Libs Preach Defense Heading Into Season Long Road Trip

After a disappointing performance against the Atlanta Dream on Tuesday night, the New York Liberty were back at practice, working out some issues before the team's longest road trip of the year.

Starting Friday at Chicago vs. the Sky, the Liberty embark on a three game road trip that will also see them meet the Los Angeles Sparks and the Tulsa Shock. At practice, the phrase “white line" was shouted loud and often as head coach John Whisenant continued to try and imprint his defense into the team’s brain. Whisenant believes the defense is becoming more instinctive with his players, but there are sometimes momentary lapses where things go wrong.

“We have to get better defensively,” added Cappie Pondexter. “To play his defense, [coach] says it requires a lot of hard work. Moving forward, especially after Tuesday night's performance, we just need to go in and give a better effort.”

Hoping to turn things around after the 21 point loss suffered on Tuesday, the Libs are back on the road where they won their first two games of the season. Winning away from home is something Pondexter said will be a key for the team's success moving forward.

“A road game is a road game, and they are tough,” Essence Carson said. “Over the first three games, we showed that we can be a monster at the defensive end. Hopefully we can ban together and bring home these wins.”

While the team has struggled to score the past five quarters, averaging only 13.6 points per quarter, Carson has shined, averaging a team leading 15.8 points per game, more than doubling her career average. She showed a glimpse of her offensive arsenal last year during the Liberty’s playoff run, and has appeared to add another dimension to her game, establishing herself as both an offensive threat and a defensive stopper.

Third year vet Kia Vaughn has also continued to improve as the season has progressed. She was one of the bright spots in the Liberty's previous game, scoring 16 points and grabbing seven rebounds while also blocking three shots. She has displayed thus far this season good help defense, capitalizing on blocks from the help side and solid rebounding. Whisenant has said this is a big opportunity for Vaughn, who is getting her first chance to play big minutes.

“I’m just trying to be consistent,” Vaughn said with a smile.