NEW YORK, N.Y. – JUNE 14, 2016 – Tina Charles hit a go-ahead 17-footer with 40.3 remaining, two of her game-high 28 points, to lift the New York Liberty to a 91-88 victory over the Dallas Wings on Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden.
After leading by as many as 10 points in the second half, the Liberty (6-4) found themselves down by four with fewer than five minutes remaining in regulation. From there, the defense clamped down. Following a Jordan Hooper jumper at 8:03, which made it 78-74, New York held the Wings (3-7) without a field goal for more than five minutes.
A Charles fade away cut the Liberty deficit down to 80-79 at 4:03, and on the next defensive possession, Kiah Stokes swatted away a Karima Christmas layup, leading to a transition opportunity the other direction. Sugar Rodgers stepped up to nail the big three, capping a 6-0 New York run.
Dallas fought back, tying the game on a Christmas make from downtown, and after several stops by both teams, Charles provided what ultimately proved to be the deciding bucket with 40 ticks left on the clock.
While Charles led the Liberty down the stretch with her mid-range game, she showed off her distance shooting early on, nailing a career-high three 3-pointers. Entering the game, Charles had just four threes in her career and had never hit more than one in a game. In fact, she had just two makes from downtown heading into this season; she is 5-for-8 from three in 2016.
Rodgers scored in double figures for the ninth time, hitting three triples to finish with 18 points. Kiah Stokes had seven points, seven rebounds and four blocks, three of which came during the 4th quarter. Tanisha Wright had a team-high five assists for the Liberty.
Wright became just the 11th player in WNBA history to score 2,500 points, grab 1,000 rebounds and have 1,000 assists, securing the 1,000th rebound of her career early in the first quarter.
Leading by six at the half, the Liberty extended its lead to double digits early in the third quarter on a Carolyn Swords make with 6:20 left in the period. From there, Dallas ended the period on an 18-8 run to tie things up heading into what turned out to be a back-and-forth fourth quarter.
The Liberty begin a three-game road trip at Connecticut on Thursday night. Tipoff at Mohegan Sun Arena is 7 p.m.
• Securing her 1,000th career rebound in the 1st half, Tanisha Wright became the 11th player in WNBA history to have 2,500 points, 1,000 rebounds, and 1,100 assists.
• Tina Charles led all scorers with 28 points and hit a career-high 3 3-pointers. She never had more than one three pointer in a game and entered this season with just two made threes in her career.
• The Liberty scored a season-high 56 points in the 1st half
• New York has won back-to-back games against the Dallas franchise for the first time since 2012-13
• New York scored 90 points in back-to-back games for the first time since June 2011
• Kiah Stokes moved into sixth place in Liberty history with 89 blocked shots