Uncasville, CT (Sports Network) - Kara Lawson scored a team-best 23 points and Tina Charles chipped in a double-double to lift the Connecticut Sun to an 81-69 victory over the New York Liberty in the season opener for both teams.
Charles had 19 points and a game-high 13 rebounds and the Sun pulled away in the second half by outscoring the Liberty by a 41-27 count.
Lawson also added seven rebounds and five assists for Connecticut, which finished with the top record in the Eastern Conference last year but were ousted in three games to the Indiana Fever in the conference final.
Allison Hightower and Kelsey Griffin each donated 10 points to the victory.
Cappie Pondexter scored 23 points to lead the Liberty, who lost to the Sun in the conference semis last year. Essence Carson scored 14 and had eight boards.
Pondexter scored 16 in the first half and New York held a slight 42-40 edge at the break, but the Sun broke a 50-50 tie in the third with a 9-0 run to take the lead for good.
The contest was never closer than four points the rest of the way.