Monday, June 29, 2015

Liberty 79, Sparks 70: Ray Floriani's Photo Essay

NEW YORK CITY­ - On Sunday, the New York Liberty faced a challenge, or two. Coming off Friday’s loss at Tulsa, there was a short time of preparation and the need to direct focus on the visiting Los Angeles Sparks. The visitors entered Madison Square Garden with a 0­-6 record, yet posed a test for the Liberty. In the end, the home five passed it.

A 79-­70 victory, raising the record to 5-­4, saw New York come up with an answer for everything the visitors posed. Kristi Toliver, with a game-high 30 points, was lights out on the perimeter. In the paint Nneka Ogwumike put up a double-­double, scoring 13 points to accompany 16 boards. Regardless, coach Bill Laimbeer’s club was able to ‘hold serve.’

Sugar Rodgers scored a career-high 23 points to lead the Liberty. Tina Charles was her usual, effective, 16-point, 9-rebound self. In the end result, it was a quality not necessarily captured on the stat sheet. It came down to the simple ability to make plays.

In the waning moments of the contest, the score was knotted. The Liberty would not surrender the lead. The crucial basket, the essential stop, whatever was needed to maintain the edge.

The final analysis saw Laimbeer pleased in defeating a deceptively competitive (the Sparks had double-digit leads in five of their losses) team. Coming back and regrouping less than 48 hours after a loss is something quality teams do. Laimbeer, from playing and coaching, is well aware of that.

FDU coaches Pete Cinella (women) and Greg Herenda (men) pose with a few youth players they hosted. The players, from northern New Jersey, had the opportunity to be in line greeting the Liberty starters:
Creedence Clearwater Revival sang about "looking out my back door." Here, we have a few shots of Midtown on a Sunday afternoon, the view courtesy of the MSG press room:
Liberty coach Bill Laimbeer in deep thought on the sideline:
During a free throw, Kristi Toliver of Los Angeles gets a rare respite:
Backcourt action: Defending is the Liberty's Sugar Rodgers, whom Laimbeer praises for her defense:
The Sparks huddle late in the game, with the outcome still in the balance:
Postgame, a relaxed and content Laimbeer:

No comments:

Post a Comment