NEW YORK, N.Y. – SEPTEMBER, 3, 2015 – The New York Liberty had its three-game winning streak snapped by the Chicago Sky, 82-60, on Thursday night at Madison Square Garden.
New York falls to 21-9 overall, and its magic number to clinch home court advantage in the East remains at two with four games to play; the Liberty leads Chicago (19-12) by 2.5 games in the East and won the season-series with the Sky 3-1.
In winning the first three of the season series against the Sky, New York never trailed at any point by more than three points, but Chicago set the tone early on Thursday night, with a 10-0 in the first quarter to break the game open.
Following a Tina Charles 3-point play, the Sky used 3-pointers from Allie Quigley and Elena Delle Donne on consecutive possessions to help build a 19-11 lead.
Long-distance shooting played a critical role in Chicago’s win, as the Sky nailed nine shots from beyond the arc, the most for a Liberty foe since Tulsa hit 10 triples back on June 26. Conversely, New York shot 0-of-7 from three and was held without a 3-pointer for just the second time this year.
Another Delle Donne make from long distance early in the second quarter gave Chicago a double-digit lead for the first time, 24-12, and the Sky would lead by as many as 21 in the first half before taking a 46-27 lead into the locker room.
Once the third was underway Epiphanny Prince started to heat up. She had six points in the quarter, helping the Liberty cut the Chicago lead down to 15. The Liberty run continued early in the fourth, as New York pulled as close as 11.
The Liberty was within 67-54 after Candice Wiggins drove to the basket a little more than a minute into the final period, and following a Chicago timeout, Charles connected from 16 feet to make it 67-56.
Quigley answered with a long jumper of her own, and put Chicago back in command by completing a 3-point play at 3:26, making the lead 18 once again.
Charles led New York with 17 points and eight rebounds. Epiphanny Prince, who earlier in the day was named the Eastern Conference Player of the Month, scored 10 points, to make it 19-of-20 games this season in double figures.
Courtney Vandersloot paced Chicago with 21 points, while Delle Donne finished with 19, after missing the last two games due to injury.
New York returns to action on Sunday, Sept. 6, when it heads to Minneapolis to face the Western Conference leading Minnesota Lynx at 7 p.m. (ET). The game will be broadcast on the MSG Network.
New York Liberty Notes
- New York won the season series with Chicago 3-1, and currently leads the Sky by 2.5 games in the Eastern Conference.
- The Liberty was held without a 3-point field goal for the second time this season (the other was at Los Angeles on July 22).
- New York had not trailed by more than three points in any of the prior three meetings with Chicago this year.
- The all-time series against the Sky is now tied 20-20.
- New York had outrebounded Chicago 139-117 in three meetings this year heading into Thursday night, but the Sky won the battle of the boards 38-36.
- Epiphanny Prince has now scored in double figures in 19-of-20 games played this season.