Statistical Analysis: Liberty 87, Indiana Fever 72

June 3, 2012; Newark, NJ, USA; Indiana Fever forward Katie Douglas (23) passes the ball while being defended by New York Liberty guard Leilani Mitchell (5) and guard Cappie Pondexter (23) during the second half at the Prudential Center. The Liberty defeated the Fever 87-72. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-US PRESSWIRE

NEWARK, NJ - It was all rather simple.

The analysis can be intriguing but you do not want ‘paralysis by analysis'. The Liberty were able to earn their first win of the season by virtue of defense.

The numbers follow:

Possessions:

Indiana 78

NY Liberty 82

Offensive Efficiency:

Indiana 92

NY Liberty 106

Just a day earlier, Indiana handily defeated the Liberty 91-68. The efficiency numbers in the 72 possession game were in stark contrast to those yesterday.

Indiana 123

NY Liberty 94

An impressive turn around for the Liberty, further illustrated in the Four Factors:



The Four Factors:

eFG

FT Rate

OREB PCT

TO Rate

Indiana

47

33

38

27

NY Liberty

51

23

34

20

Once again, it was the defense. In the post, close outs, forcing turnovers etc. The Fever were able to get a 47% eFG mark thanks to 7 of 19 shooting from long range. The Liberty forced 22 turnovers, a very high 27% TO rate, resulting in 27 New York points. The Fever had a slight edge in offensive boards but were able to convert only two put backs into field goals.

Shot breakdown.

Decided to compile a shooting breakdown which further illustrates the Liberty defensive effort.

Shot

Indiana

NY Liberty

Post up

2

3

Spot up jumper

14

14

Pick n’ roll

1

1

Transition

2

5

Offensive rebound

2

2

Penetration

2

6

Total

23

31

The breakdown accounts for field goals made. The Fever knocked down seven threes. Not a surprise as they were trying to get out of a double digit deficit the final half. The Liberty canned eight treys but showed a little more balance with penetration and transition baskets in their arsenal. Neither team had a great post up game. From the Liberty's vantage point, the post was a plus due to their defense down low.

The ‘first four'

We alluded to and showed the importance of the Liberty ‘winning' the first four to establish momentum. Turned out, at halftime Liberty coach John Whisenant emphasized to his club the fact they had to come out and take charge those first four minutes after intermission. As noted New York enjoyed a 6-5 scoring edge during that juncture. The significance though, was stopping and Indiana run to get them back in it early in the final half.

Facing Indiana on the road a day earlier had positive and negative connotations. A plus was the game preparation was not completely altered. You are playing the same opponent so you know the personnel and what to expect. The negative was the travel and early start.

"We were up by 5 a.m.," Essence Carson a 16 point scorer for the Liberty said. "Game day was basically a rest day and light shooting. In preparation we just made a few minor adjustments for this game."

They undoubtedly worked extremely well.

The Liberty, paced by Cappie Pondexter's 25 points had five players in double figures. The Fever were led by Tamika Catchings withy 19. Efficiency wise, New York's five double figure scores posted balanced numbers.

Points

Efficiency

Pondexter

25

19

Pierson

16

19

Carson

16

18

Mitchell

13

13

Vaughn

10

15

Plenette Pierson's 4 of 7 shooting was coupled with a 4 assist, 6 rebound effort, allowing her to tie Pondexter for the efficiency lead. Indiana's leader in efficiency was Catchings with 18. Katie Douglas scored 15 points for the Fever but showed only 10 in the efficiency column largely due to 5 of 14 shooting.

The Liberty host Atlanta on Tuesday. Attendance was 4,905.

For more on the game, see Queenie's summary as well as the previously posted "courtside observations".

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