Powell, Spencer Key Big Win

With Essence Carson a late scratch due to an eye injury, the Liberty knew it would be a tough task to take down the team with the best record in the WNBA, the San Antonio Silver Stars. 

But that is exactly what they did.

Playing back-to-back nights for the second time this season, the Libs received key contributions from forwards Nicole Powell and Sidney Spencer as well as some some timely defensive stops that were the driving force behind an 81-75 victory over the Silver Stars.

Powell started the game off on fire, scoring the 11 points in the first quarter. After drawing a charge on rookie Danielle Adams to secure the team's fifth victory of the season, the vet spoke of her pride in stepping up in the absence of Carson.

“It always feels good, regardless of what your shooting percentage is, to come out and hit your first shot,” Powell, who finished the game with 13 points, said. “That’s always a confidence booster.”

In addition to Powell, Spencer was the one of the teams best shooters, going a perfect three of three from beyond the arc. It’s a role Spencer has embraced, and has made sure she’s ready whenever her number is called. 

“I’m a shooter, and that’s what I do,” Spencer said. “Especially after playing back-to-back games, everyone has got to participate and everyones got to come in and give as much energy as you can. For me, it’s no different from any other game. I just try to stay ready on the bench, stay in the game, talk the game. So when my numbers called, I can go do what I do.”

Cappie Pondexter was the leading scorer for the Liberty, scoring 19 points, including eight down the stretch in the fourth quarter. Plenette Pierson added 14 as the Liberty stifled the Silver Stars with a balanced offense throughout the night. 

The Silver Stars, the WNBA’s top scoring team, were held to a season low 34 percent from the field. Adams was the top scorer for San Antonio, scoring 19 points off the bench. Former Liberty and current Silver Star guard Becky Hammon also added 16 points and dished out five assists. 

Head coach John Whisenant said he was proud of the way the team played together and didn’t give up, especially after playing a game in Atlanta the night before. Even after the Silver Stars garnered 11 offensive rebounds in the first half, the team fought hard, and held their own on the boards, limiting the opposition to three offensive rebounds in the second half. Spencer noted how the team really buckled down and continued to reiterate the importance of controlling the glass.

“We were talking about it in every huddle, timeouts and during halftime,” Spencer said. “It’s great that we made the adjustment. It’s something we can take and build on.”

The Liberty will get a break in its schedule before they go on the road Friday, July 8 to San Antonio to face the Silver Stars for a second time this season.