The New York Liberty matched up with the WNBA-leading Seattle Storm for a majority of the contest, as the contest featured 22 lead changes. However, the Storm (22-7) closed the game on a 26-8 run, coming out on top 96-80 at Madison Square Garden on Monday afternoon.
The Liberty (7-21) ended the third quarter on a 10-0 run to trim the deficit to three, then jumped out to a 74-72 lead with 5:55 to play in the fourth. However, they wouldn’t score again until the 2:15 mark and the Storm pulled away for good.
Head coach Katie Smith discussed the Liberty’s effort. “I thought we battled today. Obviously for three quarters we were in the ballgame. We missed some shots, turned the ball over, and they started to get hot. We turned the ball over a bunch and it resulted in a number of buckets for them.”
Kia Nurse made the first start of her career in the contest, and the rookie got off to a quick start, notching nine first quarter points. She co-led the Liberty with 20 points for the game, the third highest output of her career.
Nurse commented on entering the starting lineup for the first time. “It does not really matter to me whether I start or come off the bench. It was a next man up kind of thing, and I approached it the same way I always do. I brought the same energy and tried to be aggressive.”
Tina Charles registered 20 points as well, her 13th game this season reaching the 20-point benchmark. The forward also nabbed six rebounds. Coming off the bench, Amanda Zahui B finished with 17 points and 11 rebounds (a new career-high), notching her first career double-double. Six of her boards came on the offensive end.
The Liberty have now dropped seven in a row, continuing their longest skid of the season. Next up, they face the Los Angeles Sparks at the Westchester County Center on Wednesday. The matchup is set to begin at 7:00 p.m. (ET).
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