After facing a deficit as large as 19 in the first half, the New York Liberty rallied behind a 26-16 run to roll out the third quarter and take a one-point edge over the Dallas Wings. Unfortunately, the Wings would answer with a commanding 30-14 fourth-quarter run to put the game out of reach, 104-87, at College Park Center on Tuesday afternoon.
“We can’t start the game the way we came out.” Tina Charles began. “The way we came out in the third quarter, that’s the way we have to start the game. We have to put together a collective effort like that for forty minutes. That’s the only way we’re going to win ball games and try to get ourselves back in the playoff run.”
The Wings’ (13-9) Liz Cambage credited 20 of her WNBA record-setting 53 points in the fourth quarter en route to her team’s 104-point offensive output that bested any other clip by a Liberty (7-15) opponent this season.
“[Cambage] was hitting them from all over.” Head coach Katie Smith explained. “She wasn’t just lobbing them up and shooting layups, she was knocking down three balls left and right. I mean, she’s one of the best players in the world for her size, skill, yeah, she’s a tough guard. I’m disappointed we gave her that many, but kudos to her, she was on one tonight.”
Kia Nurse managed to bring some resurgence to the Liberty lineup registering a team-high 25 points in her 25-minute showing off the bench. The rookie’s contribution was her first double-figure performance in her last 11 appearances. Moreover, was her most prolific since exploding for 34 points against the Fever (6/2).
Charles contributed 19 points towards the Liberty cause, including 13 in the first half. In three matchups against Dallas this season, the veteran averaged 26.3 points per game.
“Even when you double team [Tina Charles], I think she does a good job of finding people and trying to make moves to the basket.” Nurse explained. “So, I think there were a lot of things opening up.”
Bria Hartley and Shavonte Zellous joined Charles and Nurse in double figures, scoring 14 and 10 points, respectively.
The Wings held the advantage in most statistical categories, with the most glaring disparity coming at the free throw line. The Wings connected on 32 of their 38 attempts, while the Liberty made just 20 out of 28.
The loss rounded out a two-game win streak for the Liberty. New York will look to get back on a winning accord when they travel to Atlanta to face the Dream on Thursday. Tipoff is set for 7:00 p.m. (ET) at the McCamish Pavilion.
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