Epiphanny Prince scores 30 to help Sky hold off Liberty

NEW YORK -- Epiphanny Prince scored 30 points and the Chicago Sky beat the New York Liberty 73-69 on Friday night.

Chicago (7-8) was missing star forward Elena Delle Donne, who is sidelined indefinitely with a recurrence of Lyme disease. The reigning rookie of the year went home to Delaware to recover. She missed five games this month because of the disease before playing against Connecticut on Wednesday. She scored 13 points in the loss, but wasn't feeling well after the game.

Even without Delle Donne, the Sky were too much for the Liberty (4-11) because of Prince. She missed the Sky's first trip to Madison Square Garden back in May as she was taking time to recover from playing overseas in Russia.

The loss was New York's sixth in the past seven games.

Tina Charles led the Liberty with 16 points while Sugar Rodgers added 12. Cappie Pondexter was held scoreless.

The Liberty had no answer for Prince, a New York native. Every time they rallied, she hit a key basket to keep Chicago in front.

New York trailed by 13 at the half before pulling to 71-69 with 45 seconds left. Chicago couldn't get a shot off on its next possession as Courtney Vandersloot traveled just as the shot clock ran out, giving the Liberty a chance to tie it.

Plenette Pierson's driving layup was blocked with 18 seconds left. On the ensuing inbounds, Pondexter caught the ball on the wing and threw up an airball.

Prince hit two free throws to give her 30 points -- matching her season high -- and seal the win.

With 6 seconds left, Vandersloot took a shot off a hard screen from Pierson and had to be helped off the court.

Prince got the Sky started scoring 13 points in the first quarter as Chicago jumped out to a 25-16 lead. The Sky extended their advantage to 50-37 at the half as Tamera Young took over. She had seven points in the second quarter.

New York showed some fight in the third quarter, opening the period on a 13-2 run to close to 52-50, but the Liberty couldn't tie the game or take the lead. Prince and Young then scored the next nine points to restore the double-digit advantage.

New York closed to 67-65 midway in the fourth after Anna Cruz scored four straight points. Prince answered though, hitting a deep 3-pointer from the wing that made it 70-65 with 3:19 left.

Back-to-back layups by Pierson and Charles made it 71-69 with 45 seconds left.