Saturday, August 8, 2009 2:08 AM
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Janel McCarville scored 18 points and the New York Liberty beat the Sacramento Monarchs 84-66 on Friday night to snap a five-game losing streak and give interim coach Anne Donovan her first win.
The Liberty (7-13) lost their first two games after Donovan replaced the fired Pat Coyle on Aug. 1.
"We came in here desperate for a win," McCarville said. "We knew we could win here. That wasn't really us when we lost to Sacramento at the Garden. We knew we could play a much better game and tonight we came out and did it."
Tiffany Jackson and Ashley Battle added 11 points each, and Essence Carson had 10 for the Liberty, who outscored the Monarchs (5-17) 26-14 in the third quarter.
"This was a really big win for us," Jackson said. "We've been playing well, but we have lost a lot of close games. This will be very good for our confidence. Losing can really wear you down."
Rookie Courtney Paris scored a career-high 19 points in 19 minutes for Sacramento. Rebekkah Brunson had 14 points and seven rebounds.
"It's hard when you keep losing games," Kara Lawson said. "But no one here is mailing it in."
Nicole Powell, Sacramento's leading scorer, had 32 points in a victory in New York on June 23. Powell didn't take a shot until the second quarter and made only one of six shots and finished with four points.
"We tried to make every shot difficult for her," McCarville said. "We didn't want to give her any easy looks. I think we got in her head a little bit, we definitely did what we needed to do against her."
The Monarchs scored seven straight points early in the third quarter to take their first lead. But New York came right back, scoring eight straight, including three consecutive baskets by Jackson to retake the lead.
The Liberty continued to disrupt turnover-prone Sacramento on defense and outscored Sacramento 23-5 in the final 6:31 of the third and headed into the fourth leading 67-52.
The Monarchs lost their second straight and third in four games.
Brunson returned to the Monarchs' starting lineup after missing seven straight games because of a strained right knee.
"We would make runs, but we just couldn't get over the hump," Brunson said. "It felt really good to finally play, although I really wish we would have won. It surprised me I played that long (26 minutes). Yesterday I wasn't even sure if I would be playing."