TULSA (AP) - Cappie Pondexter surprised a Tulsa ballboy after scoring 23 points and adding 10 assists to help the New York Liberty beat the Shock 94-82 on Thursday.
She handed over her orange Nike shoes to the youngster.
``He was excited,' Pondexter said. ``He had never seen shoes like that. Before the game, he asked me if he could have them. I thought why not.'
Pondexter was pressed into point-guard duty in the third period with starter Leilani Mitchell in foul trouble and rookie Sydney Colson sidelined by a knee injury.
``We really don't like to have Cappie bring the ball up,' said New York coach John Whisenant, an Oklahoma native.
Pondexter got help on the inside from center Kia Vaughn, who scored a season-high 24 points on 12-of-14 shooting and added 12 rebounds. With the victory, New York (3-4) snapped a four-game losing skid.
``She had a good day,' Whisenant said. ``(The low post) is where the game is won. We lost our post players from a year ago and this was a great opportunity for Kia.'
Former Shock forward Plenette Pierson added 14 points and four rebounds before fouling out. Liberty guard Essence Carson finished with 12 points, and Nicole Powell had 10.
Elizabeth Cambage led Tulsa (1-7) with 22 points. Kayla Pedersen had 18, and Ivory Latta added 13.
Trailing 44-32 at the half, Tulsa rallied behind nine consecutive points from the 6-foot-8 Cambage, closing to 58-53. The Shock cut it to 76-75 on Tiffany Jackson's jumper, but the Liberty closed with an 18-7 run.
The 6-foot-8 Cambage was 8 of 9 from the field.
``When we got within three points and we didn't come up with the defensive rebound,' Shock coach Nolan Richardson said. ``Not only did we not come up with it, they got the stick back and broke our momentum.
``We got into our pressure defense, which is the way we had intended to play. In order for us to have a chance, we would like to press quite a bit. Fatigue makes cowards of us all, and ideally I would like to press all the time.'
The Associated Press News Service
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