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Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Rapid Reaction: Liberty 91, Dream 69

By Christopher Hunt

Recap | Box score | Photos

WHAT IT MEANS: It shows that the Liberty are a completely different squad than the one that lost to the Atlanta in their last two meetings. This team continued to play hard-nosed defense and put on one of its best shooting performances of the season while extending a season-high winning streak to four games.

The Liberty put six players in double figures in their first blowout win of the season. New York has also won four straight at home and six of their last seven games.

STAR OF THE GAME: Just about everyone shot the lights out for the Liberty, who shot 60 percent from 3-point range. Nicole Powell who went 5-for-5 from beyond the arc; her first 3-pointer hit the front rim and bounced in. She finished with 20 points and seven boards.

SCARE FOR PIERSON: Plenette Pierson went down in the third quarter when Dream forward Alison Bales fell awkwardly into Pierson's knee. Pierson was later helped off the court and did not return. The Liberty training staff diagnosed the tough forward with a strained patella tendon. Pierson said she did not expect to undergo an MRI.

SO-NOT-MORNING PEOPLE: It appeared that there was some morning crankiness in a game that saw four technical fouls called. The first was a double-technical charged to Atlanta's Coco Miller and the Liberty's Kia Vaughn after the two got tied up on a loose ball. Powell and Dream assistant coach Fred Williams were also T'ed up in the game.

LITTLE REST FOR THE WEARY: The fact that New York put the Dream on the ropes early took some of the load off Cappie Pondexter, who has been putting up MVP-like numbers this season. Pondexter, who was named Eastern Conference Player of the Week last week, scored at least 18 points in each of the previous eight games. She managed 10 points with six rebounds and five assists.

The Liberty's star guard sat out the last five minutes of the third quarter and said she was disappointed that some of the starters had to return in the fourth to secure the game.

"I told the guys on the bench that I was a little disappointed that we had to come back in the game and finish the game off," she said. "These are the games that allow our bench players to get better and we didn't take advantage of the opportunity."

WHAT'S UP NEXT: The Liberty finish a three-game homestand against the Connecticut Sun, who have lost two in a row, Friday at 7 p.m.