Liberty Visit Indiana Fever

Ros Gold-Onwude

The New York Liberty visit the Indiana Fever on Friday, September 13th, at 7:00pm ET.

The Liberty (11-21) are coming off of an 80-76 loss at home to the Phoenix Mercury on September 10th. The Liberty gave a valiant effort in a game in which hobbled All-Star Cappie Pondexter did not play. Veteran Katie Smith was honored with a pregame retirement ceremony at half court. Smith, the WNBAs second all time leading scorer, put on a show leading the Liberty with 17 points. The Liberty only notched 9 turnovers while outrebounding Phoenix, 42-29. Kelsey Bone scored 11 points and grabbed 6 rebounds. Alex Montgomery added 13 points and 1 huge block- when she pinned 68 Brittney Griners shot to the backboard. Plenette Pierson made her presence known in the game with 15 rebounds and 6 assists. With the loss the Liberty were eliminated from playoff contention for just the fifth time in franchise history.

The Indiana Fever (15-17) are coming off of a 69-67 loss to the Washington Mystics. Briann January led the Fever with 16 points while Shavonte Zellous scored 14 points. Tamika Catchings pumped out 13 points and Karima Christmas added 12 in the game. The Fever were outrebounded 43-32 and only took 7 free throw attempts as compared to Washingtons 16. Still, Indiana recently qualified for the 2013 playoffs, making it their ninth consecutive post-season appearance.

The last time New York and Indiana faced off was on August 30th where the Fever were victorious, 73-67, at the Prudential Center. Indiana pulled away at the end of the game with a 21-13 fourth quarter outburst. Catchings delivered a double-double of 22 and 10. Shavonte Zellous also performed well tallying 21 points. Kelsey Bone and Plenette Pierson scored in double digits for the Liberty with 13 and 10 points, respectively. Alex Montgomery added 9 points and 9 rebounds in the loss.

Keys To The Game:

Make Tamika work!

In the last matchup of the Liberty and Fever, Tamika Catchings shot 4-6 from three and many of her made threes were wide-open uncontested looks at the basket. Catchings needs to be challenged each time she catches the ball. In fact, she must be defended before she catches the ball! Even if she still manages to score, the extra effort will sap her of energy down the stretch.

Build on the good!

Despite the loss, the Liberty had a lot to be excited about in their last contest on September 10th. They took great care of the ball and saw the continued offensive growth of Alex Montgomery and Kelsey Bone. Veterans Katie Smith and Plenette Pierson continued to deliver respectable performances. They Liberty are doing a great job of rebounding the ball. Without playoffs to fight for the Liberty should look at each game as an opportunity to focus on improvement.