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New York tries to get back on track after rocky start to season

July 05, 2009|Associated Press

After reaching the WNBA's Eastern Conference finals last year, the New York Liberty began the season with high expectations. However, things haven't worked out so smoothly so far.

New York began the season with three losses before getting its first win against a short-handed San Antonio team two weeks ago and then winning at Atlanta.

The Liberty then endured another three-game losing streak before beating defending champion Detroit on Thursday night.

Still, while wins have been hard to come by, the team is not lacking any confidence.

"We're very confident," Liberty forward Shameka Christon said. "We believe in each other, we trust each other. That shows a lot of character with this team because we did not fold, we have not given up. We went back after every loss and practiced harder and harder and harder."

A break in the schedule gave New York four days of practice after consecutive losses in a home-and-home set against Indiana last Friday and Saturday, and the Liberty appeared to be energized against Detroit.

"We refocused our team goals a little bit," center Janel McCarville said. "Everyone has goals of making it to the championship and the playoffs, but we went back and reevaluated and put it to everyday terms."

Now, New York hosts the Sparks on Thursday.

"We have a couple of days off, we'll get back at it [in practice] on Sunday," Christon said. "We just got to maintain our focus."


Players of the week

Indiana's Tamika Catchings and Minnesota's Candice Wiggins were selected as the league's players of the week for the Eastern and Western conferences, respectively, for the third week of the season.

Catchings earned the honor for the 12th time after averaging 18.5 points, 11.0 rebounds, 4.5 steals and 3.5 assists in the Fever's home-and-home sweep of the Liberty.

In a win at New York on June 19, Catchings scored 12 of her 24 points in the final 10:14 of the game to rally Indiana to an overtime win after it trailed by 17 in the third quarter.

Wiggins was selected for her first weekly award after averaging 23.5 points, 4.5 assists and 4.0 rebounds in the Lynx's wins against New York and Phoenix. She is the second Minnesota player to be honored this season, joining injured teammate Seimone Augustus -- who was picked after the first week.

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