Liberty-Sky Preview

The Associated Press

New York Liberty coach Bill Laimbeer isn't afraid to make changes if his squad's lackluster play from its most recent contest continues.

The Liberty begin a four-game road trip as they face the Chicago Sky in a Wednesday matinee.

Laimbeer was especially upset after New York (4-3) committed 21 turnovers in Sunday's 78-77 overtime loss to San Antonio, marking the third time his club has registered at least 20 giveaways.

Cappie Pondexter finished with 19 points and 11 rebounds, but she also accounted for a team-worst seven turnovers.

"I haven't been able to instill in them to take care of the basketball," Laimbeer said. "We're throwing the ball all over they gym. Some of the passes, we were just flinging it to get rid of it. It was really painful to watch.

"You can't win in our system committing (21) turnovers."

Veteran Katie Smith agreed.

"We love that we fight, we compete, we don't give up, we battle,'' Smith said. "But then we also realize if we just took care of the basketball a few more times ... we'd walk out here with a win."

Laimbeer saved some of his harshest criticism for rookie guard Kamiko Williams, who started but played only nine minutes without attempting a shot. Leilani Mitchell came off the bench to play nearly 36 minutes, scoring 11 points and dishing out six assists.

"(Williams) doesn't push the ball like I ask her to, she throws passes I don't want her to and I've talked to her and talked to her," Laimbeer said. "She needs to step up or she needs to find a new home. That's the way this business works."

It's unclear how the starting lineup will look when the Liberty face the Sky (5-3), who return home after concluding a stretch of three straight road games with a 71-61 win over Indiana on Saturday.

Epiphanny Prince scored 21 points and Elena Delle Donne finished with 13 as Chicago outscored the Fever 22-10 in the final quarter.

"It's nice to pull out a grinding win,'' coach Pokey Chatman said. "We held them to 24 points in the second half. We rebounded the ball and were able to run."

The Sky lead the Eastern Conference in scoring at 83.3 points per game, with Prince averaging 19.2 and Delle Donne leading all rookies with 18.6 per contest.

Chicago tops the league in rebounding, grabbing 41.5 per game with a WNBA-best plus-11.6 differential. Sylvia Fowles paces the league with 12.9 boards per contest.

Prince scored 20 points while Pondexter, a high school All-American while growing up in Chicago, finished with 24 as the Sky won the most recent meeting 92-83 on Sept. 7.

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