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Dream-Liberty Preview

Jun 10, 2010 - 5:11 PM By MATT BEARDMORE STATS Writer

Atlanta (7-2) at New York (3-4), 7:30 p.m. EDT

Reigning rookie of the year Angel McCoughtry had a remarkable first month of the season. A solid performance in the Atlanta Dream's last game could help her move past a sluggish start to June.

The Eastern Conference-leading Dream look to add to their league-best road record with another victory over the New York Liberty on Friday night.

Leading Atlanta to a franchise-best 6-0 start, McCoughtry scored a league-high 24.0 points per game with 5.8 rebounds and 3.5 assists in being named conference player of the month in May.

After shooting 29.4 percent in two losses to begin June and getting benched in an 80-70 defeat to Chicago last Friday, McCoughtry scored 10 of her 23 points in the fourth quarter and overtime as the Dream (7-2) rallied from a 10-point second-half deficit to win 86-79 at Washington on Saturday.

"(Angel) did not have a good game (Friday), nor did she have a good game at Seattle (a 90-72 loss) on Tuesday (June 1)," said coach Marynell Meadors, whose team is 5-1 on the road. "The more she played, the better she felt. She got that out of her system and moved on."

McCoughtry, averaging a team-high 21.6 points, had 21 in an 86-77 victory over the Liberty on May 23. It was the Dream's first victory at Madison Square Garden in four visits.

Cappie Pondexter, who led New York (3-4) with 21 points in that meeting, scored 11 of her season-high 31 in the third quarter of an 85-70 victory at Chicago on Tuesday.

"Defensively we've been pretty squared away, but offensively we've been really poor," coach Anne Donovan said after her team avoided its third straight loss. "It was good to see us come out and have a good offensive game - of course, led by Cappie's phenomenal performance."

Pondexter, a three-time All-Star, leads the Liberty with 19.7 points per game and is averaging 5.4 assists, tied for second in the league.

While the Dream backcourt of Iziane Castro Marques and Shalee Lehning could struggle to slow down Pondexter, Atlanta might have a significant advantage on the boards. The Dream lead the league in rebounding with 39.6 per game and outrebounded the Liberty by 13 last month.

Atlanta's Sancho Lyttle (10.1) and Erika de Souza (9.8) are both in the top five in rebounding in the league.

New York leads the all-time series 6-2.

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