AUBURN HILLS, Mich., Sept. 14 (Ticker) -- Cheryl Ford helped further tighten the Eastern Conference standings.

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Ford scored seven of her 20 points in overtime and grabbed 13 rebounds to lead the Detroit Shock to an 82-71 triumph over the New York Liberty.

Ruth Riley added 16 points and Deanna Nolan chipped in 14 and eight rebounds for the defending champion Shock, who began the night tied for last place in the East but just 1 1/2 games behind first-place Charlotte and Connecticut.

The top four teams in the conference make the playoffs.

Nolan tied the game, 67-67, on a 3-pointer with 2.9 seconds left in regulation for Detroit, which led by as many as 13 points in the first half and held a nine-point lead at the break.

Detroit played without leading scorer Swin Cash, who twisted a knee in a win over Phoenix on Saturday.

Becky Hammon and Crystal Robinson had 14 points apiece and Elena Baranovaadded 12 and 10 rebounds to pace the Liberty, who have lost four of their last five games. They began the night one-half game behind the Sting and Sun.