Liberty Drop Classic to Fever

July 21st, 2008

In the history-making Liberty Outdoor Classic at Arthur Ashe Stadium on Saturday night, New York fell to the Indiana Fever, 71-55. The loss snapped the Liberty's three-game winning streak, as New York's record remained two games over the .500 mark at 12-10.

Although the game wasn't played at Madison Square Garden, it also marked the Liberty's first home loss since June 8, when they fell to the Sacramento Monarchs.

"It was not the outcome we were expecting," said Head Coach Pat Coyle. "This game was an unbelievable experience. Being the first at playing outdoors and making history is special. That part was terrific."

Perhaps unable to adjust to the outdoor conditions, New York was done in by shooting struggles, hitting just 28.6 percent of its shots from the field. The team, however, did not blame the outdoor weather for their poor shooting, recognizing that Indiana had to play through the same conditions.

"Indiana did a lot of switches where we could not adjust," said Coyle. I have to give them credit. They came in and played a lot better than us tonight -- bottom line. We didn't make any shots. Tonight we broke out of things too quickly. We stopped running our cuts and stopped going hard off screens. The loss was more on us (Liberty) than on Indiana."

New York had shooting troubles from the get-go, scoring just eight points in the first quarter. After netting 21 in the second to pull within four, the Liberty came out cold once again in the third, scoring just seven points. Indiana went on an 8-0 run to give the Fever a 48-34 lead with 1:29 left to go in the quarter, and New York couldn't recover.

Janel McCarville led the Liberty with 10 points, and was the only New York player to score in double figures. All of her points came in the first half.

"We just didn't perform the way we are capable of tonight," McCarville said. "I think we got a little caught up in the moment and the event. But that's not an excuse. We didn't execute."

Shameka Christon, who is averaging 16.5 points per game, struggled from the field. She scored nine points, but shot just 2-for-13 from the field, including 1-for-6 behind the line.

Still, the players refused to allow the surroundings to serve as an excuse.

"It's just a little different being outside," said Cathrine Kraayeveld, who scored six points. "You're not really looking up in the sky or up to the ceiling if you are indoors. We knew we were outside but we really didn't have that feeling. No matter what you still have to shoot, you still have to play your game, you can't try to think about it and adjust."

The Liberty get a chance to start a new winning streak with an early, 11:30 a.m. game on Wednesday morning against the Washington Mystics.