Silver Stars upend Liberty 77-66SAN ANTONIO (AP) -
SAN ANTONIO (AP) Danielle Robinson had 21 points and the San Antonio Silver Stars earned a 77-66 victory over the New York Liberty on Tuesday.
Shameka Christon added 17 points and Becky Hammon 12 for playoff-bound San Antonio (20-12).
Cappie Pondexter scored 23 points to lead New York (14-18), which is fighting for a playoff berth in the Eastern Conference. Essence Carson had 11 points and Kara Braxton 10.
The loss snapped a three-game winning streak for the Liberty.
New York was outscored 22-9 in the fourth quarter and San Antonio rallied for the victory.
The Liberty shot 24 percent (4 for 17) from the field in the fourth and were outrebounded 12-5 in the quarter.
``What was exciting to me was the way we played defensively in the second half, and specifically, in the fourth quarter,'' Silver Stars coach Dan Hughes said. ``(It was) some of the best defense we have played all year against a team that is a good basketball team.''
Hammon's 3-pointer gave San Antonio a 60-59 edge, its first since leading 18-16 with nine minutes left in the first half.
After a turnover by Nicole Powell, Christon made her fifth 3 of the game to give San Antonio a 63-59 lead with 6 minutes left.
San Antonio took a 68-61 lead on Robinson's free throw, which completed a 3-point play following a foul by Pondexter. Robinson scored on a fastbreak layup off a pass from Hammon, who stepped into a passing lane for a steal with 3 minutes left.
The Silver Stars closed the game on a 20-7 run, including a last-second 3-pointer by Pondexter.
``They were hitting shots and clicking on all cylinders,'' Braxton said. ``We really could not contain the ball or stop them.''
San Antonio also opened strongly, scoring the first nine points of the game on a 3-pointer by Christon and three straight baskets by Robinson.
``We needed a spark,'' Robinson said. ``We've kind of started games a little flat so I wanted to make sure that we didn't. I wanted to make sure that I came out aggressive.''
It was the largest advantage either team would have in the first half.
Christon made two more 3s to extend San Antonio's lead to 16-10 with 2 minutes left in the first. New York scored the final two baskets of the quarter to pull within 16-14 entering the second.
``I'm a shooter and that's why my role is for this team,'' Christon said. ``So whenever it is going down, it is a plus. I never really want to get discouraged. (Even if) the ball is not going in, I just have to keep shooting.''
Carson's 3-pointer gave New York its first lead at 19-18 with 8 minutes left in the half. Pondexter's steal and layup on San Antonio's ensuing possession extended the lead to 21-18 and prompted a timeout.
Hammon's first basket tied the game at 21 with 7 minutes left.
Powell's 3-pointer gave New York a 29-24 lead.
Christon hit consecutive 3s to pull San Antonio within 29-27 and Robinson's driving layup tied the game at 29 with 4 minutes left. New York closed the first half on an 8-1 run keyed by a pair of baskets by Plenette Pierson to take a 37-32 lead.
Robinson hit a pair of baskets as San Antonio opened the second half on a 6-2 run to pull within 39-38.
New York took its largest lead at 47-40 keyed by a pair of layups by Braxton, prompting a timeout by Hughes.
San Antonio responded with an 8-1 run to pull within 49-48 and leading to a timeout by Liberty coach John Whisenant.
Danielle Adams tied the game at 53 with a free throw to complete a three-point play after being fouled by Kia Vaughn.