Liberty Host Silver Stars

Ros Gold-Onwude
The New York Liberty host the San Antonio Silver Stars this Sunday at 3:00pm at the Prudential Center. New York is undefeated at home and (4-2) on the season making this the Liberty’s best start since 2007. The Liberty enjoyed another full team effort win, this time over the Connecticut Sun, 78-68, last Friday, June 14th. With over a week off since their last game the Liberty have worked to bring up to speed new interior addition Avery Warley who was signed in replacement of the unfortunately still wounded Cheryl Ford. Against Connecticut the Liberty were led by Cappie Pondexter’s 20 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists. Leilani Mitchell added an energizing boost off the bench with 16 points, 9 rebounds and 5 assists. Kara Braxton stayed consistent with 11 points and 13 rebounds. Katie Smith contributed 10 points and became the WNBA’s 2nd all time leading scorer. The Liberty outscored the Sun 54-35 in the second half. The Liberty also outrebounded the Sun 57-36 including a whopping 20 offensive rebounds.

The San Antonio Silver Stars (2-5) continue to be hampered by injuries. San Antonio began the season without their two best players in Becky Hammon due to a broken right middle finger and Sophia Young with a season ending ACL tear. Most recently the Silver Stars made a move to sign post Chante Black to replace their leading rebounder in Jayne Appel who suffered a concussion. Currently the team has found answers from a number of sources and boasts six players averaging over 7 points per game. The Silver Stars dropped a battle to the Seattle Storm 91-86 on Friday June 21st. Jia Perkins led the team with 21 points. Point guard Danielle Robinson continues to be a multi-way threat for San Antonio and pushed the pace for 20 points, 6 assists and 5 rebounds. Shameka Christon added 19 points. San Antonio allowed Seattle to shoot extremely well at 53% from the field, 67% from three and 92% from the free throw line.

Keys To The Game:

Keep Defensive Identity.

The Liberty endure moments when they go cold offensively with defense. New York is in first place in the league in opponent’s field goal shooting percentage and third in both opponent’s three-point field goal shooting percentage and points allowed.

Get Extra Opportunities.

Against Connecticut the Liberty were able to snag 20 offensive rebounds and create crucial shots off of the extra opportunities. New York’s opportunistic play makes them a dangerous team.

Transition Defense:

In the absence of Hammon, Danielle Robinson has emerged as a scoring threat in addition to a playmaker. She is most dangerous with her speed and ability to increase the tempo. Liberty defenders must ball stop on her early, slow the Silver Stars down and make them play in the half court set where the Liberty are bigger inside and very tough.