NEW YORK, N.Y. – SEPTEMBER 8, 2016 – With the 2016 playoff positioning set, the New York Liberty begins its final preparations for a postseason run beginning on Friday night when it hosts the Connecticut Sun at Madison Square Garden for Back to School Night presented by Kids Foot Locker.
Friday night’s game will also feature a special halftime presentation by popstar Laura Marano, who will perform her hits “Boombox” and “La-La” on the court for all of the fans in attendance.
While the Liberty is locked into the No. 3 seed for the WNBA Playoffs, the Sun are fighting to make the postseason, currently sitting on the outside looking in but needing just a couple of wins to jump back into the top eight.
For New York, building momentum is key, because as soon as the playoff run does begin the Liberty will be facing a winner take all game in the second round for the right to advance to the WNBA Semifinals to face either Minnesota or Los Angeles.
• The Liberty fell to the Seattle Storm 102-78 on Wednesday night, but still secured the No. 3 seed for the WNBA Playoffs due to Chicago’s loss at Washington. Now with four games remaining, the Liberty know it will be hosting a home game in the WNBA Playoffs Second Round, awaiting the lowest remaining seed from the first-round games.
• Tina Charles scored 22 points with 9 rebounds and 7 assists against the Storm, moving back into the top-10 in the league in assists. She currently ranks in the top-10 in scoring, rebounding, and assists, as she attempts to become just the second player in league history (Maya Moore-2015) to rank amongst the league leaders in all three categories.
• Sugar Rodgers nailed four 3-pointers against Seattle on Wednesday night to become the Liberty’s new single-season leader for made threes with 82. She passed Shameka Christon’s previous franchise record of 78 threes in 2011.
• The Liberty has won eight straight against Connecticut and is looking to complete a season series sweep for a second year in a row. Tina Charles matched her career-high of 32 points in the meeting on June 16 at Mohegan Sun Arena, and Swin Cash powered New York to a win back in July, scoring a season-high 16 points with six boards.
PLAYER TO WATCH
Brittany Boyd has been taking full advantage of the opportunity to enter the starting lineup as she continues to build on the momentum she gained heading into the final games before the Olympic Break. She dished out six more assists with three steals against the Storm on Wednesday, and now ranks 7th in the league with 1.5 steals per game and moved up to 20th with 3.1 assists per game.
Her scoring has also increased, as she is averaging 11.0 ppg over the previous six contests while shooting .429 from the field. As the number of assists has increased, Boyd is also taking care of the basketball, with a 2.0 assist-to-turnover ratio over that period.
Tina Charles now ranks in the top-10 in the WNBA in scoring (2nd), rebounding (1st), and assists (9th). If she continues her current pace, she would join Maya Moore (2015) as the only two players in WNBA history to finish in the top-10 in all three categories.
Rebecca Allen has been red hot from 3-point range this season. After hitting both of her long-range attempts against Seattle on Wednesday, she is now 15-of-23 from three, connecting on 65.2 percent of her attempts.