The New York Liberty suffered an 8-0 run by the Chicago Sky with 30 ticks remaining in overtime. However, Tina Charles turned the tide for the Liberty hauling an offensive board and draining a hook shot to move her team in front for good, 97-94, Sunday evening at Wintrust Arena. The victory severs a five-game drought for New York (5-11) and rewards the Liberty its first win of the series against the hosts.
“We fought, we got up a little bit, gave up a couple buckets, but give them credit,” head coach Katie Smith began. “I mean [Allie] Quigley was just, she is something else. […] We made shots, we found Tina. We got stops when we needed to and rebounds. I’m just really proud and happy for our team to get this win because we’ve been battling the last few games and right at the end. To get this one feels good.”
Charles’ clutch offensive prowess was also evident in regulation as the forward hit the game-tying basket with less than a minute left. Her valiant effort tied a game-high 28 points marking her seventh game this season with more than 20. She is now averaging 23.7 points per game through the season series with the Sky (6-10).
Four other Liberty players joined Charles in double figures, including Kia Vaughn, who registered a double-double in the contest comprised of 12 points and 11 rebounds. Five of her boards came on the offensive glass while the big also shot 80-percent from the floor.
Brittany Boyd finished with a season-high 14 points and team-best five assists. Shavonte Zellous and Bria Hartley chipped in 12 and 10 points, respectively.
For the second consecutive game, all 10 Liberty players who saw the court registered a made field goal. The Liberty have averaged 98 points per game over that two-game span, and they have averaged 23.7 assists per contest over the past three.
Charles explained. “We have always been so close when it came to winning other games that we’ve lost, so this is a big confidence booster for us.”
The contest tabbed the Liberty’s second overtime game of the season, and they have escaped victorious on both occasions. Earlier this season, they needed extra time to beat the Fever (6/2).
Next, they will look to keep the momentum rolling when they face off against the Storm on Tuesday night. The season’s first matchup between the two teams is set to begin at 7:00 p.m. (ET) at the Westchester County Center.
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