LIBERTY HOST TAURASI, GRINER & PHOENIX MERCURY

Ros Gold-Onwude

The New York Liberty host Diana Taurasi, Brittney Griner and the Phoenix Mercury on Tuesday, September 10th, at 7:00pm ET at the Prudential Center.

The Liberty (11-20) come off of a 70-57 loss at home to the Atlanta Dream. The Dream pulled away with a 17-8 scoring advantage in the third quarter. The Liberty saw three players score in double digits. Kara Braxton contributed another strong scoring performance of 17 points. Plenette Pierson scored 14 points and added 8 rebounds. Alex Montgomery added 10 points, 7 rebounds, and 4 assists to go along with impressive 5-7 shooting. Cappie Pondexter was hurt during the game and recorded just 2 points on 1-8 shooting in 17 minutes of play.

The Phoenix Mercury (17-13) are coming off of their third win in a row, the latest victory coming against the Dream in Atlanta, 79-71, on September 8th. Candice Dupree scored 15 points and DeWanna Bonner scored 12. Brittney Griner posted a double-double of 13 points and 11 rebounds. Diana Taurasi starred in the game, dominating with 25 points, 9 rebounds and 6 assists. The Mercury gave up an unforgivable 28 turnovers in the game but made up for it by shooting 49% from the field, holding the Dream to just 32% shooting from the field, and outrebounding the Dream, 43-30.

The Last time New York and Phoenix matched up was in Phoenix on July 2nd where the Mercury were victorious, 94-87. Cappie Pondexter led the Liberty with 17 points and four Mercury players scored over 16 points in the game. Bonner and Dupree each scored 20 points.

Keys To The Game:

Stop the ball. Transition D. Ball pressure.
The Mercury play excellent up-tempo basketball and are aggressive about sharing the ball. In their last game 21 of their 28 made field goals were assisted. Slow Phoenix down by stopping the ball early and matching up quickly in transition. Put some pressure on their perimeter so it is not as easy to fling the ball around for assists.

Box Out.
Griner, Taurasi, Bonner, and Dupree all have sizable bodies and are capable rebounders. Since Russ Pennell has taken over head coaching responsibilities the Mercury are paying more attention to defense and rebounding. Phoenix will offensive rebound for put backs, but perhaps even more dangerous, they defensive rebound to run! Rebounding is key to controlling the pace of the game.