NEW YORK LIBERTY (10-10) at INDIANA FEVER (8-14)
Friday, July 28 • Indianapolis, Ind. (Bankers Life Fieldhouse) • 7:00 PM (ET)
The road trip continues for the New York Liberty as they will face the Indiana Fever on Friday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. Both teams will be looking to bounce back from a loss on Tuesday night, as the Liberty was edged at Minnesota 76-75, while Indiana lost at Dallas 84-82, as the Wings erased a 10-point deficit heading into the 4th quarter, with a 31-19 surge. Briann January led four Fever starters in double figures with 16 points.
• The New York Liberty opened a 5-game road trip at Minnesota on Tuesday night and suffered a 76-75 loss. After the Liberty came back from a 10-point deficit to tie the game in the 4th quarter, Lindsey Whalen hit was proved to be the game-winner with :48 to play. Tina Charles posted a 24 point, 16 rebound double-double, while Epiphanny Prince poured in 19 points shooting 8-of-15 from the field.
• Tina Charles has posted a double-double by the end of the 1st half in consecutive games. She had 20 points and 10 rebounds by halftime at Minnesota on Tuesday.
• New York is in the midst of a 5-game road trip, its longest since the 2012 season. Once the Liberty returns to Madison Square Garden on August 8, it will not have consecutive road games for the rest of the season.
• Guard Epiphanny Prince snapped out of a bit of a shooting slump she was experiencing prior to the All-Star Break with her 19 points against Minnesota on Tuesday. It was her 1st game scoring in double figures since July 6 at Seattle.
• New York is facing Indiana for the 1st time this season; the Fever are the only team in the league the Liberty has yet to face in 2017.
Candice Dupree represented the Fever on the Eastern Conference All-Star team, as she is leading the team averaging 13.8 ppg. She will be matched up with another All-Star in Tina Charles in the front court. Charles has posted consecutive games with a double-double and thrived against the Fever last season.
New York and Indiana met 4 times last year, splitting the season series, with each team picking up a win on the other’s home court. The Liberty won the 1st two meetings of the year, while the Fever bounced back to even the season series at 2-2. Tina Charles averaged a double-double against the Fever with 21.8 points and 12.0 rebounds per game, also dishing out 5.3 assist per contest against her Eastern Conference rival.
Tina Charles has been performing at an exceptionally high level over the previous 6 games as she has moved up to 2nd in the league in both scoring (20.7 ppg) and rebounding (10.2 rpg), averaging a double-double for the year. Over the last 7 games, she is averaging 22.9 ppg and 12.3 rpg, shooting, topping 20 points 6 times, with 4 double-doubles. Against Minnesota on July 25, she had a double-double in the 1st half and finished with 24 points and 16 rebounds. The only game over the last 6 that she failed to score 20 points came in an 85-55 win over Washington where she logged just 19 minutes.
PIPH BOUNCE BACK
Epiphanny Prince snapped out of an offensive shooting slump with 19 point on 8-of-15 shooting against the Minnesota Lynx on July 25. In the 4 games leading up to the All-Star Break, Prince was averaging just 7.0 ppg, and shooting .229 (8-of-35) from the field and 2-of-11 from 3-point range. Prince had as many field goals (8) against the Lynx, as she did in the previous four games combined.
For the New York Liberty, the magic number in terms of free throw attempts this season seems to be 15, as the Liberty is 9-5 when it has at last 15 FTA in a game, meaning just 1 victory came with fewer than 15 attempts at the line (vs. Washington on 7/16). New York ranks 5th in the league, averaging 20.8 FTA per game.
LOOKING FOR 2ND CHANCES
New York has won just once when it has failed to outscore an opponent in 2nd chance opportunities in 2017. The Liberty is 9-4 when winning the 2nd chance scoring battle, and 1-5 when allowing more 2nd chance opportunities. The winning percentage is even better when New York scores at least 15 points in 2nd chance opportunities, where the Liberty has a 6-2 record. New York ranks 2nd in the WNBA averaging 13.7 2nd chance points per game.
LIFE ON THE ROAD
The New York Liberty opened a 5-game road trip at Minnesota on Tuesday night, the Liberty’s longest road trip since the 2012 season. Earlier this year, New York had 4-straight road games, making this the 1st time since the 1998 season the Liberty had two road trips of this length in the same season. That year, the Liberty opened with 5-straight road games and had another 5-game road trip later in the season. While the Liberty are out of town, the band Phish will play 13-straight shows at Madison Square Garden for their Baker’s Dozen residency (July 21-August 6).