San Antonio, Texas – August 18, 2015 – The Liberty will take a trip down to Texas for its second meeting of the season against the San Antonio Stars on Wednesday night at 8 p.m. (ET). The game will be broadcast live in the New York market on the MSG Network.
NEW YORK GAME NOTES: CLICK HERE
ALL-TIME: New York leads, 20-17
2015 SEASON: NYL, 1-0
LAST MEETING: NYL 84, SAS 68 (July 15, 2015)
New York is coming off a loss to another Western Conference team, the Tulsa Shock, a game in which they trailed by as many as 20 points, but climbed all the way back and cut the final deficit to five. Brittany Boyd had a career-high 22 points with 13 in the fourth quarter to lead the Liberty comeback effort. Candice Wiggins had all of her eight points in that final quarter as New York outscored Tulsa 25-14, but could not complete a valiant comeback attempt.
The last time these two teams met, the Liberty won in convincing fashion over the Stars, 84-68, on July 15 in front of more than 18,000 fans at Madison Square Garden, the most to take in a Liberty game at The Garden since the 2002 season. Every player had at least one field goal for New York, and four players scored in double figures, led by 16 from Essence Carson off the bench and 14 from Tina Charles. It was also Epiphanny Prince’s season debut at The Mecca.
Before the game against Tulsa on Saturday, Prince had averaged 25.0 points in the past three games, scoring 30, 23, and 22 in succession. She had nine on the back end of the Friday-Saturday back-to-back. Prince should be well rested and ready to get back to what she has been doing as of late, scoring with ease, getting her hands in passing lanes for steals, and finding her counter part, Tina Charles for buckets. This week, Prince averaged 18.0 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.3 steals. Those numbers were good enough to earn her Eastern Conference Player of the Week honors for the third time in her career and the first as a member of the New York Liberty.
The Liberty have faired well against Western Conference opponents this season at 7-2, its only losses coming against Tulsa. The squad is also 8-4 on the road. New York will look to extend their cushion as first place in the Eastern Conference, sitting two games away from Washington, Indiana, and Chicago.
The Stars sit just 2.5 games shy of a playoff spot in the Western Conference, ranking fifth at 7-18. All seven of the Stars’ victories have come at home, where they are 7-5 overall, compared to 0-13 on the road, which makes New York’s task on Wednesday night much more difficult than it was last month.
San Antonio also boasts several All-Star caliber players competing at a high level. Kayla McBride is averaging 15.2 ppg, and Danielle Robinson has been effective dictating the offensive from the point, averaging 5.4 assists per game while scoring in double figures at 10.1 ppg.
EPIPHANNY PRINCE NAMED PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Guard Epiphanny Prince was named the Eastern Conference Player of the Week for the third time in her career and the first as a member of the New York Liberty it was announced Aug. 17. She helped lead the Liberty to a 2-1 record the previous week, averaging 18.0 ppg, 4.3 apg and 3.3 spg while shooting 48.8 percent (20-of-41) from the field. After scoring 22 points with three steals in a win over Chicago on Aug. 11, she came back to post an incredible stat line of 23 points, seven rebounds, six assists and six steals in a victory at Connecticut. A two-time All-Star, Prince scored in double figures in her first 12 games of the season, which included a season-high 30 points at Chicago on Aug. 7.
BOYD’S BIG BOOST OFF THE BENCH
Rookie guard Brittany Boyd provided a huge second-half lift for the Liberty against the Tulsa Shock on August 15, at Madison Square Garden, nearly leading the team back from a 20-point deficit. Boyd finished with a career-high 22 points, the first 20-plus point game of her career, scoring 16 points in the second half and 13 in the fourth quarter alone. Her layup with 1:09 remaining made New York’s deficit a manageable five points, but it was unable to complete the comeback. This was the second time Boyd powered a fourth-quarter charge; she scored 11 fourth-quarter points in a comeback 75-73 win at Phoenix on July 18.
LAST TIME OUT – TULSA 81, NEW YORK 76
- New York fell to 7-2 against the Western Conference this season, both losses have come to the Tulsa Shock.
- Brittany Boyd recorded her first-career 20 point game, it was the second time this season she led the Liberty in scoring.
- Epiphanny Prince failed to score in double figures for the first time this season, she entered the game averaging 25.0 ppg over the previous three games.
- New York is now 2-2 this year in the second game of a back-to-back.
- It was the first time this season New York lost when it won the turnover battle, it is now 9-1 when creating more turnovers.
- Tulsa outscored New York 30-20 in the paint, it was the first time all season the Liberty was outscored on the inside, and the 20 points in the paint were the fewest this year.
WIGGINS HEATING UP
Sharpshooting 3-point specialist Candice Wiggins has been finding her groove from beyond the arc as of late. With 284-career 3-pointers, Wiggins ranks second for New York in triples, with 14, and she has hit at least one three in four of the last five games. She shot 2-for-3 from 3-point range in New York’s last two games and is averaging1.4 3-pointers and 5.8 ppg over the previous five contests.
The Liberty continue to lead the WNBA in opponent field goal percentage at .386 and points allowed per game at 71.1, but New York’s defensive has not been as efficient over the last two games. Connecticut shot 50.9 percent from the field on August 14, the first time to top 50.0 percent against the Liberty this season, although New York was still able to pull out a win thanks to 26 points off 17 turnovers. The next night, Tulsa came out firing, shooting 62.5 percent in the first quarter, en route to an 81-point performance and a team field goal percentage of .473.