The rough patch for the Liberty (3-10) did not get any smoother Friday night, as New York fell to the Dream (9-3) 85-64 at the Philips Arena in Atlanta, Ga.
The Liberty opened the second quarter with a quick hoop from backup center Shanece McKinney, but promptly surrendered a 13-3 run to the Dream that allowed Atlanta to open its lead up to 12 by the 6:30-mark in the quarter. The bright spot for New York in the first half was forward Alex Montgomery, who made the most of her second start of the season. Montgomery led the team in scoring with eight points at the half, helping to keep Atlantas lead at just 14 heading into the locker rooms.
The third quarter didnt provide much relief for the Liberty. With Tina Charles and Cappie Pondexter kept under wraps by the swarming Dream defense, New York was unable to mount a significant run. Montgomery and guard Anna Cruz were able to come up with big shots in the period, but time and again Atlantas stable of stars were able to recapture momentum, giving the Dream a 70-53 at the end of the third.
With the deficit substantial, head coach Bill Laimbeer was able to use more of his bench in the fourth quarter. DeLisha Milton-Jones became the offensive focal point in the fourth quarter, scoring six points in the period. Another player that made the a noticeable impact was guard Chucky Jeffery, who consistently sacrificed her body on defense and hustled to track down long rebounds.
Montgomery led the way for the Liberty with 11 points. Milton-Jones added 10 points, Plenette Pierson scored nine, and Cruz chipped in eight with seven assists. Five different Atlanta players finished the game in double-figures.
The Liberty will have their shot at revenge when they play host to the Dream this Sunday at 3 p.m. at Madison Square Garden.