Liberty storms back on Seattle

Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE

Just the Facts, Ma'am: New York finished the game on a 13-0 run to claim a 70-64 win over Seattle. Tina Charles and Sugar Rodgers each had 15 points for New York, with Charles adding 14 rebounds. Sue Bird led all scorers with 21 points, 17 in the first half. Crystal Langhorne added 13 points and 15 rebounds. For ill fortune, hats, new gear, rivering up some luck, a refusal to die, and the long climb, join your intrepid and mystical blogger after the jump.

Hello, everyone! It's good to be home, have I mentioned that? Have I also mentioned that it's really nice to be able to get to the game in a half hour instead of an hour and a half? My autograph collection will be back to normal, and I will be relieved.

Nicole Powell was getting pictures taken of her sneakers. I don't know why, but they held her out long enough that she was after the coaches.

Choral anthem. I approve this message.

I do not approve these refs. They've been horrendous all night. Missed travels, consistently getting out-of-bounds wrong, missed holds- I suppose we should be lucky they caught the sluefoot on Temeka Johnson. We're down 35-32 at the half, and though much of that has to do with Sue Bird dropping 17 points, I'm side-eyeing the refs like a boss.

There are folks here with a Spanish flag for Anna Cruz. Cruuuuuuuuuuuz. TODA LA CRUUUUUUUUUUUUUUZ.

We look a little discombobulated. This might be because Bill decided this would be a lovely time to experiment with the idea of Tina Charles at the 4, which is a bad idea.

Kara. Kara, honey. The torch spat fire the last time it was out there. Why would you go right up to it? She backed away in a hurry when it went WHOOOOOOOOOOSH FIIIIIIIIIIIIIRE, but you'd think she'd remember from last time. Do not take the "Girl On Fire" thing for serious, okay? I can't with her.

I can't believe we pulled that out of the magic hat, I really can't. I had my excuses all lined up- awful refs, Sue Bird, Sugar Rodgers, the inability of the ball to stay inside the cylinder- so I'm almost not sure how to go on with these notes now that we actually won. But despite my computer's decision to not go the bleep to sleep when I told it to, I will soldier on.

Angel Robinson got a few token seconds in which her job was to be tall and make inbounding the ball hard. Noelle Quinn got some extended time in the second half (she played in the first, too, but it looked like she was getting more continuous stretches in the second) and did all right for herself, using her body to disrupt offensive players. I think she ran more point in the second than the first- this is going to be an ongoing theme. Nicole Powell came in, did unmemorable things, and left. I found the moving screen a little funny, if only because that wasn't the kind of effort she strained herself to make in New York. Shekinna Stricklen seemed happy to park herself out on the perimeter, and Seattle seemed happy with the number of shots she was hitting from out there, but I think I would still prefer her mixing it up a little more inside. She's got the build for an outside-in game. Temeka Johnson is extremely annoying, likes to trip people, and thinks it's a good idea to step to Tina Charles. I appreciate her fearlessness objectively, but subjectively, I would like to hit her over the head with my clipboard. She did a bit of the facilitating while she was in, but she and Bird split those duties when they were in together.

Tanisha Wright is really being asked to do a lot for Seattle. She ran a lot of the point when she was on the floor, driving and dishing. She's also their best perimeter defender and was assigned to Cappie Pondexter all night. She's got a bit of an attitude on the floor, too. She's good enough to defend without shenanigans. Watch your feet, T. Alysha Clark started, but she didn't play a lot. I don't remember her doing much. I always forget the kind of ups Camille Little has. Why do I always forget that Little's vertical makes up for her lack of height? She knows how to position herself so well on the boards. It's beautiful. Crystal Langhorne also has a knack for appearing in the low post, as if she teleports herself to a spot along the baseline when a shot goes up. She had one post move that she just kept using and using on us to cut to the basket and score. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. But her free throw stroke is a little broken, so she should probably fix that. Sue Bird showed off her beautiful stroke tonight. She spent a lot of time playing off the ball early in the game, but started to be more of a facilitator later. She was not moving well early on, moving stiffly and not cutting quickly. Her leg seemed to loosen up in the second half, but by then the defense had keyed on her more and she wasn't getting as many easy shots. There are shots that are open but not easy, and she got some of those. I think she might have been a bit wiped, too. Agler's rotations are not easy on his older players.

Sugar Rodgers might have helped us pull the game out of the proverbial hat at the end, but I still think playing her quite as many minutes as Bill did was a bad idea. She can shoot- there's no denying that (I'm a Johnnie, after all, so I saw her far too much at Georgetown). And she showed some hustle tonight on both ends of the floor. That all being said, she has yet to demonstrate decent basketball IQ, and she gives up almost as many points as she scores. Yes, she pulled us out of the fire, but she did a fair part in dropping us in said fire. Kara Braxton played very sparingly and was Kara. Alex Montgomery did a really good job on the glass, and played tough defense. DeLisha Milton-Jones really made the most of her wingspan tonight. She changed a lot of shots and rebounds. She kept Seattle's defense honest with outside shots, too.

The rim did not like our starters tonight. I think Cappie, Plenette, and Tina all had multiple shots bounce in and out of the cylinder. Alex had a three that was halfway down before it came back out.

Cappie Pondexter got a lot of attention from Seattle's defense, so she didn't get a lot of good shots. In the second half, she drove to the basket in search of the foul more often, and she drew a bunch of free throws. She played point at the end of the game, after Anna got kicked in the ankle. Anna Cruz played a pretty solid game- kept up with Bird well in the open court, but got lost behind screens. She sort of accidentally crossed Bird over at one point. Tina Charles took some questionable shots and bailed on a few rebounds that she could have pulled down, but had a solid game. Essence Carson seemed off somehow, and I can't put my finger on how. She never seemed to get her groove, and that might have been part of why we saw so much of Alex and Sugar. Plenette Pierson was a gamer down low and got called for ridiculous fouls, but that's par for the course.

I honestly don't know how we were able to hold it together in the fourth quarter. Neither team was particularly organized, and a lot of shots went in and out of the basket. We were able to take advantage late, but it was not a pretty game.

On to DC we go- and your intrepid blogger will be coming along for the ride. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

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