Sky 69

(4-26, 1-13 away)

Liberty 80

(9-21, 5-9 home)

    7:30 PM ET, August 5, 2006

    Madison Square Garden, New York, NY

    1 2 3 4 T
    CHI 7 21 18 2369
    NY 20 20 17 2380

    Top Performers

    Chicago: C. Dupree 24 Pts, 6 Reb, 2 Stl, 1 Blk

    New York: A. Battle 21 Pts, 4 Reb, 2 Ast, 2 Stl

    Liberty keep up late surge with win over Sky

    NEW YORK (AP) -- After enduring a franchise-record 11-game losing streak, the New York Liberty are enjoying their recent strong play.

    Shameka Christon and Ashley Battle scored 21 points apiece to lead the Liberty to an 80-69 victory over the expansion Chicago Sky on Saturday night for their fifth win in six games.

    "It's been really fun for us," said Battle, who set a career high for scoring. "We've been pretty loose and confident and going out there, showing the work really hard. We can't change what happened early on in the season. All we can do is focus on the now, and just play hard and keep it going."

    Cathrine Kraayeveld added 11 points for New York (9-21). Battle, signed by New York in the offseason, shot 7-for-8 from the floor and 6-for-6 from the line.

    "[Battle] was terrific," New York coach Pat Coyle said. "When we got her, we knew she could defend. As long as she takes her time shooting the 3 or getting to the basket, she's pretty good."

    Candice Dupree scored 24 points to lead Chicago (4-26), which lost for the 12th time in 13 games overall. The Sky also lost their 13th straight on the road since beating Charlotte in the season opener. Stacey Lovelace had 13 points, Amanda Lassiter added 12 and Chelsea Newton 11.

    "We had a slow start," Dupree said. "We tried to fight, to come back, but we should've been playing strong since the beginning."

    The Liberty got a lift from a halftime ceremony honoring former star guard Teresa Weatherspoon. The five-time All-Star and two-time WNBA defensive player of the year became the second woman inducted into the Madison Square Garden Walk of Fame, joining team general manager Carol Blazejowski.

    Weatherspoon, second on the league's career assists list (1,338) and third in steals (465), averaged 5.7 points in seven seasons with the Liberty. She is also the franchise's leader with 1,306 assists and 453 steals.

    Weatherspoon was honored with a video shown on the overhead screen, and presented with a framed photo montage and an official WNBA backboard inscribed with the names of all the Liberty players she was teammates with. She also had her name and No. 11 placed on the sideline as the team's first player on the courtside "Honor Roll."

    "It was a great honor," the Liberty's Becky Hammon said. "Not only to honor a great women's basketball player, but a special person. I was very happy to be her teammate. I learned a great deal from her."

    Hammon has missed 11 of the last 12 games due as she recovers from a sprained left ankle.

    Chicago had a 12-2 run to pull to 64-60 on Newton's free throws with 5:13 left in the game. However, the Liberty scored the next six points with the help of Chicago coach Dave Cowens' second technical of the game. The Sky got no closer than six the rest of the way.

    "This team has really begun to do the little things," Coyle said. "Whether it's screening, blocking out or rebounding, all these little things add up."

    After trailing by 18 early in the second quarter, Chicago used a 9-0 run to pull to 42-37 on Lassiter's 3 with 6:38 left in the third quarter.

    The Liberty then went on a 13-5 run over a stretch of 4½ minutes, helped by the Sky losing their cool. Lassiter was called for a flagrant for knocking down Christon with 1:18 left in the third, and Cowens was then charged with a technical foul for arguing.

    New York made all three free throws to push their lead to 55-42.

    New York scored the first 10 points before Lovelace hit a jumper 4:27 into the game.

    Kraayeveld's layup with 8:10 remaining in the second pushed New York's lead to 25-7.

    The Sky scored the final five points of the first half, pulling to 40-28 on Lassiter's 3 just before the break.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

      Chicago New York
    Points 69 80
    FG Made-Attempted 24-55 (.000) 28-55 (.000)
    3P Made-Attempted 5-17 (.294) 5-15 (.333)
    FT Made-Attempted 16-16 (.000) 19-22 (.000)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 4-19 7-27
    Assists 14 15
    Turnovers 14 16
    Steals 12 10
    Blocks 4 3
    Fast Break Points 2 12
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 18 (0/0) 12 (0/0)