is an unfounded rumor going around about a season subscriber renewal gift being a Pondexter throwback jersey. I don't think I have to tell you why I would start seeing blood at the sight of a black #23 jersey with a name other than Wicks on it. If it weren't for the commute, I'd have been tempted to renew just to set the thing on fire.

I have mentioned I don't like Cappie, right? And that Sue is one of my all-time favorites?

Protip, Port Authority and folks at Newark-Penn Station: do not start pulling a PATH train out of the station, stop it, and hold it for five minutes after a game that went into overtime and was rife with reviews. You will be snarked.

I'm very tired, but I'm glad to be home with the win. Now it's time for ADVENTURE! Go Liberty! Get well soon, Quanitra and Nicole!

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