Liberty Give Crowd A Show On Camp Day

The last time the Liberty and Dream faced off at the Prudential Center, it was a game that could’ve easily been erased from memory.

A 79-58 drumming back on June 14, it seemed like one team was on the right track, and the other was beginning to slide. Oh have the tides changed.

Scoring a season-high 20 points, hitting all five of her shots from beyond the arc and grabbing seven rebounds, forward Nicole Powell helped propel the New York Liberty to its fourth straight victory, defeating the Atlanta Dream 91-69.

Unlike the past few games, there were no need for second half heroics from the Liberty, as they were in cruise control for most of the matchup, leading by as much as 25 points over the Dream. Powell, who had been shooting the ball better as of late, was pleased to have another good shooting night for the team, but was even more jubilant that the Libs have continued its winnings ways.

“It always feels good to play well,” Powell said with a wide grin. “The main thing I’m concerned about is that the team is playing great. That’s what I’ve focused on this entire season.”

Six players finished in double figures, with all five starters scoring ten points or more. A tough match up for the Liberty this season, the Dream had won the past two games against the team.

“Our defense hindered Atlanta, who is a very hard team to bother because they are so quick,” head coach John Whisenant said. “They are from front to back, the fastest, quickest team in the league. That’s why they won the East last year, with their great quickness. We were able to hold that pretty well in check.”

One of the biggest differences since that last game at home against the Dream has been the defensive intensity and fluidity, something the Liberty work on tirelessly at practice. Even though the team seems to be running on all cylinders on the defensive end, guard Leilani Mitchell believes the team still has room for improvement.

“Every day [Whisenant] brings up a new point or things we need to work on,” said Mitchell, who finished the game with 12 points. “It seems like we’re working on the little things. Eventually, over time, all those things are going to add up to make us a great team.”

Angel McCoughtry scored a team high 17 points, with Coco Miller chipping in 15 points in the losing effort. Forward Plennette Pierson, who scored 11 points, was knocked out of the game in the third quarter with a right knee strain. It is unknown how much time she will miss.

After previous consecutive losses to the Dream earlier this season, for Powell, beating the Dream was a target goal for the team.

“Every game is important but they’ve certainly had our number the last couple times we’ve played,” Powell said. “We just wanted to come out here and prove that we’re better than what were previous games.”

The Liberty will be in action again Friday, at home, against the Connecticut Sun.