Liberty Visit Sun In First Game Of Season

The Liberty hit the road for their first game of the regular season against the Connecticut Sun this Saturday, May 25th, at 7:00pm ET. New York finished the preseason strong with a 78-67 victory at home over the Sun on May 18th. With Plenette Pierson and Cheryl Ford missing pieces of preseason play with knee pain, the rest of the team stepped up in two clear ways. First, Kelsey Bone received more playing time and more opportunity to develop. She improved with each game she played becoming more aggressive, improving footwork, and working to get closer to the basket when she posted up. Second, the guards rose to the occasion. The Liberty have rebounded the ball well and largely in part to guards chipping in on the glass. Offensively, Katie Smith, Alex Montgomery, Essence Carson, Kamiko Williams and Cappie Pondexter looked sharper by the end of training camp.

The Connecticut Sun won their final game of the preseason, 88-80, against the Minnesota Lynx on Tuesday, May 21. Reigning WNBA MVP Tina Charles sat out of the game to rest. Sun guard Tan White scored 12 points in the win going 2-4 from behind the arc. Veteran guard Kara Lawson found her teammates with 6 assists. Allison Hightower continued to struggle from the field with 2-12 shooting, but still managed 10 points in the game. Without Charles, Mistie Bass held it down in the paint with 9 points and 9 rebounds. Ashley Walker continued to make a splash in the stat book during preseason play with a double double of 11 points and 10 rebounds. She's proven to be tough to guard for opposing post players because she can shoot from deep and play in the paint. Connecticut enjoys running in the fast break off of turnovers and forced the Lynx to cough the ball up 22 times.

Keys To The Game:
Perimeter Rebounding.
New York's interior players are nursing knees so perimeter players need to continue to snag rebounds and help on the boards.

Do Work Early.
Kelsey Bone will likely play many minutes on Saturday. As she continues to mature as a player she has to work hard to not allow opposing posts to get too deep in the paint. She should use her strength and feet to meet them early, outside the paint, and force them to settle for shots further from the basket. This goes for all Liberty posts. The Liberty would rather see Charles shoot her mid-range jumper (which isn't bad) than her close-up hook shot (which is lethal).

Take Care Of Ball.
The Sun can score in spurts by way of transition baskets. The Liberty can help themselves out by cutting down turnovers and limiting Connecticut fast break opportunities. In their last meeting the Sun forced 21 Liberty turnovers.