Led by Tina Charles and Sugar Rodgers, the New York Liberty made it four straight wins as they faced the Seattle Storm.
Riding a three-game win streak, the New York Liberty hosted the Seattle Storm this afternoon. Seattle came in leading the season series 1-0. Thanks to a late defensive surge, New York secured a 94-86 victory.
New York got off to a hot start, making their first four shots from the field. Led by Tina Charles (5 points) and Shavonte Zellous (4 points), the Liberty jumped out to a 9-2 lead with 7:48 left. Bria Hartley’s three-pointer with 3:38 remaining brought the lead to 16-8.
Seattle struggled from deep, shooting 17 percent from behind the arc. That was until Sue Bird and Sami Whitcomb converted on successive attempts to slice the lead to 26-21. New York led 28-21 after the first period
The second quarter got off to a sloppy start, with both teams struggling to find the basket. The first field goal didn’t come until 7:30 left when Rebecca Allen’s three-point jumper gave the Liberty a 31-22 lead. Seattle didn’t take it lying down this time.
After Sami Whitcomb’s jumper off an in bounds pass and Breanna Stewart’s three-point jumper, the lead was trimmed to 39-35 with 2:31 left. That lead all but evaporated by the end of the half. New York held on a for a narrow 43-40 lead at halftime.
The two squads opened up the second half trading baskets, with Sue Bird’s three-pointer closing New York’s lead to 49-47 with 7:16 left. Seattle managed to string together enough stops and baskets to take their first lead on a Ramu Tokashiki lay-up with 5:43 left. Seattle went into the final quarter up 66-65, following Breanna Stewart’s lay-up.
The game got a bit ugly when Rebecca Allen took an elbow from Stewart at the 9:08 mark. Stewart went on to commit her second offensive foul a few plays later. She would then foul out with 4:27 left.
That would prove to be the difference maker down the stretch. New York went on to take advantage of the boards and had their way in the paint on the offensive end.
The crowd erupted as Bria Hartley converted a breakaway lay-up assisted by Shavonte Zellous. That gave New York an 85-83 lead with 2:15 remaining.
— New York Liberty (@nyliberty) June 11, 2017
Sugar Rodgers sealed the game with this steal and fast-break assist to Zellous, Her pair of free throws on the next possession made it 91-84 and essentially iced the game with 43.7 left.
I caught up with Shavonte Zellous ans Sugar Rodgers after the game.
New York was led by Tina Charles who finished with 21 points and 14 rebounds. Rodgers added 21 points of her own to go along with 5 assists and a game-high 4 steals. Shavonte Zellous rounded things out with 16 points.
Seattle was led by Breanna Stewart with 23 points, 10 rebounds, 2 blocks and a steal. Sue Bird added 21 points and a game-high 10 assists. Jewell Loyd chipped in 19 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists.
This victory brings the Liberty to a record of 6-3 (.5 GB), good enough for second place in the Eastern Conference. They will look to continue their hot streak against the Connecticut Sun as they hit the road Wednesday. Game time is at 7:00 PM (ET).