INDIANAPOLIS, IND. – AUGUST 31, 2016 – With a playoff berth secured, it’s all about seeding now for the New York Liberty, which continues a two-game road swing to re-start the season at Indiana on Thursday night at 7 p.m. on MSG+ and NBA TV.
The Liberty is headed to the WNBA Playoffs for a second-straight season, and needs two victories in order to clinch one of the top four seeds and the bye that comes along with it. A win over Indiana, which sits six games behind New York heading into Thursday night’s showdown, would also mean having a potential tie-breaker over the Fever.
This will also mark the last regular season meeting between Liberty forward Swin Cash and Indiana’s Tamika Catchings, with both legends of the game announcing their plans to retire at the conclusion of the 2016 season. Cash and Catchings are the only two players in WNBA history to have recorded 5,000 points, 2,000 rebounds, and 1,000 assists.
• The Liberty opened the post-Olympic break right where it left off, picking up an 84-77 win at San Antonio. Sugar Rodgers led five Liberty players in double figures with 18 points, while Tina Charles posted her 15th double-double of the season with 13 points and 10 rebounds.
• Epiphanny Prince made her 2016 season debut for the Liberty in the win at San Antonio, after she missed the first 26 games of the year while recovering from a knee injury suffered last November while she played for her European club team Dynamo Kursk in the Russian Premier League. Prince played seven minutes and finished with five points, an assist and a steal.
• The Liberty has qualified for the 2016 WNBA Playoffs in what will be its 14th postseason appearance in franchise history. New York is currently in 3rd place overall, 1st in the Eastern Conference, needing two wins in order to secure a bye into the second round of the playoffs.
• This will be the fourth meeting of the season between the Liberty and Fever, as Indiana is the only team New York will face four times this season. After picking up wins in the first two meetings, the Liberty dropped a home contest in its final game before the Olympic Break, 82-70, despite 25 points and 13 rebounds from Tina Charles.
PLAYER TO WATCH
Rebecca Allen entered the break riding high, having scored a career-best 19 points in the Liberty’s win at Washington on July 20. If her performance against San Antonio last week is any indication, she intends to keep that run going.
After scoring 10 points in the win over the Stars, Allen is now averaging 12.0 ppg over the last three contests, hitting 2.3 3-pointers per game while shooting .600 from 3-point range. While technically Allen is in her second WNBA campaign, she played just two games last year before missing the remainder of the season, and did not join the Liberty until late June this season as she was training with the Australian Opals national team.
Sugar Rodgers is now just 5 3-pointers shy of tying Shameka Christon’s Liberty single-season record of 78 triples. Rodgers’ current pace would result in 92 made threes, which would be the third-highest tally in WNBA history.
Tina Charles posted her 15th double-double of the season last Friday and now has 124 double-doubles in her career, second all-time to Lisa Leslie (157). Charles has finished with a double-double in 55.4 percent of her games in the WNBA.