ATLANTA, June 11 (AP) - Janel McCarville's consistent offense and late defensive pressure were too much for the Atlanta Dream.
McCarville scored 25 points and had seven assists to help the New York Liberty beat Atlanta 81-77 on Wednesday night, keeping the expansion Dream winless
New York ended a two-game losing streak on the road. Including two playoff losses at Detroit last year, the Liberty had dropped nine of their past 10 away from Madison Square Garden since July 6.
"We showed a lot of character in the second half being down 12 points,'' New York coach Pat Coyle said. "We could've easily folded and we didn't.''
After McCarville tipped away the first inbound attempt in front of the Dream bench, Strother fared even worse from the baseline. The second time, with McCarville jumping and waving her arms in front of Strother, Shameka Christon stepped in front of Tamera Young for the steal..
"I think I was getting pretty good pressure and trying to eliminate her options,'' McCarville said. "We wanted to force her to throw it to one spot, where we were planning to be there and conceal. It all kind of worked out.''
Essence Carson's 18-footer with 1:05 remaining gave the Liberty their first lead since the midway point of the third quarter. McCarville, who followed on Atlanta's end by blocking Feenstra's shot and forcing a shot clock violation, made it 78-74 after a layup on Christon's assist.
With 38.8 seconds remaining, McCarville's basket ended a 20-12 run for the Liberty, who got a combined 29 points and 14 rebounds from Christon and Cathrine Kraayeveld.
"We look to go through me on the offensive end, and when I'm double-teamed, it's easy to find an open teammate,'' McCarville said. "We needed to get stops on defense late in the game. We took it one possession at a time and came out ahead.''
The Dream failed to hold a 12-point lead, which came on Young's layup with 7:09 remaining.
Betty Lennox scored 28 points to lead Atlanta, which dropped to 0-5 at home, 0-8 overall. She hit a 3-pointer with 3:26 remaining in the third that started an 18-6 run for the Dream.
It wasn't long, though, before New York collapsed its half-court defense on Feenstra, Atlanta's 6-foot-8 center, to seal off passing lanes and force the Dream's offense out on the perimeter.
"All I can tell you is they got so many offensive rebounds that we were on defense a lot,'' Meadors said. "We can't give up that many offensive rebounds to the other team.''
Young and Ivory Latta each scored 13 points for Atlanta.
"I can truly say that coming into this game that everybody was confident,'' Latta said. "Everybody was enthused. It just flashed before our eyes, that turnaround in the last 5 minutes. I really can't explain it right now. I don't think the loss has hit me yet.''
The opposite was true for McCarville after New York (4-4) won on the road.
"It's great to get your first road win of the season,'' she said. "The two losses, Detroit and Connecticut, came against teams that are leading our conference right now. So this gives us a starting point to build on.''