Originally posted on Fox Sports South
By ASSOCIATED PRESS  |  Last updated 8/12/13
ATLANTA -- Cappie Pondexter set the tone for the New York Liberty. Pondexter scored 33 points and the Liberty earned an 88-82 victory over the Atlanta Dream on Sunday. Pondexter, the WNBA's third-leading scorer, was irked by New York's 85-67 home loss Saturday to Los Angeles so she spoke up before the Liberty (10-13) took the Philips Arena floor to try and keep her team's playoff hopes alive. "Cappie before the game was very vocal about how it's time to start winning some games, and for everybody to step up mentally and physically," Liberty coach Bill Laimbeer said. "She set the tone, no question about it." The Liberty were more physical, and out-rebounded the Dream 43-30. Angel McCoughtry scored 30 points and Erika de Souza had a season-high 23 points and 10 rebounds, but the Dream lost for the seventh time in eight games after a 10-1 start to the season. Atlanta (11-8) became the last WNBA team to lose at home in falling to 8-1 in Philips Arena. New York (10-13) moved to 4-7 on the road. With 11 points in the first quarter, Pondexter led the Liberty to a 21-15 lead, and the Liberty rarely let up. New York had a 24-11 rebounding edge in the first half. She said her pre-game message to teammates was straightforward: get it together, or our season will soon end. "It was about not wanting to leave and go overseas right now. That's seven months of being away from family and not enjoying home," she said after shooting 11-for-23, including 3-of-5 on 3s. She added a game-high seven assists and six rebounds. "If it's something to motivate us to play better, make the playoffs and advance, it's great motivation I think." The Dream looked like a playoff lock early this season. Injuries have slowed them. After the 10-1 start, forward Sancho Lyttle suffered a fracture in her left foot on July 9 against Minnesota. She's still out, and guard Tiffany Hayes returned Sunday from a seven-game absence because of knee surgery. She added five points off the bench against the Liberty while Atlanta struggled to rediscover lost chemistry. "I think tonight was Cappie; Cappie was on fire," Atlanta coach Fred Williams said. "(Lyttle and Hayes) ... those two players are about 25 points and 12-14 boards a game combined. I just thought tonight we didn't get the loose balls and rebounds. New York did." McCoughtry picked up two offensive fouls in the first quarter, and Dream starting forward Le'coe Willingham had four fouls in the first half. Still, Atlanta neared intermission just a basket behind. Then Pondexter struck. She missed on a drive, teammate Plenette Pierson grabbed one of her 12 rebounds and missed, and then Pondexter rebounded on the right baseline. From 10 feet, she made a jumper as the Dream's Ruth Riley fouled with 0.1 second left. With the free throw, New York led 42-37 at halftime. The Dream led briefly in the third on a pair of free throws by rookie Alex Bentley, but New York moved ahead 68-63 by the end of the period and led the rest of the way. New York clinched when Pondexter drove the lane and made contact with Atlanta defender Leilani Mitchell with 19 seconds left. Mitchell was called for blocking, and Pondexter's two free throws put New York up 85-80. The Liberty were the only team to beat the Dream in Atlanta's 10-1 start, and Sunday they became the only opponent to win in Atlanta. Said Laimbeer: "That's our first-team All-Pro, who can score almost at will. I think we match up well to a degree with them."
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Kyle Freeland almost pulled off rare no-hitter at Coors

Could Sandy Alderson, Terry Collins both retire from Mets after 2017?

Entire rows of tickets still available for MLB All-Star Game

Report: Former Cavs GM David Griffin pulls out of Knicks GM/President job

Nebraska defensive analyst Bobby Elliott passed away at age of 64

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Yankees pursuing Justin Bour trade

Amanda Nunes: 'Chronic sinusitis' reason for pulling out of UFC 213

Ankle sprain reportedly ends Markelle Fultz’s summer league campaign

Ex-NFL player Terrance Knighton unloads on NFL-NBA pay discrepancy

Markelle Fultz tells fans 'I'm ok' after injury scare

Lonzo Ball explains why he's not happy about triple-double

Sports & Politics Intersect: Chris Christie heads to the FAN

Best of Yardbarker: Gordon Hayward heads to Beantown

The 'Summer lovin', had me a blast' quiz

Three Up, Three Down: An infamous umpire calls out MLB

Kicking It: Sporting and Fire hot as league heads into CONCACAF Gold Cup break

Box Score 7/7: NBA silly season reaches New York

The Mulligan: The rest of Tiger Woods' career

BIG3 Week 3: Oklahoma, where the threes go sweeping down the plain

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Four 2017 developments that could have the NFL trending downward

The 'Carry on my Hayward son' quiz

Box Score 7/6: Time to get your last-second votes in

WNBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Sports & Politics Intersect: Chris Christie heads to the FAN

The 'Summer lovin', had me a blast' quiz

Three Up, Three Down: An infamous umpire calls out MLB

Kicking It: Sporting and Fire hot as league heads into CONCACAF Gold Cup break

The Mulligan: The rest of Tiger Woods' career

BIG3 Week 3: Oklahoma, where the threes go sweeping down the plain

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Four 2017 developments that could have the NFL trending downward

The 'Carry on my Hayward son' quiz

It's win now time for perpetually overinvested Red Sox

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker