SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS – AUGUST 19, 2016 – The New York Liberty rode a hot start to an easy 73-45 win over the San Antonio Stars on Wednesday night at Freeman Coliseum. With the win, the first-place Liberty improved to 17-7, making them the fastest in franchise history to reach 17 wins, surpassing the 2001 squad’s previous all-time mark of 17-9.
The 45 points scored by the Stars matched the lowest single-game mark for a WNBA team this season. San Antonio was limited to just 27.0 percent shooting, the lowest for a Liberty foe this year, the fourth time in 2015 New York held a team under 30.0 percent from the field.
Tina Charles needed just 23 minutes of action to score a game-high 18 points on 9-of-12 shooting to go along with five boards. Epiphanny Prince joined her in double figures with 10 points, also dishing out a team-best six assists with three steals. Brittany Boyd made it back-to-back games in double figures, scoring 10 points to go along with four assists and four steals.
The Stars missed 12-consecutive shots from midway through the first quarter until 3:34 remained in the second, allowing New York, which never trailed in the game, to take a commanding and ultimately insurmountable 36-12 lead, at that point its largest over any opponent at any time this year.
Following a Jayne Appel free throw with 46 seconds remaining in the first quarter, the Stars went more than seven minutes without a point, netting just six points in the second quarter, the lowest single period point total for a Liberty foe in 2015.
The Liberty broke open an 8-7 game with a 14-4 run, highlighted by an Prince pull-up jumper in transition at 1:48 that made it 18-8. By the end of the first quarter of play, New York led 24-12, shooting an impressive 11-of-19 from the field while holding San Antonio to just 22.2 percent (4-of-18).
With the Stars suffering through a prolonged field goal drought, the Liberty steadily took control, opening the second quarter on a 12-0 run.
Essence Carson drove through the paint and found a way to get a 3-footer to drop off the back iron and in, then Tanisha Wright hit a pair at the line to make it a 20-point game for the first time, 32-12. Moments later, Brittany Boyd beat the defense down the floor for an uncontested lay in and suddenly it was 36-12.
San Antonio attempted to battle back once the second half was underway, pulling within 43-31 thanks to a Kayla McBride triple, only her shot was answered by Candice Wiggins pulling up from long-distance on the other end to make it a 15-point game once again. Wiggins scored eight points and made it three-straight games with two 3-pointers.
The Liberty lead went as high as 29 points in the fourth quarter. New York dominated the glass, outrebounding the Stars 43-33, and outscored San Antonio 32-18 in the paint.
The Liberty is back at Madison Square Garden on Friday, August 21, when it hosts the Atlanta Dream for Back to School Night presented by Foot Locker. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m., and the game will be carried on MSG Network.
New York Liberty Postgame Notes
- This is the fewest games any Liberty team in franchise history has needed to reach 17 wins. New York is 17-7; the previous best mark was 17-9 in 2001.
- San Antonio scored just 45 points, tied for the fewest in the WNBA this season (Seattle at Tulsa, 6/9).
- The 27.0 percent field goal percentage for the Stars was the lowest for a Liberty foe in 2015 and the fourth time this year New York has held an opponent under 30 percent shooting.
- New York improved to 8-2 against the Western Conference this season.
- The Liberty held San Antonio without a point for more than seven minutes from the end of the first quarter to the 3:34 mark of the second. The Stars’ six 2nd quarter points were the fewest for a New York foe in any game this season.
- New York led by as many as 29 points in the fourth quarter, its largest lead over any team this season.
- Tina Charles played just 23 minutes but still led all scorers with 18 points on 9-of-12 shooting.
- Brittan Boyd scored in double figures in back-to-back games for the second time in her career, finishing with 10 points, four assists and four steals.