New York 78, Detroit 69
Liberty Put On Show in Radio City Win
NEW YORK, July 24 (Ticker) -- In the debut of basketball on Broadway, the New York Liberty had the advantage of a dress rehearsal.
The Liberty won the first WNBA game at Radio City Music Hall, riding a big second half from Elena Baranova to a 78-69 victory over the Detroit Shock.
There were some obvious logistical issues. The Shock, who won at home Friday night, traveled Saturday and did not arrive until 1 p.m. They used the fifth floor as their locker room.
The Liberty practiced here Thursday, getting familiar with the facility. They used the third floor as their locker.
In front of a sellout crowd of 5,945, the teams took center stage - literally - as they played on the same floor that has hosted the Grammy Awards. There were a handful of seats on each baseline.
The game actually featured three women's teams - the Liberty, Shock and the Rockettes, the world-famous line dancers who performed at halftime.
After the Rockettes retreated to their seventh-floor locker, the stage belonged to Baranova, who scored 16 of her 21 points in the second half. She scored the last five points of a 13-2 run, capped at 64-55 by her fourth 3-pointer of the half with 3:36 to go.
Becky Hammon scored 17 points and Vickie Johnson added 16 for the Liberty, who have won four of their last five games.
Swin Cash scored 21 points and Ruth Riley added 18 and 13 rebounds for the Shock, who shot just 33 percent (23-of-69) from the field. The defending champions have lost nine of their last 13 games.