Mystics-Liberty Preview

The Associated Press

Either the New York Liberty or Washington Mystics will head into the WNBA's Olympic break on a high note.

Given Washington's nearly year-long road winless drought, New York seems to be in good shape.

The Liberty look to send the Mystics to a 17th consecutive road loss while ending their own struggles Friday.

New York has lost six of nine after falling 84-82 at Indiana on Tuesday despite a season-high 33 points from Cappie Pondexter. The Liberty (6-11) have played the last seven games without Plenette Pierson (strained left knee) and the last three without Kia Vaughn (concussion), who are third and fourth on the team in scoring.

They trailed by as many as 12 points and rallied to take the lead in the fourth quarter, but the Fever hit a pair of late free throws to secure the win.

"Felt like we could have won the game," Pondexter said. "We had a chance."

Pondexter is averaging 23.8 points over her last four games and ranks third in the league with 19.9 per game. She scored a game-high 25 and Leilani Mitchell added 16 in a 76-70 road win over Washington on June 8.

She'll look to help New York head into the league's month-long break for the Olympics on a positive note with another victory over the Eastern Conference-worst Mystics, whose road skid continued with an 85-73 loss to Connecticut on Wednesday.

Washington (3-14), which has lost six straight road games versus New York, hasn't won away from home since beating Los Angeles 86-85 on July 17.

The Mystics, who have lost four straight and nine of 10 overall, were led Wednesday by Crystal Langhorne's 19 points, while Michelle Snow added 12 and seven rebounds.

Washington trailed by 14 points but cut the deficit to four in the third quarter, only to fall short. Connecticut hit all 16 of its free throws and had three players score at least 17 points.

"I really think that was the difference in the game," coach Trudi Lacey said.

Langhorne, who leads the Mystics averaging 16.1 points and is tied with Snow for the team lead with 6.8 rebounds per game, scored 24 points in the loss to the Liberty last month. Snow added 10 points and a game-high 12 rebounds.

Langhorne is averaging 17.4 points over the last seven matchups with New York, and Pondexter has averaged 22.1 during that stretch.

New York and Washington have split the last 10 overall meetings.

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