The Atlanta Dream improved to 3-1 on Monday with an 85-79 win in overtime against the New York Liberty.
Atlanta battled back from a 12-point deficit to take the lead in the final minutes of regulation. New York's Sugar Rodgers tied things back up with a bucket with 20 seconds remaining. Angel McCoughtry missed at the other end and the game shifted into overtime.
The Dream took control in the overtime session outscoring the Liberty 8-2. McCoughtry accounted for four of those points including a jumper with 39 seconds remaining that put the game out of reach.
“What a game for the 20th year of the WNBA," Dream head coach Michael Cooper said after the game. "Kids day is obviously a different kind of day and there was a lot of energy in there and at times can fire up the opposing team but great game and a great win for us.”
McCoughtry scored all 15 of her points in the second half. Tiffany Hayes had a huge game for the Dream with 27 points and 11 rebounds. Elizabeth Williams added a career-best 16 points to go along with eight boards.
“Team effort," Hayes said when asked about her performance. "We all played together, we didn’t get ourselves down. We went down in first half, but we came back and fought, and that’s something we keep telling each other all year. We cannot get down in the beginning to come back and not fight. We definitely have to work on not starting down in the beginning, but my crew being there with me helped me to perform to all of my abilities.”
The Dream win despite shooting just 30 percent from the field for the game. They offset that with a huge free throw disparity. Atlanta finished the game 34 of 42 from the free throw line while the Liberty were 14 of 20. The difference in attempts had Liberty head coach Bill Laimbeer shaking his head a bit after the game.
“There was quite a disparity," Laimbeer said. "Last year, we were and still are the Number 1 team going to the foul line. That was a little bit difficult to swallow tonight. We attacked the basket hard just like they did. They got some calls, we didn’t-that’s part of the game of basketball. We still had a chance to win the game and didn’t get it done.”
Tina Charles did a bit of everything for the Liberty in the game finishing with 29 points, 10 rebounds, seven steals and six assists. Rodgers added 10 points. New York shot 36 percent from the field and were 1 of 10 from three-point range.
The Dream will wrap up their road trip on Friday with a trip to Dallas to face the Wings before returning home on Sunday for a rematch with the Indiana Fever.