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1997 WNBA Championship

Top 3 1997 WNBA Championship related articles

1997 WNBA Championship
TeamCoachWins
Houston Comets Van Chancellor 1
New York Liberty Nancy Darsch 0
DatesAugust 30
MVPCynthia Cooper (Houston Comets)
Eastern FinalsNew York defeated Phoenix 59-41
Western FinalsHouston defeated Charlotte 70-54
  WNBA Finals

The 1997 WNBA Championship was the championship game of the 1997 WNBA season, and the conclusion of the season's playoffs. The Houston Comets, top-seeded team of the league, defeated the New York Liberty, second-seeded team, 65-51 to win the league's inaugural championship.

The Comets' 18–10 record gave them home court advantage over New York (17–11).

For the playoffs, the top four teams overall in the league were seeded one to four. Top seed Houston played the four seed Charlotte and the two seed New York played number three Phoenix.

1997 WNBA Championship Intro articles: 2

Road to the finals

Houston Comets New York Liberty
18–10 (.643)
1st East, 1st overall
Regular season 17–11 (.607)
2nd East, 2nd overall
Defeated the (4) Charlotte Sting, 70-54 WNBA Semifinals Defeated the (3) Phoenix Mercury, 59-41

Regular season series

The Liberty won 3 of the 4 games in the regular season series:

June 26
Recap at the Wayback Machine (archived February 8, 1998)
New York Liberty 62, Houston Comets 60 (OT)
July 2
Recap at the Wayback Machine (archived February 8, 1998)
Houston Comets 67, New York Liberty 70
July 4
Recap at the Wayback Machine (archived February 8, 1998)
New York Liberty 65, Houston Comets 58
August 17
Recap at the Wayback Machine (archived February 8, 1998)
Houston Comets 70, New York Liberty 55

1997 WNBA Championship Road to the finals articles: 5

Game summary

Time listed below is Eastern Daylight Time.

August 30
7:00pm
Recap at the Wayback Machine (archived February 8, 1998)
New York Liberty 51, Houston Comets 65
Scoring by half: 24–28, 27–37
Pts: Hampton (13)
Rebs: Hampton (13)
Asts: Weatherspoon (5)
Pts: Cooper (25)
Rebs: Jackson (11)
Asts: Cooper (4)
Compaq Center, Houston
Attendance: 16,285
Referees:
  • Bell
  • Courteau
  • Palmer

The Houston Comets became the first WNBA champions, riding the unstoppable Cynthia Cooper and a suffocating defense to a 65–51 victory over the New York Liberty.

Cooper, the fledgling league's leading scorer who was named Most Valuable Player earlier this week, scored 14 of her 25 points in the pivotal second half, when the Comets had a 10–0 burst and held the Liberty scoreless for nearly 6½ minutes. Tina Thompson added 18 points for the Comets, who turned Houston into "Clutch City" again. The city adopted that nickname during the two-year championship reign of the NBA's Houston Rockets.

Cooper also was named Finals MVP as the sellout crowd of 16,285 saw the Comets come up with their best defensive effort of the season.

Kym Hampton had 13 points and 13 rebounds and Vickie Johnson added 12 points for the Liberty, who picked a bad time for one of their worst offensive displays. A meaningless basket with three seconds remaining by Rebecca Lobo—who was limited to nine points—allowed New York to avoid its lowest point total of the season.

Houston, which edged New York for the Eastern Conference title and knocked off Charlotte in the semifinals, finished the regular season 18–10. The Liberty, who advanced with a semifinal win at Phoenix, were 17–11.

1997 WNBA Championship Game summary articles: 19

Awards

Rosters

1997 Houston Comets Finals roster
Players Coaches
Pos. # Nat. Name Height Weight From
F 4 Arcain, Janeth 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m) 147 lb (67 kg) Brazil
G 14 Cooper, Cynthia 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m) 150 lb (68 kg) Southern California
F 9 Guyton, Wanda 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m) 178 lb (81 kg) South Florida
G 20 Harris, Fran 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m) 153 lb (69 kg) Texas
F 23 Jackson, Tammy 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) 190 lb (86 kg) Florida
F 33 Moore, Yolanda 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m) 175 lb (79 kg) Mississippi
G 10 Perrot, Kim 5 ft 5 in (1.65 m) 130 lb (59 kg) Southwestern Louisiana
F 22 Swoopes, Sheryl 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m) 145 lb (66 kg) Texas Tech
F 7 Thompson, Tina 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) 178 lb (81 kg) Southern California
G 5 Woosley, Tiffany 5 ft 7 in (1.70 m) 132 lb (60 kg) Tennessee
Head coach
Assistant coaches
  • Unknown




Legend
  • (C) Team captain
  • (FA) Free agent
  • (IN) Inactive
  • (S) Suspended
  • Injured
1997 New York Liberty Finals roster
Players Coaches
Pos. # Nat. Name Height Weight From
G 10 Blades, Rhonda 5 ft 7 in (1.70 m) 138 lb (63 kg) Vanderbilt
G 22 Crumpton-Moorer, Cassandra 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m) 175 lb (79 kg) Alabama
G 5 Ford, Kisha 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m) 153 lb (69 kg) Georgia Tech
C 34 Hampton, Kym 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) 210 lb (95 kg) Arizona State
G 55 Johnson, Vickie 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m) 150 lb (68 kg) Louisiana Tech
C 50 Lobo, Rebecca 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) 185 lb (84 kg) Connecticut
F 33 Trice, Trena 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) 180 lb (82 kg) North Carolina State
G 11 Weatherspoon, Teresa 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m) 161 lb (73 kg) Louisiana Tech
F 23 Wicks, Sue 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m) 174 lb (79 kg) Rutgers
G 13 Witherspoon, Sophia 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m) 145 lb (66 kg) Florida
Head coach
Assistant coaches
  • Unknown




Legend
  • (C) Team captain
  • (FA) Free agent
  • (IN) Inactive
  • (S) Suspended
  • Injured

1997 WNBA Championship Awards articles: 20

References