NEW YORK, N.Y. – JUNE 19, 2015 – Multiple comeback efforts ultimately fell short as the Liberty lost to the Indiana Fever 80-63 on Friday night at Madison Square Garden.
Tanisha Wright led New York with 12 points, while Brittany Boyd added 11, five rebounds and three assists and Sugar Rodgers also chipped in 11, dished out three dimes and grabbed three rebounds.
For Indiana, Maggie Lucas finished with a career-high 23 points, 14 of those in the first quarter, and Marissa Coleman added 16 with seven assists and six rebounds. Tamika Catchings shot 0-for-10 from the field and was held without a point for just the second time in her WNBA career.
After spotting Indiana a 32-12 lead through one quarter, New York steadily tried to chip away at its deficit, pulling within 15 at the half, and 11 through three quarters, outscoring the Fever 43-34 during that stretch.
Momentum was on its side. The Liberty stormed out in the fourth quarter on an 8-4 runs, capped off by an acrobatic lay in for Rodgers, which cut the Fever lead to seven, forcing Indiana to call a timeout.
Yet after that, the Liberty went quiet for the final six minutes as Indiana closed the game on a 10-0 run, and New York could not get another shot to fall.
With Lucas leading the way with three 3-pointers, Indiana posted 32 points in the first quarter, the most for any New York opponent in a quarter this season. As a team, the Fever shot 5-of-8 from long-distance in the first stanza and hit 10 shots from 3-point range in the game.
Indiana simply wouldn’t let New York get on any sort of roll as the second quarter progressed. Seemingly every time the Liberty hit a big shot, the Fever were there with an answer.
With fewer than three minutes before the intermission, Brittany Boyd was true from 3-point range, only to see Briann January answer on the other end. On the ensuing New York possession, Swin Cash buried a triple, but Indiana was not fazed as Marissa Coleman responded with her own long-range bucket.
New York was hurt by 10 first half turnovers which directly led to 14 Indiana points. Points off turnovers continued to hamper the Liberty throughout the game. The Fever won the turnover battle 17-12 but outscored New York 24-7 in points off turnovers.
New York returns to action on Sunday afternoon, when it heads to Atlanta, Ga., to face the Atlanta Dream in Phillips Arena at 3 p.m. The game will air on Fox Sports South and will be simulcast in the New York market on MSG.
- Sugar Rodgers has scored in double figures in back-to-back games, finishing with 11 points off the bench on Friday night.
- New York outrebounded the Fever 37-29 and pulled down 11 offensive boards but were outscored in second-chance opportunities 10-9.
- Indiana led wire-to-wire, the first game in which New York failed to hold a lead this season.
- Tina Charles was held under 10 points for the second-straight game but led the Liberty with five assists.
- Tamika Catchings was held without a point for just the second time in her WNBA career; she shot 0-for-10 from the field
- Indiana saw 44 points come from the bench, including a game-high 23 from Maggie Lucas.
- The Liberty allowed a season high for a quarter with 32 points in the first.
- Tanisha Wright led New York in scoring for the first time this season with 12 points.
- New York gave up 10 three-point shots for the second-consecutive game this season.