ARLINGTON, TEXAS – SEPT. 10, 2016 – The New York Liberty will look to continue to build momentum heading into the 2016 WNBA Playoffs when it faces the Dallas Wings on Sunday afternoon at College Park Center.
New York has won both meetings against Dallas so far this season, although the two teams have not met since mid-June. The Wings find themselves in a very different position, trying to keep its playoff hopes alive, which they did on Friday night with a 92-84 win over the San Antonio Stars.
The key for Dallas is its balance, with five players averaging double figures, led by Odyssey Sims (14.9 ppg) and Skylar Diggins (13.0 ppg). The Wings average nearly 84 ppg, but give up 88.0 per contest, last in the league.
As has been the case against most opponents this year, Tina Charles and Sugar Rodgers have found a lot of success in the two meetings against the Wings. Charles is averaging 26.0 points and 7.0 rebounds per game, while Rodgers is averaging 21.0 ppg, shooting .692 from 3-point range (9-of-13).
• The Liberty beat Connecticut on Friday night at Madison Square Garden, using an 11-1 run late in the 4th quarter to pull away for an 89-82 victory, sweeping the season series with the Sun for the 2nd-straight season. Tina Charles led the way for New York with 23 points and 10 rebounds, her league-leading 18th double-double of the season.
• Tina Charles has now scored 20+ points in four-straight games, her second-longest such streak this season. Earlier this year, she went nine-straight with at least 20 points, the fourth longest stretch in league history.
• Brittany Boyd has continued to excel in the starting lineup, dishing out a career-high eight assists in the win over Connecticut on Friday night. Over the past six games she is averaging 5.7 apg, with five games of at least six assists.
• Sugar Rodgers nailed two more 3-pointers on Friday to move into the league lead with 84 this season. She is on pace to hit92 3-pointers in 2016.
• This will be the first-ever trip to Dallas for the Liberty, who hosted the Wings at The Garden for the first two matchups of the year. New York has not won three in a row in the series since 2010-11.
PLAYER TO WATCH
Brittany Boyd simply has been electrifying over the past several weeks, as she consistently finds open teammates, creates havoc on both end of the floor with her speed and intensity, and has successfully been running the team from the point.
Coming off a career-best eight assists against Connecticut on Friday, Boyd figures to have her hands full with Sims and Diggins in the opposing backcourt. But Boyd has also found some success against the Dallas franchise, as her career-high of 22 points came against Tulsa last August at The Garden.
Because of its rebounding advantage on both ends of the floor the Liberty has also benefited from more second chance scoring opportunities on average than its opponents. But over the past two games, New York has been outscored by 10 points in second chance scoring in each game, the highest opponent margin of the year. The Liberty is 13-3 when scoring more second chance points and just 5-7 when it does not, that latest victory coming after the Sun outscored New York 19-9 off offensive rebounds.
Guard Epiphanny Prince turned in her best performance since coming back from offseason knee surgery in the Liberty’s 89-82 win over the Sun on Sept. 9, as she scored in double figures for the first time, finishing with 13 points while hitting her first three 3-point attempts and getting to the line four times. Prince also played a season-high 20 minutes.