NEW YORK LIBERTY (6-3) at CONNECTICUT SUN (3-5)
Wednesday, June 14 • Uncasville, Conn. (Mohegan Sun Arena) • 7:00 PM (ET)
Coming off a 5-game home stand, its longest of the season, and winners of four in a row, the Liberty will open a 2-game road trip at Connecticut on Wednesday night at 7 PM. New York held off the Seattle Storm 94-86 on Sunday afternoon to improve to 6-3 overall, while the Sun beat Atlanta 104-71 at home on Saturday night. This will be the 1st of 4 meetings this season between New York and Connecticut, and the 1st of 2 over a period of 9 days, as the Liberty hosts the Sun on Friday, June 23 at The Garden.
• New York won its 4th-straight game, outlasting the Seattle Storm, 94-86, on Sunday afternoon at The Garden. Tina Charles and Sugar Rodgers led the way with 21 points apiece, while Rodgers also at least tied for the team lead in assists, steals, and blocked shots, and Charles hauled in a team-high 14 rebounds. New York ended the game on a 14-3 run over the final 2:46, sparked by a Shovonte Zellous triple that knotted the score at 83-83.
• Tina Charles repeated as Eastern Conference Player of the Week on June 12, making it the 23rd time in her career she earned the accolade, breaking a tie with Tamika Catchings for the most Player of the Week honors for a career. In leading the Liberty to wins over Atlanta and Seattle, Charles averaged 19.5 ppg and 14.5 rpg.
• After closing out a 5-game home stand with a 4-1 mark, and wining 4 in a row, the Liberty will play 6-of-7 on the road starting with Wednesday night at Connecticut, and 11-of-15 on the road between now and August 4.
• Tina Charles scored a then career-high 32 points in a win at Connecticut last season. Over the past two seasons, Charles is averaging 26.0 ppg and shooting 34-of-55 (.618) from the field in 3 games at Mohegan Sun Arena.
• Shavonte Zellous has continued to thrive over the past four games, scoring in double figures in each outing, while averaging 19.0 ppg over that stretch. She had 16 points in the win over Seattle on Sunday.
Two of the league’s top rebounders will match up in the paint in Tina Charles and Jonquel Jones. Jones is leading the WNBA in rebounding, averaging 12.8 boards per game, and is coming off a 20 point, 14 rebound performance in the Sun’s win over Atlanta last week. Charles ranks 3rd in the league with 9.3 rpg, and has recorded double-digit rebounds in 3-of-4 outings. Charles has been successful at Connecticut, in New York’s only trip to Mohegan Sun last year, she scored a then career-high 32 points.
The Liberty went 3-0 against the Sun last season, which includes an 80-72 win at Mohegan Sun Arena on June 16. New York has won 9-straight in the series, and leads the all-time meetings 36-34. New York’s last loss to the Sun came on June 15, 2014, at Mohegan Sun Arena. The 9 consecutive wins against Connecticut are the most for the Liberty in its history against any current WNBA franchise.
CHARLES SETS PLAYER OF THE WEEK RECORD WITH 23RD WIN
Tina Charles repeated as the Eastern Conference Player of the Week on June 12, earning the accolade for the 23rd time in her career, which moved her past Tamika Catchings for the most Player of the Week honors in a career. In leading the Liberty to wins over Atlanta (76-61) and Seattle (94-86) during the previous week, Charles averaged 19.5 ppg and 14.5 rpg, leading the Eastern Conference on the glass and ranking 3rd in scoring over that period. For the season, Charles ranks 5th in the WNBA in scoring (20.4 ppg) and 3rd in rebounding (9.3 rpg).
FILLING UP THE STAT SHEET
Guard Sugar Rodgers continues to evolve as one of the strongest all-around guards in the league, exemplified by her performance in New York’s 94-86 win over the Seattle Storm on June 11, when she scored 21 points, and also led the Liberty with 5 assists and 4 steals, and tied for the team lead with Kiah Stokes. Just like the 2016 season, Rodgers regularly ranks amongst the league leaders in nearly every major statistical category as she is 21st in scoring (12.9), 12th in blocks (1.0), 14th in steals (1.3), 24th in assists (2.9) and 36th in rebounding (3.9).
Sugar Rodgers continues to truly excel shooting the three ball, where she added 2 more makes to her tally in the win over Seattle. Her 19 3-pointers in 2017 currently ranks 4th in the league, and she already ranks 8th in New York Liberty history with 170 makes as a member of the Libs; she set a single-season franchise record with 86 made 3-pointers in 2016, which ranked 2nd in the league.
Rookie point guard Lindsay Allen has proven to be up to the task of pacing the offense, and she is going it against some of the toughest matchups in the league as the Liberty have faced Diana Taurasi, Skylar Diggins-Smith, and Sue Bird since Allen was re-signed on May 31. She has posted a positive plus-minus in 3-of-4 games played and ranks 16th in the WNBA, and 4th on the Liberty, with a +10.9 net plus/minus rating, and a raw plus/minus of +19.
Rookie forward Nayo Raincock-Ekunwe continues to make more and more of an impact as she settles into her 1st WNBA season. The 25-year old Canadian National Team player who starred at Simon Fraser University and has been playing internationally since 20213, scored a career-high 10 points with a personal best 6 rebounds in the Liberty’s win over Seattle on June 11. She has posted a positive plus/minus in 6-straight games and ranks 4th on the Liberty with a net plus/minus of +12.3. Over the past three games she is averaging 7.3 points and 3.7 rebounds per game.