Newark, NJ – Cappie Pondexter scored 24 points to pace the New York Liberty to a 79-66 victory over the Connecticut Sun Thursday night at the Prudential Center.
It was the first game for both teams coming out of the Olympic break.
Plenette Pierson totaled 16 points for the Liberty, who had lost three consecutive contests prior to the Summer Games. Pondexter added five steals and five assists.
Connecticut's Tina Charles and Asjha Jones, who were members of the gold medal winning U.S. squad, returned home from London on Sunday. Charles had four points and 12 rebounds on 1-of-7 shooting Thursday, while Jones missed the game due to a strained left Achilles.
Renee Montgomery scored 16 in a reserve role to pace the Sun, while Mistie Mims and Allison Hightower each totaled 12 points.
Connecticut, which had won the previous four meetings and its last five overall heading to London, led by as many as eight in the first quarter, but then faltered in the second.
Pondexter had eight points in the period, but it was a flurry that bridged the first two quarters that put the Liberty in front. They used a 13-2 run, which was finished by DeMya Walker's jumper for a 25-22 lead with 5:22 left in the half.
New York didn't trail the rest of the way. Pondexter nailed a 3-pointer at the halftime buzzer for a 39-35 advantage, and her jumper expanded the difference to 45-35 early in the third quarter.
The Liberty held an 11-point edge going to the fourth and increased the margin to as high as 19.