Liberty 87, Fever 72

UpdatedJun 3, 2012 9:56 PM ET

The New York Liberty were fired up after a 23-point loss at Indiana the previous night gave them the longest winless start in franchise history.

Cappie Pondexter scored 25 points to lead the Liberty to an 87-72 victory over the Fever on Sunday night. Essence Carson had 16 points, Plenette Pierson added 14, Leilani Mitchell 13 and Kia Vaughn 10 for New York (1-5).

”We were extra motivated, everybody was angry,” Pondexter said. ”We finally got a win under our belt. … We’re happy about it. Winning changes everything.”

The Liberty, who shot 44 percent (31 for 70), led by double digits from late in the second quarter until the Fever made a run down the stretch in the fourth.

After Vaughn’s jumper with 6:20 to go put the Liberty ahead 75-58, matching its largest lead of the game, the Fever used a 12-2 run to pull within seven with 3:20 to go.

However, Pondexter scored nine points as the Liberty outscored the Fever 12-6 the rest of the way to seal the victory.

”I knew we weren’t going to lose,” Pondexter said. ”We made a lot of mistakes in our previous five games, where we knew we had the game and then lost it down the stretch. … But today we stuck together. I think that’s a real positive. … I think any (opposing) team would have lost tonight.”

New York was 9 for 19 (47 percent) from beyond the arc and finished with 20 assists and 12 steals. After getting outscored by an average of 17.4 points in their first five games, the Liberty finished with their highest total of the season.

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Liberty 87, Fever 72

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