Monday, September 22, 2008

Sun-Liberty Game 3 Thread

Final, Liberty win, 66-62: Shameka Christon hit a 3-pointer with 1:25 and former Rutgers star Essence Carson hit a big lay-up while being fouled with 23.6 seconds left and the Liberty ended the Sun's season in the first round of the playoffs. Carson finished with 15 points and Christon had 13 to out-pace Asjha Jones (18 points, 11 rebounds) and Lindsay Whalen (19 and 7).

The Sun had the lead temporarily when, with the score tied at 58-all, Whalen shook Carson on a drive to the free throw line, pulled up and hit a jumper with 1:39 to play. But after Carson's lay-up, Tamika Whitmore missed a jump shot near the top of the key and, following an Erlana Larkins foul shot, a 3-pointer near the same spot.

Her lay-up with 2.6 seconds left, cutting it to, 64-62, was rendered meaningless when Erin Thorn was fouled with 1.5 to play and hit both free throws.

End of 3rd quarter, Liberty lead, 49-45: The Sun are shooting 33.3 percent from the field (18-for-54), they managed just 12 points in that quarter ... and somehow, they trail by just four points. The Liberty could be breaking this game open, but even though they're shooting well (22-for-45), they made some inexplicable turnovers in that frame and are 2-for-6 from the free throw line. If one of these teams can get it together this frame, they can run away with it. But for right now, neither is playing well.

End of 2nd quarter, Liberty lead, 37-33: Frankly, it's amazing the Sun are only down four. They missed 16 straight shots spanning the first and second quarters, and have missed 22 of their last 27 shots.

The source of their troubles? No Sun reserve has recorded a point and as a group, they're 0-for-9. The Liberty, meanwhile, have gotten a huge lift from their bench (13 points). Leliani Mitchell has six points -- all coming in the second quarter -- and she's given the Sun fits with her quickness. The Liberty are shooting 51.6 percent from the floor, compared to (not surprisingly) the Sun's 33.3.

Asjha Jones has 12 points, but largely stayed to the outside in the second quarter, even taking a 3. She can have her day against Cathrine Kraayeveld inside, but he key is avoiding the Liberty's double teams in the post.

End of 1st quarter, Liberty lead, 19-18: For the second straight game, the Sun started out hot, hitting six of their first seven shots while racing out to a 16-9 lead. But the bench wasn't as productive. The Sun reserves finished the frame 0-for-7 from the field, and New York went on a 10-2 run to close the quarter.

The Sun are making a conscious effort to go to Asjha Jones early and often. The forward already has 10 points, many on lay-ups and jump hooks. Meanwhile, Janel McCarville has been heavily involved for the Liberty; she has eight points.

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