As the Liberty has rattled off 8-consecutive wins, its 2nd longest in-season winning streak in franchise history, and clinched a top-4 finish in the league standings for the 2nd year in a row, there are a number of factors to that success looking up and down the lineup – individual performances, coupled with renewed defensive intensity.
For All-WNBA guard Epiphanny Prince, the month of August has provided her with a chance to once again operate offensively the way she has throughout her career. Particularly the last 6 contests, starting with the convincing win over the defending champion Los Angeles Sparks at The Garden on Aug. 13, Prince has seen her dynamic offensive game emerge.
Over that span, Prince has averaged 13.7 ppg, shooting .467 from the field and .500 (11-of-22) from 3-point range. In the win over the Sparks, she scored 18 points on 7-of-13 shooting and nailed 3 3-pointers, turning in one of her most complete games of the season with 7 rebounds and 5 assists.
Prior to the win over the Sparks, Prince has scored in double figures just twice over the previous 11 games. After getting off to such a strong start to the season, which included a season-high 24 points and late game-winner in a victory at Phoenix, she along with Kia Vaughn left for six games to compete in the EuroBasket Women Tournament.
Once she returned, her scoring picked up right where she left off, but the Liberty was not finding wins as consistently. Now that she is back at the 2-guard position in the lineup, playing the point less frequently and usually when she shares the floor with Sugar Rodgers, Prince and the Liberty are rolling.
In the critical win over the Washington Mystics last Friday night, she reached 20 points for the 3rd time this season, and 1st since May 30. She was 6-of-11 from the field, nailing a pair of 3-poingers and was an astounding +20 when she was on the court.
It was just the 3rd time this season she and Charles both scored 20-plus points in the same game, providing a glimpse of how the offense looks when everything clicks.
As the Liberty gears up for another WNBA Playoff run, assured of a 1st Round bye after a 3rd-straight 20-win season, the ability to have both Prince and Charles doing damage in the starting lineup is sure to be a big factor in finding success.