Pondexter Scores 19 Points To Lead Liberty To 80-68 Victory Over Sparks
AP) LOS ANGELES (AP) – Cappie Pondexter scored 19 points and the New York Liberty pulled away in the third quarter to beat the Los Angeles Sparks 80-68 Tuesday night for their third consecutive victory.
Noelle Quinn scored a career-high 24 points, topping her career-best for the second straight game, to lead the Sparks (3-11). They fell to 0-4 since leading scorer Candace Parker was lost for the season with a shoulder injury.
Marie Ferdinand-Harris, who replaced Parker in the starting lineup, added 12 points.
Pondexter continued the tear she’s been on for the last four games, maintaining her 20-point average over that stretch.
Former Sparks player Taj McWilliams-Franklin added 14 points and Plenette Pierson had 13 for the Liberty (7-7), who controlled the boards 35-22 and improved to 2-4 on the road.
New York led 44-35 at halftime, then used a 20-7 run to take its largest lead, 66-45, late in the third quarter. The Sparks chipped away at the deficit in the fourth, but never got closer than 12 points.
The Liberty closed the first half on an 18-9 run. McWilliams-Franklin scored six points and Essence Carson added four.
The Sparks shot 62 percent from the floor in the first quarter, when their biggest lead was five points.