ROSEMONT, ILL. – SEPT. 16, 2016 – The short-handed New York Liberty fell to the Chicago Sky 92-68 in its regular season finale on Friday night at Allstate Arena.
The Liberty (21-13) has been locked into the No. 3 seed for the WNBA Playoffs for more than a week and will now enter postseason play preparing to host a single-elimination 2nd round game at Madison Square Garden on Saturday, Sept. 24, at 7 p.m.
With this year’s new WNBA Playoffs format, the Liberty receives a bye into the 2nd round and will host the lowest remaining seed from 1st round matchups for the right to advance to the best-of-5 semifinals.
New York dressed just eight players on Friday, and played only seven. WNBA Most Valuable Player candidate Tina Charles, the league’s leading scorer and rebounder, did not make the trip in order to rest. The Liberty was also without Epiphanny Prince (tendinitis), Kiah Stokes (hip), and Shoni Schimmel (concussion). Sugar Rodgers, the Liberty’s second-leading scorer and the WNBA’s leading 3-point threat, dressed but did not play.
Center Carolyn Swords and forward Swin Cash led the way for the Liberty, finishing with 15 points apiece. For Swords, the 15 points was a season high, and she also hauled in a team-best eight rebounds. Cash was one-point shy of her season-best output, and she also had five rebounds and four assists.
Rebecca Allen was the third Liberty player in double-figures, finishing with 13 points and eight rebounds, while nailing the team’s only 3-pointer. Brittany Boyd stretched her streak of consecutive games with at least six assists to seven, finishing with six dimes, and she also scored eight points.
After a back-and-forth opening period that left the Liberty trailing by just one point, Chicago broke the game open thanks to a 19-4 run in the 2nd.
Swords scored eight of her 15 points in the 1st quarter, while Cash chipped in six. It was after a pair of free throws from Cash that gave the Liberty a 27-25 lead in the opening moments of the second quarter that Chicago was able to open up its big lead.
Taking advantage of some open court looks, the Sky scored 11 points off nine New York turnovers in the first half. Chicago came back to take a 44-31 lead, a spurt that was capped by a Courtney Vandersloot jumper and also featured 3-pointers from Jamierra Faulkner and Allie Quigley.
The Liberty hung around its halftime deficit to start the 3rd quarter, and trailed just 56-43 after a Boyd steal and layup on the break, but Chicago closed the period on a 15-7 run to take a 71-50 lead heading into the fourth.
• The Liberty was without Tina Charles (rest), Epiphanny Prince (tendinitis), Kiah Stokes (hip) and Shoni Schimmel (concussion)
• New York played just seven players, with Sugar Rodgers dressing but playing because of a sore heel
• The Liberty announced Friday that Epiphanny Prince has been signed to a multi-year contract extension
• New York fell to 4-12 when trailing after the 1st quarter
• Carolyn Swords scored a season-high 15 points to go along with eight rebounds
• Brittany Boyd notched her 7th-straight game with at least 6 assists
• Rebecca Allen scored 13 points and had a career-high eight rebounds