If there were any doubts, Cappie Pondexter erased them Saturday night. Less than a year after she co-piloted the Mercury to its second WNBA championship in three seasons, she has been the leader that has the Liberty ready to make a playoff run.
Pondexter made a dramatic statement, powering the Liberty to a 107-69 win over her former Phoenix teammates to clinch a playoff berth as a crowd of 9,645 at the Garden serenaded her with chants of “M-V-P.”
She scored 28 to lead the Liberty (19-11) to a franchise-record eighth straight win and a franchise high in total points. The Liberty, which is 12-2 since the All-Star break, is now a game behind the conference-leading Fever. With four games to go, including a Tuesday night showdown with Indiana at the Garden, the Liberty definitely has a shot as a conference title.
“With clinching the playoff spot, we reached our first goal,” Liberty coach Anne Donovan said. “Now, we will set new ones.”
Pondexter has always had her eye on leading her new team to a WNBA title. In Phoenix, she was seen as part of a superstar backcourt tandem with Diana Taurasi. After Pondexter asked for the offseason trade to New York, the Liberty is clearly her team.