NEW YORK – AUGUST 1, 2015 – The New York Liberty returns to Madison Square Garden to host the Seattle Storm on Sunday, August 2, at 3 p.m. The game will be broadcast locally on MSG Network, and has been picked up nationally on NBATV.
During halftime of Sunday’s game, the Liberty will induct Becky Hammon into its Ring of Honor. Hammon, who will become the sixth member of the illustrious club, starred for eight years in New York, leading the Liberty to three WNBA Finals appearances.
This will mark the second meeting between the Liberty and Storm in as many weeks and is the first time New York returns to its home floor since July 16, with the squad having posted a 3-1 record on its month-ending road trip.
New York had pushed its winning streak to five in a row and won three-straight road games, both the best marks since 2010, before suffering an 84-72 setback at Indiana on Wednesday night.
Despite that loss, New York maintains a half-game lead over the Washington Mystics for first place in the Eastern Conference, in what figures to be a tight race for playoff positioning until the last day of the season.
The Liberty will look to duplicate their dominant performance on the interior from its 81-77 victory at Seattle back on July 21. In that win, New York scored a season-high 52 points in the paint and saw All-Star Tina Charles erupt for a season-high 30 points on 14-of-24 shooting.
Despite that significant advantage, New York uncharacteristically had trouble slowing down Seattle’s offense, an oddity for two reasons, the Storm rank 12th in the league in scoring at 69.7 ppg, and the Liberty leads the league in opponent field goal percentage at 37.9 percent. Seattle made 30 baskets and shot 48.4 percent from the field at Key Arena, both 2015 season-highs for a New York foe.
However, the Liberty have been impressive on its home court, especially on the defensive end, allowing just 69.8 ppg while holding opponents to .363 shooting.
While Charles has led New York offensively in five-straight games, Epiphanny Prince continues to steadily put in 13-17 points every night. She has scored in double figures in all eight games she has played, and is coming off one of her most complete performances to date, netting 17 points on 7-of-13 shooting with four assists and three steals.
Although New York had the edge in paint scoring last time it met Seattle, the key matchups remain rookie Ramu Tokashiki and Crystal Langhorne, who over the past five games lead the Storm averaging 11.4 ppg and 11.0 ppg respectively.