NEW YORK LIBERTY (8-9) vs. WASHINGTON MYSTICS (11-8)
Sunday, July 16 • New York, N.Y. (Madison Square Garden) • 3:00 PM (ET)
The New York Liberty continues its 3-game home stand on Sunday afternoon when it hosts the Washington Mystics for a Sunday Family Funday game presented by Fidelis Care. This will be the 2nd meeting of the season between these two conference rivals, with Washington picking up the 1st game 67-54 on June 29. The Mystics are coming off a 72-58 win at Indiana on Friday night.
• The New York Liberty opened a 3-game home stand that leads into the WNBA All-Star break with a 78-68 setback to the Chicago Sky on Friday night at The Garden. Tina Charles was superb for the Liberty setting a Liberty single-game record of 19 rebounds to go along with a team-high 23 points for her 8th double-double of the season.
• It was a record breaking night for Tina Charles against Chicago on Friday as she set a new Liberty career-rebounding mark with 1,089 boards over her 3-plus seasons in New York surpassing Tari Phillips previous franchise record of 1,077. Charles did so while also setting a new Liberty single-game rebounding record, hauling in 19 boards.
• Shavonte Zellous posted her 1st double-double of the season, scoring 14 points with 11 rebounds against Chicago on Friday night. She also dished out 3 assists and led the Liberty with 3 steals, doing a little bit of everything on both sides of the floor.
• Tina Charles was voted as a All-Star starter in the front court for the Eastern Conference it was announced on Tuesday. For Charles it is the 5th All-Star selection of her career and the 3rd time she has been tabbed as a starter. She ranks 1st in the Eastern Conference in scoring and is 2nd in rebounding.
With the status of Elena Delle Donne up in the air after she left Washington’s game Friday at Indiana with an apparent ankle injury, Emma Meesseman will be called upon to star for the Mystics. Meesseman had yet to return from competing in the EuroBasket Women tournament when these two teams met last month, but for the year she is averaging 9.5 ppg and 5.0 rpg. With Meesseman starting at the 5, Kia Vaughn will be tasked with keeping her out of the paint, although she is also dangerous along the perimeter. Vaughn is averaging 8.8 ppg and 7.2 rpg over the past 5 games.
Despite holding the Mystics to just 67 points on 30.9 percent shooting, the Liberty were unable to come away with a win at the Verizon Center on June 29. Due to its own struggles on the offensive end, as New York shot 32.3 percent to scored 54 points, committing a season-high 21 turnovers. Shavonte Zellous (17) and Epiphanny Prince (12) scored in double figures for the Liberty, while Elena Delle Donne and Ivory Latta both finished with 15 points to pace the Mystics.
CHARLES MAKES LIBERTY HISTORY
An historic night for Tina Charles included a franchise all-time great performance as she set the New York Liberty career and single-game rebounding records in the same game. Against Chicago on July 14, Charles hauled in 19 boards, surpassing Elena Baranova’s single-game record of 18 rebounds set back on August 20, 2005. Her massive rebounding night also vaulted her past Tari Phillips for the all-time Liberty record for a career. I just 3-plus seasons in New York, Charles now has 1,089 boards, while Phillips now sits in second at 1,077. Charles already ranks 8th in WNBA history with 2,499 rebounds in her career, and her career average of 10.1 rpg is the best rate in league history.
CRASHING THE BOARDS
Under Bill Laimbeer, the New York Liberty has been known as an elite rebounding team, and the 2017 squad is no different. Led by Tina Charles, the Liberty ranks 1st in the WNBA averaging 38.6 rebounds per game, and New York is also 1st with 28.5 defensive rebounds per game and 3rd with 10.1 offensive rebounds per game. New York is 1st in defensive rebound percentage (.782) and 2nd in overall rebounding percentage (.532) just three percentage points behind league leader Minnesota (.535).
ZELLOUS DOUBLES UP
Guard Shavonte Zellous posted a double-double for the 1st time in her 9-year career against the Chicago Sky on July 14. Hauling in a career-high 11 rebounds, Zellous also scored 14 points to set the personal mark. It was the 1st time in her career she posted double-digit rebounds, surpassing her previous career-high of 9, set against Atlanta just two weeks earlier. It was her 10th double-digit scoring effort of the year.
LIBERTY LEADING IN FG% DEFENSE
New York has ranked 1st in the WNBA in field goal percentage defense for each of the last two seasons and is on pace to set the league mark for a 3rd-straight year, ranking 1st overall yet again, limiting opponents to just .410 percent shooting. The Liberty has held an opponent under 40.0 percent from the field 7 times this season, most recently the Seattle Storm (.375) on July 6. New York is 5-2 in those games.
LOOKING FOR SOMETHING IN RESERVE
Against Chicago on Friday night, the Liberty bench combined to score 9 points, marking the 3rd-straight game New York’s second unit failed to score in double figures. The Liberty is averaging just 14.8 ppg from its bench, which ranks 12th in the WNBA.