NEW YORK (AP) Candice Wiggins walked around the Sept. 11 memorial earlier this year spending hours talking to people and hearing their stories.
The New York Liberty guard had her own memory from that day. Fourteen years ago, Wiggins was a sophomore in high school thousands of miles away from New York where her sister Cassandra was starting her freshman year at NYU.
''There weren't really cell phones back then and phone service was bad that day. We couldn't reach her. I remember being so scared,'' Wiggins said after the Liberty lost to Washington 82-55 on Friday night. ''We had no idea if she had been in the wrong place at the wrong time. It was agonizing.''
Finally Wiggins recalled, they got a call from her sister that she was OK after spending hours stuck on a subway.
''I just wanted to give her the biggest hug,'' Wiggins said choking up while recalling the story. ''We were lucky, so many other people never got a chance to give their loved ones another hug.''
The Liberty played at home Friday for the first time on Sept. 11 since the terror attacks. Before the game, a group of police officers and firemen unfurled a large flag during the national anthem which was sung by police officer Lauren Leggio.
''It really sunk in hearing that national anthem,'' said Liberty center Tina Charles, who grew up in Queens. ''It's something special to be playing on this day for New York. I just wish we could have put on a better show.''
Charles said her mom worked at the Empire State Building and she felt fortunate she couldn't fully comprehend what was happening that day. The MVP candidate said she'd probably been more scared knowing where her mom worked and how it could have been a potential target.
Washington center Kia Vaughn grew up in New York and was at school about two miles from ground zero. Word spread quickly that something had happened at the World Trade Center and the principal ushered the students into the basement. An hour later, Vaughn was making the trek home to the Bronx, walking for hours from midtown Manhattan.
''I just remember seeing so many people on the streets,'' Vaughn said. ''It was a long walk. To be back here and playing a game is something special.''
Teammate Stefanie Dolson grew up on Long Island and couldn't bring herself to watch the television this morning at the hotel. It was just too hard.
''I have a lot of memories from that day,'' Dolson said. ''It just so emotional thinking about it.''
New York got down early to Washington, which shot 70 percent from behind the 3-point arc in the first half. The Mystics (18-15) led by 13 at the half and never looked back in the second half as the Liberty (23-10) scored just seven points in the third quarter.
With the victory, Washington remained a game behind Indiana for the third seed in the Eastern Conference. A win on Sunday over Atlanta and a loss by the Fever to New York would give the Mystics the third spot.
Otherwise they'll be back in New York next Friday to play the Liberty again in the first round of the playoffs.
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