Connecticut and New York are in fifth and sixth place, respectively, in the Eastern Conference standings. A win today for the Liberty upgrades them to a tie for fifth and stops a losing streak before it begins. Connecticut is picking up momentum and seeking their third straight win.
TWO IN A ROW:
This is the first of two consecutive games against the Sun. New York will make the trip to Connecticut for a rematch on Sunday at 1 p.m.
NEW YORKS LAST GAME:
The Liberty fell on the road to the Tulsa Shock 72-57, on Tuesday.
Tina Charles has settled into her role for New York and posted 25 points (11-for-19 shooting) and 10 rebounds.
Cappie Pondexters shooting has been hot and cold this season: After a 21-point game on Sunday, in which she shot 10-for-11 from the field, the veteran superstar only connected on 2-of- 4 (7 points) against Tulsa, though she did dish out 7 assists.
CONNECTICUT QUICK HITS:
The Sun squeaked out a 96-95 win over the Phoenix Mercury on Thursday.
Alex Bentley is the hot hand for Connecticut. The scoring point guard notched her second consecutive 20-plus point game with 22 points (9-of-12 FGs), five assists, and four rebounds against Phoenix.
Dont let Katie Douglas .286 three-point percentage this season fool you. The veteran guard is a sniper and hit 4-of-5 attempts against the Mercury, part of a 10-of-13 showing by the team.
KEYS TO THE GAME: 1) Contest Katie Douglas
Douglas is a WNBA All-Star who has made her name dropping bombs from three and picking off steals in passing lanes. She must be identified as soon as she crosses half court and not allowed open shots from the arc. She is a .366 career three-point shooter.
2) Counters Count
The Sun overplay on defense, ballhawking in passing in an attempt to force turnovers. New York has to be ready to execute counter moves. Liberty players must come to the ball and make them pay for overzealousness with backdoor cuts, attacking off the dribble.
3) Push Ogwumike Out
On the pro level, 2014 No. 1 overall pick Chiney Ogwumike has clung tight to shots and action close to the rim as possible. Make the rookie forward take her shot further from the basket. And Chiney must always be boxed out! She aggressively attacks the glass for 8.6 rebounds per game (four offensive).