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What can happen when the New York Liberty stop turning the ball over

The New York Liberty defeated the Connecticut Sun on Friday night behind an extremely efficient second half. Not surprisingly, turnovers - or lack thereof - made the difference.

UConn's Stefanie Dolson with two NY Gazelle eighth graders at Friday's New York Liberty game.
UConn's Stefanie Dolson with two NY Gazelle eighth graders at Friday's New York Liberty game.
Photo by Ray Floriani.

NEWARK, NJ - Another come from behind effort. Another victory in the friendly confines of the Prudential Center. The New York Liberty defeated the Connecticut Sun 78-68 on Friday.

Possessions, efficiency and key factors:


Connecticut 84

NY Liberty 81

Offensive Efficiency:

Connecticut 81

NY Liberty 96

It's all relative. In studying efficiency, what you want to do is get your offense to break 100 while keeping the opposition under the century mark on the defensive end. If you say the Liberty was sub par offensively with a 96 you could be correct by sheer numbers. On closer study, holding the Sun to an 81 efficiency means the 96 posted by the New York, more than sufficed to pull of the victory. In simple terms, 96 is a great OE when you are holding the opponents to 81.

The Four Factors:


FT Rate


TO Rate






NY Liberty





The Liberty did a great job limiting the Sun in shooting (efg%). Plain old solid defense. On the other end, New York was able to make frequent trips to the line thanks to owning the offensive glass. As previously noted, offensive rebounds put you in great position to convert second chances and/or draw fouls.

Turnovers. The Liberty is right at the cutoff mark of 20%. Still a significant improvement over the earlier games with TO rates near 30%.

"I was vocal at halftime. The first half we threw the ball all over the gym."- Liberty coach Bill Laimbeer

A tale of two halves. For the Liberty it was a complete reversal of (mis)fortune.



Off Eff.

TO Rate

First Half





Sec. Half





The Liberty committed 13 turnovers the first half, three following intermission, a contributing factor in the offense that came alive and dominated those final 20 minutes. In fact, the Liberty won the third quarter 32-22 to take a one point lead they would not relinquish. That quarter saw New York post an outstanding 160 offensive efficiency.

"Everyone stepped up that third quarter but I think our defense created a lot of offensive opportunities." - Katie Smith of the Liberty

The efficiency numbers of note (using the NBA model):



L. Mitchell, NY



C. Pondexter, NY



A. Hightower, Ct.



Is there really a surprise? After all the discussion regarding Leilani Mitchell's contributions as a complete player, she far outpaced the field in efficiency. A 4-for-5 shooting mark (plus 4-for-4 from the line), 9 rebounds, and 5 assists against one turnover resulted in an all-star level efficiency.

Pondexter shot 8-for-22 which hurt the efficiency. Cappie scored 18 second half points which proved crucial to the Liberty comeback.

Hightower paced Connecticut with 17 points. She shot 6 of 14 from the floor but did hand out five assists against one turnover.

Tina Charles of the Sun had a fair sized flowing including her mom and Cecil King her AAU coach (NY Gazelles). The WNBA MVP struggled with a 7 point night on 3 of 17 shooting from the floor.

UConn's Stefanie Dolson was on hand to see former teammate Kelly Farris, now a Sun Rookie as well as a few other Husky alumnae. Farris scored 5 points in 18 minutes of action.

Final Numbers: Liberty improved to 2-4. Connecticut fell to 2-4. Attendance: 5,845