VIDEO: New York Liberty Head Coach Walt Hopkins along with stars Layshia Clarendon and Kia Nurse share these thoughts after the team’s 86-79 loss to the Indiana Fever in WNBA Action on 8/13
This WNBA season has been a unique one for the New York Liberty (1-8) who continue to grow but are also still unable to find the results they are hoping for. The latest result was a tough 86-79 loss to the Indiana Fever (4-5) on Thursday).
In a traditional WNBA season the teams would have practices, days away from the basketball court and other things built in to give the ladies enough time to get ready for each game that is approaching next. The season isn’t easy as each team in the league plays so extremely tough and all of them have veteran players who are strong and have a solid foundation, the New York Liberty, meanwhile are trying to develop their rookie players during the game time instead of during the practice time.
It isn’t easy having to change a system into a new one overnight and that is the task that the New York Liberty have been tasked is how to change their system during what is a really quick WNBA Season.
Thus far on the bright side of things they are seeing the emergence of rookie Kylee Shook, who is one of many that has impressed and improved for the team. Shook was one such player that Head Coach Walt Hopkins took the time out to play during the game against the Fever.
The Liberty as a whole have been finding ways to stay competitive and stay in games, along with finding players who just keep finding a way to score even though it feels as if their touch isn’t completely there. One of the ladies that really found a way to score is Kia Nurse who had 21 points.
Here are some other interesting notes from the game:
The Liberty outscored the Fever 39-35 in the second half.
Three Liberty players scored in double figures, including 17 bench points.
New York protected the ball well tonight, committing a season-low 7 turnovers.
Indiana went on a 14-3 run to end the opening quarter, taking a 10-point lead. The match saw 8 lead changes in the first quarter alone, the most lead changes in any full Liberty game this season.
The Fever opened the second quarter on a 6-0 run to extend their lead to 16.
New York cut Indiana’s lead to 8, thanks to a 10-2 run midway through the second. The Liberty cut what was a 16-point deficit to 11 before entering the locker room for halftime.
Midway through the third, New York cut Indiana’s lead to only 6, the smallest deficit since the opening quarter on an 8-2 run. Indiana punched back with an 11-0 run to extend their lead to 13 with 2:53 remaining in the third.
Despite the Fever’s momentum, the Liberty continued to chip away at the Fever lead, going on a 11-6 run to enter the fourth quarter down 7 points.
New York began the fourth hot on a 5-0 run, holding Indiana scoreless until the 6:22 minute mark in final quarter.
With 6:39 remaining in the fourth, New York clawed all the way back to a two-point deficit (69-67), forcing an Indiana timeout. However, Indiana maintained their lead and forced the Liberty to begin fouling in the closing minutes.
Layshia Clarendon scored 13 first half points. They ended the game with 20 points on 47.1% shooting. Layshia has now scored in double figures in 8 of the team’s 9 games this season.
The 20-point performance for Layshia put her in the WNBA’s 1500-point club, making them the league’s 155th player to reach the milestone.
Kia Nurse recorded a game and season-high 21 points, going 11-12 (91.7%) from the free throw line. She also recorded a season-high 6 rebounds on the night.
Kiah Stokes added a season-high 9 points, including a career-best 3 three-pointers made and a team-high 8 boards.
Jazmine Jones totaled 11 points including 4 rebounds and 3 assists for New York.
The Fever offense was led by a combined 37 points from Tiffany Mitchell and Kelsey Mitchell. Kelsey knocked down a pivotal long-three in the final minute to solidify the victory for Indiana.
Indiana’s veteran forward Candice Dupree entered today’s game six rebounds shy from 3,000 for her career. She finished with an even 6, surpassing the milestone to become the W’s 8th all-time rebounder.
The schedule continues to be a tough one for New York as they will take on the Minnesota Lynx for the second time this season on Saturday, August 15 at 6:00 p.m. Fans wanting to catch the action can do so on the CBS Sports Network.
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