New York, N.Y. – September 5, 2017 – New York Liberty guard Epiphanny Prince was named the Associated Press WNBA Comeback Player of the Year and guard Sugar Rodgers was tabbed as the AP Sixth Woman of the Year, it was announced Tuesday by the AP. Additionally, Liberty forward Tina Charles was named AP 1st Team All-WNBA.
Both Prince and Rodgers were instrumental in helping the Liberty secure the No. 3 seed in the WNBA Playoffs, and end the regular season on a franchise record tying 10-game winning streak. The Liberty finished 22-12 overall, matching the 2nd best regular season record in franchise history, while posting a 3rd consecutive 20-win season for the 1st time in franchise history.
Prince missed all by 6 games in 2016 while recovering from a torn ACL suffered in Nov. 2015. She returned healthy for 2017 and became a major contributor for the Liberty, particularly in the 2nd half of the season after she returned from a 6-game absence to compete in the EuroBasket Women Tournament.
Prince finished the year ranking 2nd on the team, averaging 12.0 ppg, to go along with 3.6 rebounds, 2.9 assists, and 1.3 steals per game. She recorded four 20-point games, including two in the final two weeks of the regular season, netting 20 points in a win over Washington on Aug. 25, and another 20 as the Liberty won at Dallas 82-81 in the regular season finale on Sunday. Over the final 6 games of the year, Prince averaged 15.5 ppg and shot 47.7 from the field and 47.6 percent from 3-point range where she was 10-of-21.
Rodgers became a critical member of a Liberty 2nd unit that developed into one of the best in the league over the 2nd half of the season. For the year, Rodgers ranked 5th on the team averaging 10.5 ppg, and again was one of the best 3-point shooters in the WNBA, knocking down 63 triples, which ranked 6th in the WNBA.
She was also one of the Liberty’s best on ball defenders, as the Liberty finished the season leading the league in defensive field goal percentage (.408) for a 3rd straight year. Over the 10-game winning streak, the Liberty limited opponents to just 68.1 ppg, 38.4 percent shooting from the field, and 27.6 percent from beyond the arc.
Charles, who finished the season ranked 3rd in the WNBA in scoring (19.7 ppg) and 4th in rebounding (9.4 rpg) once again turned in one of the most impressive individual seasons in the league. She posted 19 20-point games and posted 12 double doubles, earning WNBA Eastern Conference Player of the Week honors 6 times, and she was named the WNBA Eastern Conference Player of the Month in July.
The AP Awards are voted on by a national panel of 15 media members.
New York will open the 2017 WNBA Playoffs with a 2nd Round single elimination game against an opponent to-be-determined at Madison Square Garden on Sunday, Sept. 10, at 5 PM. The opponent will be determined following the conclusion of 1st Round games on Wednesday, Sept. 6. Tickets are on sale now, and available at ticketmaster.com/nyliberty, nyliberty.com, or by calling 212-465-6073.