Preseason triple OT? Liberty tops Sun 89-84
Tuesdayâ€™s New York Liberty and Connecticut Sun preseason game tied for the longest pre-season contest in WNBA history. The previous game was on May 27, 2000 when Phoenix faced Detroit.
Afterwards Liberty guard Cappie Pondexter tweeted:
The game was the first in Madison Square Garden in a Liberty uniform for Pondexter, Taj McWilliams Franklin, Kalana Greene, April Phillips and Ashley Houts.
Pondexter scored a double-double in her Liberty debut with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Greene finished with 14 points off the bench, nine boards and three assists.
The game was sent into the first overtime when DeMya Walker tied the game at 67 with 24.4 seconds remaining. Rene Montgomery had a chance to push the Sun ahead, but missed a lay-up as time expired.
New York trailed by two points with 29.0 seconds in the first overtime until Cappie Pondexter tied the game at 77 with a 19-footer with 16.1 seconds to go. Kara Lawson missed a three-point attempt with 2.9 seconds to go.
The Liberty jumped out to a five point lead in the third overtime with 1:19 remaining. Kara Lawson cut the hostsâ€™ lead to two in the next play, but April Phillips pair of free throws put New York back on top by four with 29.5 remaining. Leilani Mitchell connected on her second free throw to put the lead back to five and sealed the win for New York.
Todayâ€™s match-up was the third consecutive overtime game between the two clubs. The last two regular season meetings in the 2009 season resulted in extra periods, with each team capturing victory on its home court.
Tina Charlesâ€™ 22 points and 13 rebounds are a pre-season career high for the top Draft pick out of the University of Connecticut.
The Sun opens its season at home hosting the Chicago Sky. The Liberty meets the Sky the next day for the beginning of New Yorkâ€™s regular season.
Post game quotes
NEW YORK LIBERTY
Coach Anne Donovan
On todayâ€™s game:
â€œDespite shooting the ball really poorly and having our offense take a lot of the work, weâ€™re really happy to walk away with a win. Itâ€™s our last preseason game so it is nice to get a W out of it.â€
On the upcoming season:
â€œI think weâ€™re really excited to have the personnel change that we do. We have a lot of fresh perspective, some championship experience that we acquired in our roster, so weâ€™re really looking forward to a good season.â€
On preparing for the season:
â€œMost important thing is to get better every day, there is a lot we have to work on defensively. Offensively, we have to clean it up, we have to get used to playing with each other. Defensively we have to clean it up on the weak side.â€
On playing for the Liberty at Madison Square Garden:
â€œIt was great, it was a great atmosphere, my teammates are awesome, it was a great experience overall.â€
On playing in front of the kids for the franchiseâ€™s 5th annual School Day game:
â€œIt was awesome, good to see the kids out there enjoying themselves. Good thing we put on a good show for them.â€
Head Coach Mike Thibault
On todayâ€™s game and the upcoming season:
â€œIt was exciting and kind of fun. It was good for me in the sense that with a new team and a lot of new players, I can try some things and see who can do what and who remembers what. Very few of these players that were on the courtâ€¦I havenâ€™t coached them. We are kind of still learning about each other so from that stand point, it was pretty good. We had a shot to win it at the end of regulation and a shot to win at the end of both of the first two overtimes. The ball didnâ€™t go in but I thought we got good shots.â€
On todayâ€™s game:
â€œWe fought hard and it was a good game. I was trying to look for the open man and not trying to force any shots and being patient. I feel really confident, especially with the team we have here. Itâ€™s always nice to come home and play in front of family and friends and having great fans out there. Itâ€™s also great for the kids to be out there to see what we are doing.â€