New York 66, Detroit 64
Donaphin Lifts Liberty Into East Finals
NEW YORK, Sept. 28 (Ticker) -- In a shocker, the WNBA will have a new champion this season.
The Detroit Shock's reign as champions ended when Bethany Donaphin made a short jumper with 0.5 seconds remaining to give the New York Liberty a 66-64 victory in Game Three of their Eastern Conference semifinal series.
After losing the first game at home, the Shock won Game Two here and held a 14-point lead early in the second half of this one. But the Liberty stormed back behind Crystal Robinson, who scored 17 points.
Robinson's 3-pointer gave New York a 60-58 lead with 1:35 to go. But the Shock forged a 64-64 tie with 12 seconds to play on a driving layup by Deanna Nolan, who scored 16 points.
Becky Hammon dribbled right and underneath the basket, where she was bottled up and forced to pass. She found Donaphin, whose jumper ended Detroit's reign.
Hammon scored 20 points for the Liberty, who await the winner of the Washington-Connecticut series. They would have home-court advantage against Washington.
Donaphin scored six points for New York, which trailed, 41-27, with 18 minutes left on a jumper by Detroit's Cheryl Ford, who scored 13 points.
The Liberty overcame the Shock's advantage in size, which led to a 39-24 edge in rebounds. Detroit shot 29 free throws and eight 3-pointers, while New York shot 13 free throws and 29 3-pointers.