Pondexter leads Liberty over Dream

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) After the New York Liberty lost their first five games of the season, All-Star guard Cappie Pondexter found herself in totally unfamiliar territory.

”Being 0-5, I never experienced that before anywhere in any part of my career,” Pondexter said. ”It was awful. I knew we had to turn things around.”

Pondexter scored 26 points to lead the Liberty to their second straight win, a 79-74 victory over the Atlanta Dream on Tuesday night.

Pondexter took it upon herself to carry the Liberty to the victory, making clutch shots in the fourth quarter. Her driving goal with 8:29 left gave the Liberty the lead for good and her three-point play with 4:36 left pushed the lead to 70-66.

”We had to refocus the last couple of days after we lost five in a row,” said Pondexter, who had nine points in the final period. ”It was just a case of me being aggressive. The important thing for us is to focus on what we need to do to win.”

Leilani Mitchell added 18 points in the victory.

”Of course, we knew we were a better team than 0-5,” Mitchell said. ”But it’s a long season and the league is so good. Any game could go either way. It was very frustrating to lose those five games, but we had to remain positive.”

Atlanta dropped to 2-4 after losing its second straight contest

Liberty head coach John Whisenant believes that the difference in his team is on the defensive end. Atlanta routed the Liberty 100-74 on May 25.

”We knew we had to defend better,” Whisenant said. ”We surrendered 26 points less than when they hammered us. We struggled with our defense in the first five games, but we were better tonight. This is the way we have to play to be successful.”

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Pondexter leads Liberty over Dream

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