As the Mercury took the court in an environmentally conscious fashion on "Go Green Night" the team not only promoted recycling in life, but also on the court. Looking up and down the roster the team suited up five players that made the final roster back in May.
The additions of Briana Gilbreath, Dymond Simon, and Krystal Thomas all were prime examples of how injuries have whittled this team down this season.
"I was very nervous at first, but these girls and the coaches made me feel real comfortable," said Gilbreath after the game.
For the first time in seven games the Mercury took on another struggling team in the New York Liberty. It was a slow start out of the gates as the Mercury fell behind by 14 points early and played catch up all game.
Former Mercury star Cappie Pondexter (31 points) put on a show stopping any kind of run or momentum shifts with her keen offense and timely shooting. She battled point-for-point with DeWanna Bonner especially in the second half.
The Mercury went into the half down ten (50-40) in an entertaining, high scoring first half.
The show between Pondexter and Bonner in the third quarter was worth the price of admission. In the third quarter the Mercury outscored the Liberty 21-20, but saw Pondexter outscore Bonner 15-12 in a close, pivotal quarter. If the lid was put on Pondexter then the Mercury would have clawed back into the game. Instead they went into the fourth in the same position they were at the half despite some good basketball.
In the end the Liberty (9-13) took this win on the road 89-77 over the Mercury (4-18).
"We cut it down to three (in the third)," said Coach Gaines after the game. "They shot better from the three than they did from the two. Tried to slow them down with the zone, Cappie hit some shots in our faces. That is why Cappie is Cappie."
Bonner put forth a good effort, but was a volume shooter on her way to 34 points on the night. It took her 26 attempts to get her points as the shots were not falling at a high percentage. Samantha Prahalis did her best to shoulder the rest of the load with her (12 points 4 assists), but it was not enough as her shots were not going down at a high clip either.
"Cappie had a great game today," said Bonner after the game. "When they needed a big bucket she knocked it down and that stopped us from getting over the hump."
Diana Taurasi suited up, warmed up, and took her spot on the bench for this one. The problem was the only time she left that spot on the bench was to high-five teammates in timeouts and between quarters.
The Mercury get one more at home before traveling again as they host the Indiana Fever on Saturday at 7 p.m. local time. The Fever are 13-8 on the season and have yet to play the Mercury in 2012.