Liberty 73

(4-13, 2-7 away)

Sky 78

(3-14, 2-7 home)

    8:30 PM ET, July 7, 2006

    1 2 3 4 T
    NY 19 18 15 2173
    CHI 23 17 14 2478

    Top Performers

    New York: B. Hammon 18 Pts, 3 Reb, 4 Ast, 2 Stl

    Chicago: C. Dupree 20 Pts, 6 Reb, 3 Ast, 1 Stl

    Resurgent Sky hand Liberty fourth straight defeat

    CHICAGO (AP) -- The expansion Chicago Sky won their second straight home game Friday night. But they aren't getting too excited.

    Candice Dupree scored a career-high 20 points and added six rebounds in a 78-73 victory over the New York Liberty to start Chicago's mini-streak.

    "It's only two in a row," Dupree said. "Hopefully we can get another win. But it's nice."

    The Sky (3-14) have won two of their last three games after dropping 13 of their first 14 to open the season. Chicago -- which came into the game shooting a league-low 38.2 percent -- shot 47.4 percent for the game, including an efficient first quarter when it connected on 10 of its 15 shots.

    The Sky also came up big at the free-throw line in the fourth quarter, hitting 14 of their 16 attempts to close the game.

    "We were poised down the stretch," Chicago coach Dave Cowens said. "We shot free throws well. We haven't had the lead in too many games so we haven't been in these situations often."

    Deanna Jackson added 13 points for the Sky. Six other players had six or more points for Chicago.

    Eastern Conference All-Star Becky Hammon had 18 points to lead the Liberty (4-13), who are 0-6 in road games against Eastern Conference opponents. Cathrine Kraayeveld added 14 points as New York dropped its fourth consecutive game.

    "I thought we played hard tonight," said Hammon, who was critical of her team's effort after its 79-58 loss to Sacramento on Thursday. "We just made some critical mistakes down the stretch."

    The Sky went on a 12-4 run to open the fourth quarter, taking a 66-56 lead with 4:58 left in the game. A 6-0 run by the Liberty made it 66-62 with 3:29 left but the Sky hit 10 of 12 free throws in the final minute of the game to close it out.

    New York used a 7-0 run to tie the game at 52 late in the third period. Hammon had four points during the run.

    "I thought we played with tremendous effort tonight," Liberty coach Pat Coyle said. "We just had some shots that didn't go down. It's tough to keep coming back, especially on a back-to-back."

    The Liberty outscored the Sky 11-5 over the final five minutes of the second quarter to cut Chicago's lead to 40-37 at halftime.

    Sky starting forward Brooke Wyckoff missed her second straight game with a broken right thumb.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

      New York Chicago
    Points 73 78
    FG Made-Attempted 26-65 (.000) 27-57 (.000)
    3P Made-Attempted 7-20 (.350) 1-11 (.091)
    FT Made-Attempted 14-19 (.000) 23-30 (.000)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 12-34 8-33
    Assists 18 15
    Turnovers 13 11
    Steals 4 7
    Blocks 1 2
    Fast Break Points 8 11
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 18 (0/0) 20 (1/0)