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1997 WNBA Championship Team Coach Wins Houston Comets Van Chancellor 1 New York Liberty Nancy Darsch 0 Date: August 30 MVP: Cynthia Cooper (Houston Comets) Television: NBC Referees: Bell, Corteau, Palmer Semifinal 1 vs 4: Houston defeated Charlotte 70-54 Semifinal 2 vs 3: New York defeated Phoenix 59-41 WNBA Finals 1998 → 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. Contents 1 Road to the finals 1.1 Regular season series 2 Game summary 3 Awards 4 Rosters 5 References 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 New York Liberty 62, Houston Comets 60 (OT)    Compaq Center, Houston July 2 Recap Houston Comets 67, New York Liberty 70    Madison Square Garden, New York July 4 Recap New York Liberty 65, Houston Comets 58    Compaq Center, Houston August 17 Recap Houston Comets 70, New York Liberty 55    Madison Square Garden, New York Game summary Time listed below is Eastern Daylight Time. August 30 7:00pm Recap New York Liberty 51, Houston Comets 65    Compaq Center, Houston Attendance: 16,285 Referees: Bell Courteau Palmer NBC 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) 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. Awards 1997 WNBA Champion: Houston Comets Finals MVP: Cynthia Cooper Rosters 1997 Houston Comets Finals roster Players Coaches Pos. # Nat. Name Height Weight From 4.0 !F 4 BRA ! Arcain, Janeth 71 !5 ft 11 in (1.8 m) 147 lb (67 kg) Brazil 1.5 !G 14 USA ! Cooper, Cynthia 70 !5 ft 10 in (1.78 m) 150 lb (68 kg) Southern California 4.0 !F 9 USA ! Guyton, Wanda 73 !6 ft 1 in (1.85 m) 178 lb (81 kg) South Florida 1.5 !G 20 USA ! Harris, Fran 72 !6 ft 0 in (1.83 m) 153 lb (69 kg) Texas 4.0 !F 23 USA ! Jackson, Tammy 74 !6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) 190 lb (86 kg) Florida 4.0 !F 33 USA ! Moore, Yolanda 72 !6 ft 0 in (1.83 m) 175 lb (79 kg) Mississippi 1.5 !G 10 USA ! Perrot, Kim 65 !5 ft 5 in (1.65 m) 130 lb (59 kg) Southwestern Louisiana 4.0 !F 22 USA ! Swoopes, Sheryl 72 !6 ft 0 in (1.83 m) 145 lb (66 kg) Texas Tech 4.0 !F 7 USA ! Thompson, Tina 74 !6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) 178 lb (81 kg) Southern California 1.5 !G 5 USA ! Woosley, Tiffany 67 !5 ft 7 in (1.7 m) 132 lb (60 kg) Tennessee Head coach Van Chancellor (Mississippi State) Assistant coach(es) Unknown Legend (C) Team captain (DP) Unsigned draft pick (FA) Free agent (IN) Inactive (S) Suspended Injured 1997 New York Liberty Finals roster Players Coaches Pos. # Nat. Name Height Weight From 1.5 !G 10 USA ! Blades, Rhonda 67 !5 ft 7 in (1.7 m) 138 lb (63 kg) Vanderbilt 1.5 !G 22 USA ! Crumpton-Moorer, Cassandra 71 !5 ft 11 in (1.8 m) 175 lb (79 kg) Alabama 1.5 !G 5 USA ! Ford, Kisha 70 !5 ft 10 in (1.78 m) 153 lb (69 kg) Georgia Tech 6.0 !C 34 USA ! Hampton, Kym 74 !6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) 210 lb (95 kg) Arizona State 1.5 !G 55 USA ! Johnson, Vickie 69 !5 ft 9 in (1.75 m) 150 lb (68 kg) Louisiana Tech 6.0 !C 50 USA ! Lobo, Rebecca 76 !6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) 185 lb (84 kg) Connecticut 4.0 !F 33 USA ! Trice, Trena 74 !6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) 180 lb (82 kg) North Carolina State 1.5 !G 11 USA ! Weatherspoon, Teresa 68 !5 ft 8 in (1.73 m) 161 lb (73 kg) Louisiana Tech 4.0 !F 23 USA ! Wicks, Sue 75 !6 ft 3 in (1.91 m) 174 lb (79 kg) Rutgers 1.5 !G 13 USA ! Witherspoon, Sophia 70 !5 ft 10 in (1.78 m) 145 lb (66 kg) Florida Head coach Nancy Darsch (Springfield) Assistant coach(es) Unknown Legend (C) Team captain (DP) Unsigned draft pick (FA) Free agent (IN) Inactive (S) Suspended Injured References v · d · eWNBA Finals Playoffs • Finals MVP • Broadcasters • Droughts 1990s 1997 1998 1999 2000s 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010s 2010 2011 v · d · e1997 WNBA season by team Draft • Championship Eastern Charlotte Sting Cleveland Rockers Houston Comets New York Liberty Western Los Angeles Sparks Phoenix Mercury Sacramento Monarchs Utah Starzz WNBA season • 1998  → v · d · eWomen's National Basketball Association (2011) Eastern Conference Western Conference Atlanta Dream Chicago Sky Connecticut Sun Indiana Fever New York Liberty Washington Mystics Los Angeles Sparks Minnesota Lynx Phoenix Mercury San Antonio Silver Stars Seattle Storm Tulsa Shock Annual events: Draft · All-Star Game · Playoffs · Finals Statistics: Career scoring · Career rebounding · Scoring leaders · Rebounding leaders · Assists leaders Other: All-Decade Team · Arenas · Attendance · Awards · Coaches · Current rosters · Defunct teams · Expansion draft history · Finals broadcasters · LiveAccess · MVP NBA · NBA TV · Players · Rookie of the Year · Seasons · Top 15 Team · WNBA on ESPN v · d · eHouston Comets 1997 WNBA Champions 4 Arcain | 5 Woosley | 7 Thompson | 9 Guyton | 10 Perrot | 14 Cooper (Finals MVP) | 20 Harris | 22 Swoopes | 23 Jackson | 33 Moore | Coach Chancellor v · d · eNBA on NBC Related programs NBA Showtime · NBA Inside Stuff · College Basketball on NBC · Olympics on NBC · NBA on USA Related articles Ratings · NBA Showtime: NBA on NBC · Like Mike · 2002 FIBA World Championship Commentators All-Star Game · Eastern Conference Finals · Western Conference Finals · NBA Finals · WNBA Finals Key figures Marv Albert · Mike Breen · Quinn Buckner · P. 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