NEW YORK, N.Y. – MAY 24, 2016 – Despite a monster game from forward Tina Charles the New York Liberty was edged in overtime for the second game in a row, falling to the Atlanta Dream, 85-79, on Tuesday afternoon at Madison Square Garden for School Day presented by Indigo Rein.
The Liberty led by as many as 12 points and did not trail until Atlanta took its first lead on an Elizabeth Williams fast break layup with 5:42 remaining. Carolyn Swords answered on the other end to put New York back in front; she finished with seven points and a career-high 11 rebounds.
Atlanta led by as many as four down the stretch and carried a two-point lead into the final 30 seconds of the game, only to see Sugar Rodgers score on an acrobatic layup with just 20.4 on the clock to tie the game an ultimately force overtime.
The Liberty was able to get a couple of big stops early in the extra period, but found itself unable to finish on the offensive end as good looks from Charles, Rodgers, Swords, and Tanisha Wright drew back iron.
The Dream eventually broke through on the offensive end with Angel McCoughtry draining a six-footer, sparking a 6-0 run that gave Atlanta the lead for good.
Charles netted a season-high 29 points, recording her fourth-consecutive double-double to start the season with 10 boards. She also tallied a career-best seven steals and six assists.
Rodgers also scored in double figures for the Liberty, finishing with 10 points. New York shot just 1-of-10 from the line, with the lone 3-pointer coming from Charles, the fourth of her career, and second in as many games.
Atlanta found much of its success getting to the free throw line. The Dream shot 30.3 percent from the field, all four Liberty foes have failed to reach 36.0 percent shooting this season, but Atlanta attempted 42 free throws, converting on 34 (81.0 percent) while New York shot just 14-of-20 (.700) from the line.
The Liberty returns to action on Tuesday, May 31, when it hosts the defending WNBA Champion Minnesota Lynx at Madison Square Garden. Tipoff will be at 8 p.m., for a game that will be televised on ESPN2.
New York was outrebounded for the first time this season, as Atlanta held a 54-43 advantage on the glass. The Liberty had been averaging 5.0 more rebounds per game that its opponents.
Swin Cash made her season debut for the Liberty after signing a rest of season contract on Tuesday morning. She made her first appearance in the second quarter, finishing with six points in 14 minutes.
The Liberty was dominant in the paint once again, scoring 54 of its 79 points on the interior while limiting Atlanta to just 28 points in the paint, although the Dream did get to the free throw line 42 times.
New York played in consecutive overtime games for the first time since July 2010.