By DOUG FEINBERG AP Basketball Writer
NEW YORK (AP) _ Alex Bentley scored 24 points and Chiney Ogwumike added 20 as the Connecticut Sun withstood a furious New York rally to beat the Liberty 83-75 on Friday night.
Connecticut (5-6) dominated the first 20 minutes of the game in building a 20-point halftime lead. The Sun led 59-41 with 3:49 left in the third quarter before New York (3-7) closed the period on an 11-2 run and then cut their deficit to two points in the fourth quarter a few times. The Liberty just couldn’t take the lead.
Two free throws by Tina Charles made it 70-68 with 4:34 left before Bentley and Connecticut put the game away. Bentley hit a free throw to start a 6-0 run to give the Sun a cushion. She then hit a jumper with 2:05 left to make it 78-71. She sealed the game banking a 3-pointer in with the shot clock running down.
Charles led New York with 25 points and 10 rebounds while Cappie Pondexter added 20 points.
Connecticut came into New York off a thrilling one-point win over Phoenix on Thursday night. The Sun made 10 of their 13 3-pointers in that game. They stayed hot against the Liberty.
Connecticut took a 26-10 lead after the first quarter, hitting five of their first six 3-pointers. They closed the period hitting four straight, including one by Renee Montgomery with a second left to make it 46-26.
The Sun finished the game 8 for from behind the arc. The two teams will play again in Connecticut on Sunday.
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