Liberty Commute To Washington

Ros Gold-Onwude

The New York Liberty commute to Washington to take on the Mystics on Wednesday, July 31st, at 7:00pm ET. This will mark the first of four matchups between the two Eastern Conference teams as they begin to battle for playoff positioning. The Liberty (7-11) return from All-Star break looking forward to attacking the second half of the season. Cappie Pondexter represented New York in the Boost Mobile WNBA All-Star Game as a starter for the East. The Liberty finished the first half of the season with a tough 65-53 loss to the Silver Stars in San Antonio on July 25th. Cappie Pondexter led New York with 20 points on 3-10 shooting. The Liberty struggled to find the basket as no other Liberty player scored above 7 points with Plenette Pierson shooting an uncharacteristic 3-17 from the field. As a team, the Liberty shot 16-60 in the game. Still, New York managed to find points at the free throw line, scoring 17 points on 25 attempts. The Liberty stayed in the contest behind a strong defensive effort that held San Antonio to just 31% shooting from the field.

The Washington Mystics (9-9) are built on the foundation of fiery explosive guard Ivory Latta, strong and steady post Crystal Langhorne, and versatile scorer Monique Currie. Latta is shooting 40% from three and Langhorne connects in the paint at 55% accuracy. Former Liberty center, Kia Vaughn averages 5.9 points and 4.2 rebounds a game for Washington. The Mystics come off of a monster comeback win over the Chicago Sky, 82-78, after being down as much as 21 points on July 24th. Ivory Latta led Washington with 18 points and 13 assists and Monique Currie scored 14 points and pulled down 9 rebounds. Washington held Elena Delle Donne to 2-15 shooting. Latta enjoyed an impressive week, receiving her second Eastern Conference Player of the Week award of the season and scoring 15 points in the first All-Star Game appearance of her career.

Keys To The Game:

Tame Latta’s Emotions.

Ivory Latta is a 5’6 fireball of emotion. Work to contain her bouncing, screaming and contagious energy by managing Washington’s runs and fast break opportunities. Don’t allow her to rally her team and the home crowd.

More Efficient Offense.
We all know what Cappie Pondexter is capable of on offense. We’ve seen flashes of brilliance from Plenette Pierson and Kara Braxton this season. In the second half of the season, the Liberty not only need these three to bring their “A-game” in points, but they should also bring their “E-game”, with E standing for “efficient” shooting. The All-Star break gives the Liberty time to continue learning their offense, put in new sets that create good shots, and identify the easier shots they need to find.