ROSEMONT, Ill. (AP) - Epiphanny Prince hit a 3-pointer with 31 seconds remaining to give the Chicago Sky a 74-73 victory over the New York Liberty on Sunday.
Sylvia Fowles and Erin Thorn scored 17 points each to lead the Sky (14-15), and Prince finished with 10 points. Chicago moved 1 1/2 games behind Atlanta for the fourth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Plenette Pierson scored 19 points, Nicole Powell had 15 and Cappie Pondexter 14 for the Liberty (16-13). Kia Vaughn added 12 points. New York, two games behind second-place Connecticut in the East, had its lead over Atlanta cut to one-half game.
After opening a 70-60 lead, the Sky went scoreless for 5:34 as the Liberty scored 11 consecutive points to take a 71-70 lead on Essence Carson's reverse layup. Tamera Young's free throw tied the score and Pondexter hit a jumper with 50 seconds to play to put New York up 73-71.
``The poise went out the window for half of each possession for both teams, which helped us on one and hurt us on the other,' Sky coach Pokey Chatman said. ``But it boiled down to being in that poison to make stops and challenge some shots and get some rebounds and we got the win and I'll take it.'
After Prince put the Sky ahead, Pondexter missed a 3 with 1 second left.
``We tried to get the ball out of Cappie's hands the last few possessions and we wanted to make someone else beat us,' Thorn said. ``Luckily, she missed her last shot.'
Powell said: ``We didn't make any of the big plays down the stretch when we needed it.'
Vaughn's buzzer-beating jumper gave the Liberty a 60-58 lead after three quarters.
Thorn scored 10 points - including two 3s - as the Sky opened the fourth with a 12-0 run to take their 10-point lead with 6:09 to go.
Pondexter, held to two points in the first half, broke the 40-all halftime tie with her team's first eight points of the third quarter. The former Chicago high school star had back-to-back 3s as the Liberty opened a 48-42 lead.
``We weren't as efficient defensively in the first quarter,' Liberty coach John Whisenant said. ``They shot 49 percent against us so that's an indication that are defensive wasn't efficient. They got a lot of points the paint and our defense shouldn't allow that.'
The teams have split four meetings this season, with the home team winning each, and play for the final time on Tuesday at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.
The Associated Press News Service
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