Liberty to Battle the Storm in Seattle

NEW YORK LIBERTY (7-25) vs. SEATTLE STORM (24-8)

Friday, August 16 • Seattle, WA (KeyArena)

10:00 PM (ET) TV: League Pass, MSG+

The shorthanded New York Liberty never held a lead against the Las Vegas Aces on Wednesday night, falling 85-72. Next, they head to Seattle to face the WNBA-leading Storm.

QUICK HITS

Tina Charles’ 20.1 points per game rank seventh the league (as of 8/16).

Charles’ 7.2 rebounds per game are tied for ninth in the league (as of 8/16).

Charles ranks top-20 in the league in blocks per game (as of 8/16).

Kia Nurse’s ranks top-10 among rookies with 8.7 points per game (as of 8/16).

Nurse is shooting 86.8 percent from the free throw line, good for sixth in the league (as of 8/16).

Brittany Boyd’s 5.3 assists per contest rank fourth in the WNBA (as of 8/16).

Boyd is tied for tenth in the league in steals per game with 1.3 (as of 8/16).

Bria Hartley ranks top-15 in the league with 3.7 assists per game (as of 8/16).

Storm center Mercedes Russell was drafted by the Liberty in the second round of 2018 WNBA draft, and appeared in two games for New York this season

KEY MATCHUP

Making the first start of her career, Kia Nurse had a standout performance the last time these two teams met, notching 20 points on 66.7 percent shooting from field. Depending on the health of the Liberty lineup, the rookie may matchup against MVP candidate and fellow UConn Husky Breanna Stewart this time around.

LAST MEETING

On August 6, 2018, Breanna Stewart scored a game-high 32 points as the Storm handled the Liberty at Madison Square Garden, 96-80.

It was a back-and-forth affair that featured 22 lead changes, but Seattle closed the game on a 24-6 run.

Tina Charles and Kia Nurse co-led the Liberty with 20 points apiece, while Amanda Zahui B registered a double-double off the bench with 17 points and 11 rebounds.

STOKES DOING WORK

Kiah Stokes has had her fair share of health issues this season, but when the center has taken the court, she has proven to be a real difference maker. Over the last four, she has averaged nearly 20 minutes a contest while grabbing double-digit boards on three occasions. The franchise’s leading rim protector has also averaged a rejection per game over that span.

IRON WOMAN

Due to back spasms, Wednesday night’s matchup against the Aces was a rare night off for Tina Charles. The veteran has played in 295 of 304 possible regular season games throughout her career, and she has been on the court an average of 32.5 minutes in those contests.

SUGAR’S FIRST

Sugar Rodgers has always been a solid rebounder from the guard position; she has notched two straight seasons with over 100 boards, and she is eight away from securing her third. However, Wednesday’s performance against the Aces was her first career double-double, as she finished with 11 points and a career-high 10 rebounds.