Following a first half that featured 11 lead changes, the New York Liberty were locked into a tightly-contested battle against the Washington Mystics entering the break. However, the Mystics (11-6) outscored the Liberty (5-13) 44-26 in the second half en route to an 86-67 victory at the Capital One Arena on Thursday night.
New York had a fighting chance entering the fourth, trailing by five, but they mustered a season-low eight points in the quarter. The 19-point loss marked the Liberty’s second-largest margin of defeat this season.
Head coach Katie Smith explained. “We have to compete. Compete on both ends. We have to run with a pace on offense. We have to compete on the defensive end […].
Tina Charles led the Liberty with a game-high 26 points along with 12 rebounds, notching her fourth double-double of the season. With her 18th point of the contest, the veteran surpassed former teammate Swin Cash to move into 16th on the WNBA all-time scoring list.
“I was just locked in, you know? Charles mentioned. “I just really am just locked in, just trying to have a sense of urgency, just trying to lead by example, just trying to really help and by any means.”
Epiphanny Prince joined Charles in double figures with 11 points, include three makes from behind the arc. Bria Hartley finished with nine points and a season-high seven assists, tying her career-best. It was her fourth game this season with at least six helpers.
Hartley stated. “I think some of it is my teammates hitting shots…making sure I find them when they are open. Epiphanny [Prince] was able to knock down some shots, finding Tina [Charles] on the block, and the way that she was scoring. I just kind of tried to make myself a threat.”
The Liberty, who are just 2-6 on the road this season, have now dropped seven of their last eight games. They will look to right the ship when they host the Dallas Wings on Sunday. The matchup is set to begin at 3:00 p.m. (ET) at the Westchester County Center.
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