SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) _ Yolanda Griffith scored 29 points and grabbed 19 rebounds Thursday to help the Sacramento Monarchs defeat the New York Liberty 71-55.

New York crept to within 57-50 late in the game behind the shooting of Vickie Johnson, but Griffith answered with a driving basket to start a 9-0 run that put Sacramento ahead 66-50 with 2:02 left.

Griffith, the league's leading rebounder and second-leading scorer, had 11 straight points toward the end of the first half to ignite a 13-4 run that helped the Monarchs take a 33-22 lead into halftime.

Johnson paced New York with 17 points, all but two of them coming in the second half. Sue Wicks added 16 points.

Ruthie Bolton-Holifield scored 12 points for Sacramento, which improved to 6-1 at home this season.