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Christon's 25 points lead Liberty past Shock
Posted Jul 2 2009 9:55PM
NEW YORK(AP) The New York Liberty used the practice time since their last loss to regroup and fix their problems.
Shameka Christon scored 25 points to help the Liberty snap a three-game losing streak with an 80-64 victory over the Detroit Shock on Thursday night.
Loree Moore had 15 points, Cathrine Kraayeveld added 13 and Essence Carson 12 for the Liberty (3-6), who were playing for the first time since losing a home-and-home series with Indiana last Friday and Saturday.
"We had four really good days of practice, on both ends of the floor and that showed tonight,'' Liberty coach Pat Coyle said. "It helps when you make some shots, but I thought defensively we did a pretty good job ... This is probably the best 40 minutes so far this season for us.
The Liberty had season highs with 12 3-pointers and 12 steals, and took advantage of the Shock's season high-tying 22 turnovers. New York took control in the second quarter, building a 15-point lead while outscoring Detroit 22-8 for the period and holding the Shock scoreless for more than 7 minutes.
"Defensively, it was very intense. We got after it and it paid off,'' Christon said. "We had to definitely buckle down on defense, and it's not only with this team, it's pretty much all the teams in this league.''
Cheryl Ford had 13 points and 10 rebounds, and Deanna Nolan and Kara Braxton scored 12 points each for the defending champion Shock (2-6), who fell to last in the Eastern Conference. Alexis Hornbuckle also had 10 rebounds.
The Shock were 2 for 12 from the field with 10 turnovers in the second quarter, and shot 9 for 28 (32 percent) in the first half.
"We had 14 turnovers in the first half and they had six, and we couldn't score off their turnovers but they scored off our turnovers,'' Detroit coach Rick Mahorn said. "In the second half we competed, just didn't get a good chance and a good break.''
This was the teams' first meeting since the Shock beat the Liberty in three games in the Eastern Conference finals last year en route to their second title in three years and third in the last six.
"We definitely remember that,'' Christon said. "However, the most important thing is we needed to get a win. Regardless if we were playing Detroit or if we were playing L.A., it did not matter.''
New York led by 15 in the third quarter before Shavonte Zellous scored eight consecutive points for the Shock during an 11-2 run that made it 52-46 with 1:15 left in the quarter.
Carson's 3-pointer with 26 seconds left stretched the Liberty's lead back to nine, and Christon scored five points in the opening minute of the fourth quarter to push the advantage to 60-49.
"The Liberty were definitely hungry for a win,'' Detroit's Katie Smith said. "They came out ready to play. They came out and put us down into a hole in the first half. We weren't locked in as we should have been. In the second half we made a run, but they came back and made big shots to keep that distance and finish us off.''
Moore had a 3 and Carson followed with a three-point play to give New York a 15-point lead again, 66-51 with 7:14 left. Christon's 3 with 2:49 to go gave the Liberty their biggest lead, 76-57.
The Shock closed the first quarter with a 6-2 run, taking an 18-17 lead on Braxton's layup that beat the buzzer.
The Liberty scored the first 12 points of the second quarter, stretching their advantage to 29-18 with 4:13 left in the half on three free throws by Christon - two for a foul on Taj McWilliams and one for a technical on Smith.
Braxton hit two free throws with 3:36 left for Detroit's first points of the second quarter. Ford's layup with 1:37 to go was the Shock's first field goal of the period, and cut the deficit to 35-24.