NEW YORK, N.Y. – SEPT. 24, 2016 – The New York Liberty lost to the Phoenix Mercury 101-94 in the WNBA Playoffs 2nd Round on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden. The No. 8 seed Mercury won their 2nd-straight elimination game on the road while New York falls after going 21-13 in the regular season, reaching 20 victories in consecutive seasons.
New York fell behind by 15 points in the 2nd half, and managed to close to within 11 at the half thanks in part to a Tanisha Wright jumper just moments before the clock expired with 0.6 remaining in the period.
The Liberty was on fire to start the 3rd quarter, opening the 2nd half on a 13-2 run, tying the score at 58-58 on a Tina Charles 3-pointer.
The Mercury lead was up by just one heading into the 4th, and the score was tied once again, 74-74, with 7:23 to play as Epiphanny Prince drained a triple from the left corner. However, Phoenix used a 10-2 run to go back in front by three possessions and New York was never able to come all the way back.
The Liberty did pull within two as Sugar Rodgers and Wright connected from deep on consecutive possession, 84-82, but Phoenix seemed to have an answer at every turn and went back up by seven as Diana Taurasi drilled a three with 1:29 remaining.
Taurasi led all scorers with 30 points, going 4-of-8 from 3-point range and 8-of-8 at the line. For New York, Tanisha Wright matched her playoffs career high of 21 points, which also came against the Mercury back on Sept. 15, 2011.
Tina Charles who led the WNBA in double-doubles during the regular season, nearly notched another with 19 points, 9 rebounds, and 5 assists.
In all, six Liberty players were in double figures. Carolyn Swords scored a playoff career best 14 points, Prince finished with 12, Rodgers tallied 11, and Shavonte Zellous scored 10.
• New York was making its 14th WNBA Playoffs appearance and falls to 27-35 all-time in postseason action
• New York was tied after the 1st quarter for the first time all season. The Liberty fell to 4-12 when trailing at the half and 1-11 when behind at the start of the 4th quarter.
• Carolyn Swords set a new playoff career-best with 14 points while Tanisha Wright tied her career-playoff high of 21 points, shooting 10-of-14 from the field.
• The Liberty’s 94 points were two shy of the franchise’s all-time high in a playoff game of 96, while the 101 points allowed were the most. It was the highest scoring playoff game in New York history, surpassing the previous mark of 175 points in a 96-79 win over Washington in the Eastern Conference Finals on Aug. 24, 2002.
• New York had all 12 players on its roster active for the first time since July 21.