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Pesky guard helps Sol snap N.Y. streak

SHARE Pesky guard helps Sol snap N.Y. streak

NEW YORK — In a game that featured seven technicals, a near brawl and plenty of boos, the Miami Sol showed some moxie.

Debbie Black scored 14 points and smiled through the boos as Miami snapped New York's eight-game home winning streak, beating the Liberty 68-52 at Madison Square Garden.

Black's tenacious defense helped the Sol win a franchise-high seventh straight and first at the Garden in front of an announced crowd of 18,132.

As the first half ended with the Liberty trailing by 16 points, Teresa Weatherspoon shoved Black to the floor after missing a half-court shot. Black caught up with Weatherspoon near the tunnel, and 6-foot-3 Sue Wicks and security guards stepped between the two point guards.

Fans booed Black, the WNBA steals leader famous for her hard-nosed defense.

"The more you boo me, the better," Black said. "It's a compliment as far as I'm concerned. That means I'm doing something right."

Black, who shot 5-for-9, added eight rebounds, four assists and four steals. Sheri Sam led the Sol with 17 points.

The halftime scuffle resulted in double technicals for Black and Weatherspoon, and for Tari Phillips and Sam, who joined the dispute.

"I went up to (Weatherspoon) and said, 'Hey, that wasn't necessary,' " Black said. "That was all I said, I wasn't trying to fight her. There was nothing in that, other than I got a technical out of it."

Rookie Ruth Riley added 14 points and Elena Baranova had 12 points and six rebounds for the Sol (13-9).

Crystal Robinson scored 15 points for the Liberty (16-7), who last lost at Madison Square Garden on June 4 against Sacramento. The loss dropped New York 1 1/2 games behind idle Eastern Conference leader Cleveland.

"Basically, they outplayed us," New York coach Richie Adubato said. "We had a difficult time with Ruth Riley. She's improved tremendously since the beginning of the season."

Vickie Johnson and Phillips each scored 12 points for the Liberty, who committed 16 turnovers and lost for just the fourth time in 19 games.

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