Sunday, June 15, 2014

Sun 83, Liberty 75: Ray Floriani's Photo Essay

NEW YORK CITY-­ Another cruel reminder. As touched on earlier this season, the WNBA is a very demanding league. Even the teams on the lower half of the standings have personnel that can beat you and, simply stated, you have to be ready every night. On this rainy Friday evening, the Liberty proved to be ‘half’ ready. Not good enough, as the Connecticut Sun, despite entering MSG at 4-­6, hung an 83-­75 decision on the home team.

The Liberty trailed 46-­26 at intermission. After some vocal ‘gymnastics’ from coach Bill Laimbeer and the insertion of Avery Warley-­Talbert in the lineup, the Liberty came alive. They reduced a 22-point deficit to a one-possession game. They could never get the lead, which proved significant and decisive. The Sun, thanks to a few key Alex Bentley field goals, protected and rebuilt a edge to carry to the final buzzer.

The stat sheet shows Tina Charles (game-high 25 points) and Cappie Pondexter (20) led the Liberty in scoring. They also helped lead the comeback. Warley-Talbert, a 6-­3 center, added eight points and four rebounds. Greater importance lies in how she energized her team and sparked the comeback after entering the game the second half. Too little, too late. The game is 40 minutes and the evening saw New York (3-7) compete for only about 20. Definitely not good enough to enter the ‘W’ column in the WNBA.

Lights out for player introductions, with the Liberty torch in the background:
Former Stanford great Chiney Ogwumike concentrates on the line for the Sun during a 20-point, 7-rebound outing:
At halftime, yours truly passed by the interview room. These interview cards were on a table off to the side. Sadly, they will be in storage for a few months:
Liberty coach Bill Laimbeer not thrilled with a call and/or his team's effort:
During an illegal defense technical free throw, the Sun regroups as the Liberty makes their run:
Cappie Pondexter meets the press in the Liberty locker room:
Exiting the Garden...there is nothing quite like a Friday night in New York:

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