Kara Lawson scored 23 points while Tina Charles added 19 points and 13 rebounds to help the Connecticut Sun beat the New York Liberty 81-69 on Saturday night in the season opener for both teams.

The game marked the return of Bill Laimbeer and Anne Donovan to the pro sidelines. Laimbeer was coaching his first game since 2009, when he left the Detroit Shock four games into the season to pursue opportunities in the NBA. Donovan spent the past three seasons coaching Seton Hall after leaving the Liberty in 2010.

Donovan took over a talented Connecticut Sun squad that made it to the Eastern Conference finals last season before losing to Indiana. The Sun let longtime coach Mike Thibault go after the season.

Cappie Pondexter scored 23 for the Liberty.