Two Liberty players in minor accident

Updated: June 14, 2011, 11:25 PM ET
By Mike Mazzeo | Special to ESPNNewYork.com

NEWARK, N.J. -- Two New York Liberty players were involved in a minor car accident while driving to Tuesday night's game against the Atlanta Dream at the Prudential Center.

Rookies Alex Montgomery and Jessica Breland were driving on Route 21 when they were rear-ended about 2½ hours prior to the 7 p.m. ET tipoff. Neither was injured, and they both played in the Liberty's 79-58 loss.

"We were shaken up, but it wasn't really a panic," said Breland, who was in the passenger's seat next to Montgomery, the driver. "The person that hit us was really kind. It wasn't really a messy thing. (But) it was raining.

"When you're in a car accident you just want to go home and just chill because your nerves are jumping, but we tried to make the best of everything."

Plenette Pierson, who was driving just ahead of Breland, Montgomery and two of their friends, witnessed their car get hit in her rearview mirror and was still visibly upset after the game.

"It was something I couldn't shake the whole game. No matter what I tried to do, I couldn't shake it," Pierson said, teary-eyed. "I never had time to calm down and gather myself. It was from the accident to here."

Pierson, who came into Tuesday night's game ranked seventh in the WNBA in scoring (18.0 ppg), scored just three points on 1-for-5 shooting.

Liberty assistant coaches Monique Ambers and Lady Grooms were also involved in a separate traffic accident en route to the Newark arena.

"I'm concerned," head coach John Whisenant said. "I think we've got the greatest organization in the world behind us. So I think if there's a solution to it, we'll find it. We obviously didn't do it properly today, but I think there's got to be a bus or a van as a group that we can (take to) get here alright."

The Liberty are slated to play three seasons at the Prudential Center while Madison Square Garden undergoes a series of renovations. Their training facility is in White Plains, N.Y., which makes for a very long commute.

Normally, the team would take the 27-minute train ride to the Garden, but that's no longer an option.

"I was concerned that the visiting team, they were 15 minutes away (in a hotel), and we were an hour-and-a-half or longer (away), so that's difficult at best," Whisenant said. "I think we'll solve the fender-bender issue and get a professional driver that will bring us in in the future.

"Some of our players may like going in their own cars, but we may not make that an option."

Mike Mazzeo is a regular contributor to ESPNNewYork.com. Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

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