Liberty Slip in San Antonio, 83-79

The New York Liberty ended a difficult five-game West Coast road trip with a valiant effort against the Western Conference leading San Antonio Silver Stars, but came up short in a back and forth affair that saw the visitors on the short end of an 83-79 decision.

New York faced a daunting task heading into the match, as the Silver Stars came into the game with an impressive 9-1 record at home, ranked second best in the league. They also faced a trio of former stars who once called Madison Square Garden home in Becky Hammon, Ann Wauters and Vicki Johnson. Those three along with Sophia Young combined for all but 10 of their teamís points, led by Hammonís 27.

The game started off with a series of runs that defined the opening quarter. After New York staked themselves to a slim 10-7 lead, San Antonio went on an 11-0 spurt to jump ahead 18-10. However, New York responded with an 8-0 run of their own and after the first quarter, the game was tied at 21 apiece.

The second quarter was another uneventful, back and fourth quarter that saw each team sea-saw ahead of the other. It ended, however, in controversial fashion. Hammon launched a three from half-court at the buzzer that fell well short, and New York thought they had a three point advantage heading into the second half. However, Essence Carson was called for a foul as time expired, and Hammon, a 95-percent free throw shooter, calmly tied the score, 36-36.

The third quarter was more of the same, as each team continued to trade buckets, unable to distance themselves and claim a commanding lead.

Down by three entering the fourth, New York started out hot, hitting their first two buckets to take a one point lead.

However, it was all downhill from there. Tied at 62 apiece, San Antonio took charge, running off 10 straight points before eventually going up by 11. A barrage of three-pointers by Shameka Christon brought New York within four with just under 30 seconds remaining, but it was too little too late as they fell to 9-9 on the year.

The Liberty ended their menacing road trip at a more than respectable 2-3, and came away with plenty of positives despite the loss.

Christon, the reigning Eastern Conference Player of the Week, put on another offensive clinic, scoring 27 points in the game with 20 coming in the second half. Her 27 points were just one short of her career-high, set last week in an 89-78 victory over Los Angeles. Christon also chipped in two boards and two blocks on the night

Led by Tiffany Jackson, New York had the clear advantage in terms of bench points, outscoring San Antonio 21 Ė 0. Jackson, a Dallas, Texas native who also attended the University of Texas, scored 14 points on 7 of 8 shooting, and also notched seven rebounds to boot.

New York returns home Saturday when they face off against the Detroit Shock.

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