Christon, Moore Rally Liberty Past Shock
By VIN A. CHERWOO, AP Sports Writer

New York 74, Detroit 64 (F)

NEW YORK, July 12 (AP) -- The New York Liberty weren't intimidated by the Detroit Shock, not even when facing an 18-point deficit.

Shameka Christon scored 19 points, Loree Moore and Janel McCarville added 13 each and the Liberty beat the first-place Shock 74-64 on Saturday night.

Cathrine Kraayeveld scored 10 points, while McCarville and Tiffany Jackson had seven rebounds each for New York (10-9), which came from 18 points down midway through the third quarter to win their fourth straight at home.

"They are going to be that dirty type of team and push you around, throw some elbows and try to be the bully,'' Moore said. " Every time we play them, we always seem to stand up. We come out shaky in the beginning, but we always seem to stand up when we need to.''

Shock coach Bill Laimbeer was upset with the officiating by referees Michael Price, Marat Kogut and Metta Roberts.

"We lost our composure a little bit,'' Laimbeer said. "The refereeing frustrated ... us. We're just getting tired of the double standard that we have, and it wore us down tonight. Every day we play through it. We're not good enough to play through it some nights, tonight was an example. We're tired of it and we're going to address it with the league.

"We had the game under control and it turned. The momentum changed and was fueled by a situation where two of the referees got caught up in the emotion of the situation and allowed it to get out of hand.''

Asked if his team shooting just five free throws in the second half was evidence of that, Laimbeer replied: "I would say that they were caught up in the home-crowd emotion and were unable to correctly call the game.''

Detroit was whistled for 21 fouls, compared to 15 for New York. The Liberty were 14-for-17 from the line in the second half, and 21-for-25 overall. The Shock finished 8-for-12.

Laimbeer later spoke in a hallway with WNBA president Donna Orender.

Katie Smith and Plenette Pierson scored 13 points each, Cheryl Ford had 11 points and 12 rebounds, and rookie Tasha Humphrey also had 11 points for Detroit (14-7). The Shock, a perfect 9-0 at home, have lost four straight on the road.

The Shock were making their first visit to Madison Square Garden since a 73-51 loss in the opener of the teams' first-round playoff series last August. Detroit won the next two at home - by a combined four points - to take the series en route to reaching the WNBA finals.

New York trailed by 18 with about 5 1/2 minutes left in the third quarter, scored 14 consecutive points to cut the deficit to four, and then had a 10-2 run to take an 60-59 lead on Moore's 3-pointer with 5:18 left in the fourth.

"We started getting tough with them, we started fighting back ... not allowing them to take advantage of us or dictate how we're going to play,'' Moore said. "We showed that toughness from top to bottom. We did the things we needed to do to turn it around.''

Pierson then scored five straight points on a layup and a three-point play to give Detroit a four-point advantage with 4:21 left, and the Shock didn't score again.

Kraayeveld had a 3, Willis a driving layup and Christon a fastbreak basket for a 67-64 lead with 2:24 left.

"I told the team that we need to get stops and start executing our plays,'' Liberty coach Pat Coyle said. "Our press was very effective tonight causing turnovers. Down the stretch we were able to execute.''

A day after shooting 7-for-9 on 3s in a win at home against Washington, Smith was 3-for-10 from beyond the arc against New York.

The Shock outrebounded the Liberty 42-32, including a 28-15 advantage in the first half.

Leading 40-32 at halftime, Detroit opened the third quarter with an 11-1 run, started by a 3-pointer from Smith and capped with her two free throws, to take a 51-33 lead with 5:37 left in the period.

"We all know how Detroit plays. Everybody around the league knows about this team and how physical and aggressive they are,'' Christon said. "It's not something we had to get used to. We already know what to expect.''

The Liberty followed with the 14-0 run - including seven points from Christon and five from Moore - over the next 3:45 to pull within four.

"We started getting some stops which was not something we did in the first half,'' Christon said. "They killed us on the boards and we persevered. We came back, we kept fighting and we kept fighting.''

Alexis Hornbuckle's 3 from the right corner with 47.3 seconds left in the third ended the Shock's scoring drought of nearly 5 minutes.

Calendar Strip here