Sugar Rodgers hit a pair of clutch threes in the waning seconds, but the New York Liberty fell just short of forcing overtime against the Los Angeles Sparks, falling 82-81 at the Westchester County Center on Wednesday night.
Neither the Liberty (7-22) nor the Sparks (18-11) led by more than eight at any point in the contest. It was the seventh Liberty defeat this season by five points or less.
Despite the outcome, head coach Katie Smith spoke highly of the team’s effort in her post-game comments. “I thought we played really well. Some little things to close the game could have been done a little bit better but overall we locked into the game plan and played really hard.”
Tina Charles scored a game-high 27 points, adding six boards and a pair of blocks. It was the veteran’s 14th game this season scoring 20 or more.
Kiah Stokes, making her fourth start of the season and her first since June 2, grabbed 11 rebounds, with six coming on the offensive end. It was her second-highest total of the season, and the most since her last start.
Rebecca Allen set a new season-high with 13 points in the contest, 12 of which came in the first half. Amanda Zahui B and Rodgers finished in double figures as well, registering 13 and 11 points, respectively. Zahui B added nine boards, and Rodgers drained three from behind the arc on 50-percent shooting.
The contest featured Liberty players donning pink apparel and special uniforms in honor of breast health awareness. “It is special and personal to me,” explained Charles. “It’s great that the WNBA highlights such an amazing campaign.”
The Liberty will look to end an eight-game skid when they face the Atlanta Dream in their last home game of the season. The Sunday afternoon matchup is set to begin at 3:00 p.m. (ET) at the Westchester County Center.
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