Charles, Liberty edge Sparks

Los Angeles, CA ( - Tina Charles had 31 points and 15 rebounds and the New York Liberty edged the Los Angeles Sparks, 66-64, on Wednesday night.

Cappie Pondexter added 16 points, five assists and five rebounds for the Liberty, who have won five of their last seven games.

Nneka Ogwumike posted 23 points and six boards for Los Angeles, which played its first game under new head coach Penny Toler. Toler, also the Sparks' general manager and executive vice president, took over the head coaching duties after LA fired Carol Ross on Sunday.

The Liberty were trailing 62-60 with just over 2 1/2 minutes to play before Pondexter hit a pair of jumpers on back-to-back Liberty possessions to put them in front. After Alana Beard misfired on a jumper, Charles hit one to give New York a 66-62 cushion with 1:07 to play.

Ogwumike nailed a right baseline jumper with 13.9 ticks to play to cut the deficit to 66-64 and Plenette Pierson missed a pair of free throws at the other end to keep LA alive. Kristi Toliver was off the mark on a right wing three, however, and Jantel Lavender's putback following an offensive rebound clanked off the backboard as New York escaped with the victory.

The Sparks led 37-34 at the half.