The New York Liberty held a 5-4 advantage over the Washington Mystics early in the first quarter, but that was the last lead they held as the Mystics (14-10) cruised to a 95-78 victory at the Westchester County Center on Saturday.
The Liberty (7-17) went on a 17-4 run after the 9:30 mark in the fourth quarter, but the deficit never reached single digits.
Tina Charles, who scored nine straight Liberty points during that span, commented on the rally. “We have to do that for four quarters. That effort and energy that we brought. Making shots or not, that how we have to play, consistently.”
Charles paced the Liberty with 22 points, her 11th game this season with over 20. With her 19th point of the contest, she reached 3,000 points in a Liberty uniform. The forward also contributed five boards and five assists.
With her second three of the first quarter, Sugar Rodgers moved into fourth in Liberty history in makes from behind the arc. The guard made her third start of the season in the contest, and she finished with 16 points, draining four of her seven attempts from deep.
The Liberty’s back court tandem of Brittany Boyd and Bria Hartley facilitated the ball well, finishing with four and six assists, respectively. With Boyd’s third helper of the game, she notched her 100th assist of the season.
“In spurts, we had energy, we rebounded well, and the defense was solid.” Head coach Katie Smith explained. “We made some shots and we were aggressive. Maybe we can bottle that up and carry it over for four quarters going forward.”
With the victory, the Mystics clinched a season sweep over the Liberty, winning all three matchups. They have won their last four against New York, dating back to their playoff victory last season.
The loss was the Liberty’s third straight. They will look to get back into the win column against the Minnesota Lynx on Tuesday in their last game before the All-Star break. Tipoff is set for 8:00 p.m. (ET) at the Target Center.
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