McCarville leads Liberty past Silver Stars, 77-61Jun 20, 2009 - 2:54 AM By VIN A. CHERWOO AP Sports Writer
NEW YORK(AP) -- Determined to get their first win of the season, the New York Liberty got off to a strong start and ran past the short-handed San Antonio Silver Stars.
Janel McCarville scored 18 points, Shameka Christon had 15 and Essence Carson added 12 to lead New York to a 77-61 victory Friday night.
"It's only game four of the season. We still have 30 more to go, but I feel like a weight has been lifted off our chests," Liberty coach Pat Coyle said. "We have to build on this."
New York, off since a 63-60 loss at San Antonio last Saturday, avoided starting 0-4 for the second time in franchise history and snapped a six-game losing streak against the Silver Stars.
"We let three games get away from us," McCarville said. "We got progressively better through all three games, which was the benefit of it, but we came out with the loss. ... We put it all together finally for the fourth game of the season."
New York took an 11-2 lead on Loree Moore's 3-pointer with 6:41 left in the first quarter. An 11-0 run stretched the advantage to 25-7 on Tiffany Jackson's three-point play. After a 3 by Shanna Crossley, the Liberty scored the final six points of the quarter.
Carson acknowledged New York came into the game with some extra motivation, and that showed early on.
"It gives you that fire," she said. "That gave us the extra pep in our step. Hopefully it snowballs into another victory."
The Liberty, who entered the game 12th in the league in field-goal shooting at 37 percent, made 12 of 18 in the opening quarter, and finished at 46 percent (31 for 68).
San Antonio pulled within 14 several times after that, but got no closer.
Crossley and Edwidge Lawson-Wade scored 12 points each to lead the Silver Stars (1-2), who were without former Liberty stars Becky Hammon and Vickie Johnson. Leading-scorer Sophia Young had 10 points, half her season average.
"It was the separation in the first quarter," San Antonio coach Dan Hughes said. "Our next three quarters were how we envisioned the game would be played. We did not defend particularly well, we did not value the ball really. We evolved into a tempo we wanted to play, but we did not start at that tempo."
Hammon, second on the Silver Stars in scoring at 18.0 points per game, was overseas playing with Russia in the European championships. Johnson, who is retiring after the season and missed her final regular season visit to New York, left the team after a death in the family. Despite her absence, the Liberty honored Johnson with a video tribute during a timeout early in the first quarter.
McCarville's jumper a minute into the third quarter gave New York it's biggest lead, 47-24. Crossley hit two 3s and Belinda Snell made two free throws to cut San Antonio's deficit to 57-43 with 2:11 left in the quarter.
"We really hung in there and fought to the end," Silver Stars center Ruth Riley said. "But we just created such a huge deficit, and when you do that it is pretty tough."
Crossley left the game midway through the fourth quarter with a sprained left knee.
Young's layup with 2:43 left in the second quarter pulled the Silver Stars within 14, but New York scored the final seven points to take 45-24 lead at the break.
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