Time to celebrate, New Yorkers! The New York Liberty have just grabbed another win, unlike their NBA counterpart, the New York Knicks who have been criticized due to their incompetence to join the playoffs.
New York Liberty (9-5) defeated the Connecticut Sun 64-57 on Thursday night at Madison Square Garden to move into a tie for first place in the Eastern Conference standings.
All-Star starter Tina Charles poured in 22 points with 12 rebounds for her sixth double-double of the season and the 103rd of her career, but it was the rookie Kiah Stokes who really stole the show for breaking the franchise’s record for most blocked shots in a game with her eight blocks, eight rebounds and seven points.
Stokes said she was glad to be making an impact on the team, but she seemed focus on the bigger picture.
“We had to make sure we came out ready to play because they’re fighting for the same position as we are,” she said. “We want to make it to the top of the Eastern Conference and so do they. We knew they were going to come out fighting, so we made sure we were focused and ready to go.”
The Sun (7-6), the WNBA’s second-best three-point shooting team, was rolling from behind The Arc early, but it was the Liberty’s (9-5) paint play that dominated.
Epiphanny Prince added 10 points for New York (9-5). Prince made a jumper to give New York a 62-54 lead—it’s largest of the game—with 5:28 left to play, and Connecticut scored just three points the remainder of the game.
Truly, the Liberty are a terrific defensive team, ranking second-best in the entire league behind the Minnesota Lynx and tops in the East with 72.6 points allowed per game. When it comes to offense, the team has a potent trio in Tina Charles, Epiphanny Prince and Sugar Rodgers.
Charles is leading the way with 16.0 points and 8.7 rebounds per game, while Prince is totaling 13.0 points (in three games). Rodgers checks in third on the club with 10.2 points per game.
The loss extended the Sun’s loss streak to five straight. Alex Bentley led Connecticut (7-6) with 15 points. Kelsey Bone and Shekinna Stricklen added 11 apiece.
Well, we can really see that the New York Liberty is a solid team that can dominate the hard court with its collection of talents. And their recent win over the Sun is just one reason to celebrate at Madison Square Garden. Congratulations, Liberty!