NEW YORK, N.Y. – MAY 21, 2016 – Despite another double-double from Tina Charles the New York Liberty let a late fourth quarter lead slip away and then fell 79-72 in overtime against the Los Angeles Sparks on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden.
A tight contest all evening, the Liberty took a 60-53 lead with 5:36 remaining when Charles capped off a 7-0 run with a 3-pointer from the wing, her first triple of the season.
Two possessions later, Sugar Rodgers nailed a 3-pointer to push the lead to eight, then connected on a reverse layup after an offensive rebound with just 1:20 to play, making the New York advantage 65-57.
Los Angeles went on an 8-0 run over the next 59 seconds, as Kristi Toliver nailed a long triple to tie the score at 65-65 with 21.5 on the clock. After a timeout, the Liberty held for the last shot, but Charles’ 16-footer was just off the mark, drawing back iron.
After trading baskets to start overtime, Nneka Ogwumike powered a 9-0 Sparks’ run that put the game out of reach. Ogwumike finished with 25 points and 15 rebounds, while Candace Parker scored 14 points with 12 boards for Los Angeles.
New York has now held all three of its opponents under 36 percent shooting, limiting LA to just 31-of-88 (.352) from the field on Saturday. Los Angeles came into the game shooting 55.3 percent from the field as a team, topping 90 points in each of its first two games of the season.
Sugar Rodgers netted 13 points, hitting a pair of 3-pointers in the second half, and Tanisha Wright turned in her first double-digit scoring effort of the season with 10 points.
The Liberty is back in action on Tuesday, May 24, when it hosts the Atlanta Dream for School Day presented by Indio Rein. Tipoff at Madison Square Garden is at 11 a.m.
• Tina Charles posted career double-double No. 112 and has a double-double in all three games this season, averaging 21.7 ppg and 12.7 rpg. Charles has led the Liberty in scoring and rebounding in all three games this season.
• Sugar Rodgers has scored in double figures in all three games, netting 13 on Saturday night, with her scoring average now at 18.7 ppg.
• The Liberty has held all three of its opponents under 36 percent shooting, limiting the Sparks to 35.2 percent as a team.
• New York’s bench outscored the Sparks’ second unit 22-17 and the Liberty has not held the edge in the paint in all three games, with a 36-30 advantage in the loss.