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Willis Leads Liberty Over Sun
Posted Jul 15 2008 11:29PM
New York 77, Connecticut 71 (F)
Shameka Christon had 14 points for New York, while Cathrine Kraayeveld scored 11 and Janel McCarville had 10. The Liberty (11-9) won their second straight and moved one game behind the second-place Sun (13-9), who have lost four straight.
Willis' third 3-pointer field goal of the game with 4:29 remaining gave the Liberty the lead for good at 61-59. New York held Connecticut scoreless over a span of 5:10 in the fourth period.
"We were just trying to play our game,'' Willis said. "The first half we were a little stagnant. We came in at halftime and said to just play our game, execute, play better defense and rebound because they were killing us on the boards. We had to get back to playing team basketball.''
Willis made another 3 with 2:17 left to push the lead to 66-59 and complete a 9-0 run. Connecticut got no closer than five the rest of the way.
"Lisa did the things she's really good at,'' New York coach Pat Coyle said. "She's a good shooter. We were able to penetrate and give her some open looks.''
"We're definitely going to keep working at it,'' Whalen said. "It's the only mentality that we've ever had here. It's something we will continue to do and get back to practice and regroup for the next game against Chicago on Friday.''
The Sun led 34-26 in the third quarter before Willis' 3-pointer completed a run that helped New York tie the score at 42.
"In the second half, we did a much better job of moving the ball,'' Coyle said.
The Sun led by two after the third quarter and Jones scored for a 59-56 lead with 6:40 left in the game. The Sun didn't score again until Whalen made a layup with 2:06 left.
"We gave up 51 points in the second half,'' Connecticut coach Mike Thibault said. "Every time we had to help on somebody, Willis, Krayyeveld or Christon knocked down jump shots. They played better than us.''
Carey became the first Sun player to make six 3s in a game since Katie Douglas against Houston on May 25, 2004.
Carey's three 3s in the first gave Connecticut its largest lead of the first half, 28-23, with 1:25 remaining.
Carey led the Sun with nine points in a half when both teams struggled from the field. The Sun shot 11-for-35 (31 percent) to New York's 9-for-28 (32 percent).
"Neither team hit their shots,'' Willis said. "They executed their plays, they just didn't make any baskets. We executed ours and missed jump shots that we normally make.''
The teams combined to miss the first eight shots of the game.