Holdsclaw rallies Dream past Liberty, 89-83Aug 2, 2009 - 3:04 AM ATLANTA(AP) -- The Atlanta Dream took advantage of New York's struggles to get their first win against the Liberty.
Chamique Holdsclaw scored 12 of her 18 points in the second half as Atlanta spoiled Anne Donovan's debut as interim coach with an 89-83 victory over New York on Saturday night.
Angel McCoughtry and Iziane Castro Marques had 16 points each to help the Dream (10-10) win their franchise-record third straight. McCoughtry also had seven steals as Atlanta forced 26 turnovers to win after losing the first six meetings against the Liberty - including three this season.
"It was embarrassing that we had lost so many games to them," said McCoughtry, a rookie from Louisville. "My teammates deflected those passes and I just tried to grab them."
Shameka Christon scored 23 points for the Liberty (6-12), who lost their season-high fourth straight one day after firing Pat Coyle as coach. Janel McCarville and Loree Moore had 14 points each and Essence Carson added 12.
New York led 54-47 midway through the third quarter before the Dream turned up the defensive intensity.
"We fought and clawed," Atlanta coach Marynell Meadors said. "We turned up the pressure and played like we wanted to the whole game."
Atlanta, which won only four games in its inaugural season last year, went on a 27-10 run fueled by steal after steal to go up 74-64 early in the fourth quarter.
"The maturity of this team is starting to show," Meadors said.
The Liberty got no closer than four the rest of the way.
"We turned it over and it leads into what Atlanta likes to do, which is run," Donovan said. "The 31 points off of our turnovers was really our demise."
The seven steals by McCoughtry was a Dream record.
"She's coming into her own," Meadors said. "She's still learning the pro game."
New York made the coaching change after falling into last place in the Eastern Conference a year after coming within a two-point loss of reaching the WNBA finals. Coyle had an 81-90 record as Liberty coach, but made the postseason four times in five years and reached the East finals twice.
Donovan won two Olympic gold medals as a player and coached the U.S. to the gold medal at Beijing last year. She was 138-128 previously while coaching Indiana, Charlotte and Seattle, and led the Storm to the league championship in 2004.
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