McWilliams-Franklin scores 18 points, Pondexter has 16 to help Liberty beat Sky 79-71

Taj McWilliams-Franklin scored 18 points, Cappie Pondexter had 16 and the New York Liberty beat the Chicago Sky 79-71 on Friday night.

Nicole Powell added 11 points to help the Liberty (12-11) win for the seventh time in 10 games and complete a sweep of the four-game season series. McWilliams-Franklin shot 8 for 11 from the field.

New York moved above .500 for the first time since beating Chicago in the Liberty's season-opener, and took over sole possession of fifth place in the Eastern Conference — one-game behind Connecticut.

Epiphanny Prince scored 14 points to lead last-place Chicago (11-12). Dominique Canty had 13 points, Sylvia Fowles added 12 points and 16 rebounds and Jia Perkins also scored 12.

Pondexter hit a tie-breaking 3-pointer to start a 10-0 run that gave the Liberty a 71-61 lead with 6:46 left. The Sky got no closer than eight points the rest of the way.

The Liberty were 9 for 19 on 3-pointers, with Powell and Leilani Mitchell making three apiece. Mitchell is 11 for 19 (58 percent) on 3s over the last three games, making at least three each time. The Sky managed just 3 of 17 from beyond the arc.

Trailing by nine points early in the third quarter, the Liberty used a 14-2 run to take a 55-52 with about 3½ minutes left in the period. Plenette Pierson hit two free throws to give New York the lead and then her layup put them up three.

Mistie Bass and Prince had consecutive layups to put the Sky ahead 57-56 with 1½ minutes left in the third, but Powell hit a 3 and McWilliams-Franklin made a jumper to give the Liberty a four-point lead heading into the fourth quarter.

Prince had two layups in the opening minute of the final quarter to tie the score at 61-all.

The Liberty then had their decisive run.

New York opened the game with three consecutive 3s for an early 9-3 lead on the way to a 21-19 advantage after one quarter.

Chicago scored the first eight points of the second quarter and briefly gave up the lead as Prince scored six points to help the Sky take a 44-37 advantage at halftime.