for this game

Christon's career-high 32 points lift Liberty

Jul 19, 2009 - 11:42 PM By DOUG FEINBERG AP Sports Writer

NEW YORK(AP) -- Sitting on board the train after a tough loss Saturday night, Liberty coach Pat Coyle sat down with Shameka Christon to show her video of her shot.

Coyle had noticed a small flaw with Christon's footwork that she wanted to correct.

Christon responded with a career-high 32 points, including a 3-pointer from way behind the arc to break a late tie, and the Liberty beat the Atlanta Dream 89-86 on Sunday.

"Coach showed me something with my feet that was a little off," Christon said. "She said I'm a visual learner so she showed me some footage of me making shots and missing them. I felt good in shootaround today and it carried over."

Janel McCarville added 21 for the Liberty (5-8), who blew an 18-point lead in the third quarter before rallying for the win.

"I don't care how ugly they are. A win is a win," Coyle said. "Coming off a back-to-back in less than 24 hours, I thought our players did a terrific job."

With the game tied at 84, Christon hit a 3-pointer from well beyond the top of the key with 20.7 seconds left.

"The plan was to get the ball to Janel and let something happen," Coyle said. "Janel is terrific in making plays and she found the open person."

Sancho Lyttle cut the deficit to one with a putback with 14.2 seconds to go, but Christon hit two free throws to extend the lead. Chamique Holdsclaw missed a contested 3-pointer at the top of the key as time expired that would have sent the game to overtime.

Holdsclaw led Atlanta (7-10) with 26 points. Iziane Castro Marques added 24 for the Dream, who remained winless in six games all-time against New York.

Atlanta trailed 59-41 midway through the third quarter before rallying to tie the game at 74 on Erika DeSouza's putback with 5:20 left in the fourth. The teams traded baskets on the next few possessions until McCarville's two free throws with 1:30 left gave the Liberty an 84-82 advantage.

The Dream had a shot clock violation on their next possession and New York had a chance to take a bigger lead, but Cathrine Kraayeveld threw the ball away.

Holdsclaw was fouled on the other end and made both free throws to tie the game again at 84.

"We played hard, but you can't try to play catch-up with a team playing on their home court, it's tough," Holdsclaw said.

With her team trailing 59-41, Holdsclaw took over. The New York City native scored nine points during a 14-0 run as Atlanta closed to 59-55 on her free throws with 2:44 left in the period. Holdsclaw finished with 15 points in the third.

"I thought she played excellent in the second half," Atlanta coach Marynell Meadors said.

The Liberty used a 21-4 run in the second quarter to build its advantage. Christon scored eight points during the spurt. Atlanta showed its frustration during the run as Michelle Snow grabbed Christon's jersey from behind after the Liberty guard stole the ball from her.

Snow was charged with a flagrant foul and Christon hit one of the two free throws to extend New York's advantage to 37-27. The Liberty then scored seven straight points to take their biggest lead of the half - 44-27 - on Carson's 3-pointer with 43 seconds left.

"We obviously know that we have to play 40 minutes and we didn't play 40 minutes, we played a 20 minute game," Meadors said. "We just didn't play hard enough in the first half to get what we needed to get done, done."

New York was facing a tough turnaround: After losing by one Saturday night at Washington, the Liberty had to play a mere 19 hours later. They have a few days off before playing another set of back-to-back games. They visit Chicago on Wednesday afternoon and then host Sacramento the next night.

The Dream will close out a five-game road trip Wednesday in Detroit. Atlanta is 1-3 on the swing, including losing two games to New York.

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