The Jinx of June is gone, and the nightmare is over the real Dream has returned. They started the game more aggressive, more focused and determined to get off to a good start, their legs were more lively and had refreshed energy beating Liberty players to loose balls They managed to build a 20 point lead by the 4:53 mark in the second quarter. Perhaps a little payback from their last match up in NY where the Liberty got off to a record-breaking first quarter scoring 29 points. Not today said the Dream as they played aggressive defense and took the lead into the half 47-31.
On the defensive strategy
“What we try to do as a coaching staff is simplify our game plan. I thought the zone really worked against this team, jumping in and out of it seemed to throw them off a little bit which enabled us to do what we do well and that’s to get down the floor in transition.”
In games past the third quarter has been sluggish, a bit lackluster to say the least. Today it was different they came out of the locker ready Brittney Sykes scored an easy basket. But the Liberty turned up their defensive intensity sending the Dream on a drought connecting only 1 of 9 shots.
A state of panic settled into the building as they chipped away at the lead bringing the deficit to 10.
Sancho Lyttle got beat down the court but in an all-out effort leaped with full extension to get a finger on the ball to prevent an easy layup before collapsing to the floor. That play won’t show up on the stats, but that was the play of the game at such a critical time. It was a statement to the team “give it all you got.
Brittany Sykes uped her previous best of 14 points and 7 rebounds she had the last time they played in NY by scoring 19 points and hauling down 9 rebounds tonight.
On her 19 points and nine rebounds
“It’s just a credit to my teammates. They’ve stayed in my ear these past couple practices and during this losing streak to just stay positive and stay patient and just do what I do best. That’s staying in transitions and giving my team energy on defense.”
Five Dream players scored in double-figures. Brittney (19), Layshia Clarendon, (15), Tiffany Hayes (11), Bria Holmes(11), and Elizabeth Williams (10).
The Liberty cut the lead to six at the 1.28 mark of the 4th quarter behind the quite but impressive play of Tina Charles who finished with 21 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists, and 3 blocked shots.
Clarendon in her impression of Magic Johnson took to the lane and drove as deep as she could before tossing an over the shoulder pass to Williams to take the lead to 8 it was just the spark they needed to get it back to a 10 point lead. From there it was fighting to the finish, and they did by sending the Statue of Liberty back home to the Hudson River 81-72.