The New York Liberty season, which started so promising with a new owner and a .500 record early on, is ending poorly ... and in discomforting ways. Once again, after holding a lead in the first half, New York fell apart in the second and lost in the closing minutes, this time to the Atlanta Dream, 90-87, in White Plains.
The loss brought the Liberty record to 9-19. They have now lost 12 of their last 14 games. The win broke the Dream’s 12-game losing streak and game them a 6-22 record.
Renee Montgomery made a contested layup in the lane with 15.8 seconds left to give Atlanta an 88-87 lead. After Rebecca Allen’s free-throw line jumper rolled out, Hayes made two free throws and Allen was long on a corner 3-pointer at the buzzer.
Joe Tsai’s (other) team put up some of its best shooting of the season early against the WNBA’s worst team. The Liberty shot 90.9% from the field and 100% from 3-point land through the first 16 minutes of the quarter. At the end of the 1st Quarter, New York leads Atlanta 29-27.
After two quick three’s from Allen in the second, Liberty were up 44-33 with 5:31 left in the 2nd Quarter. That’s when the Dream woke up. The lead dwindled to one at the half and Atlanta used a 27-11 spurt through the first nine minutes of the third to take a 73-62 lead. The Liberty fought back to take a one-point lead before Montgomery’s heroics.
Atlanta won its first game since topping Minnesota on July 12, snapping the team’s longest slide since starting 0-17 in 2008.
Dream coach Nicki Collen told High Post Hoops post-game that she looks her team in the eye everyday and says “This isn’t a five-win team. We know we’re better than that... but we’ve gotta close games out. Sometimes, it takes getting one.”