NEW YORK, N.Y. – JULY 9, 2016 – The New York Liberty opens at two-game home stand at Madison Square Garden when it hosts the San Antonio Stars for #ShowUp For Daughters Day presented by Fidelis Care on Sunday, July 10, at 3 p.m.
The Liberty has won 8-of-10, coming off an 88-85 win over the Chicago Sky on Friday night in the Windy City and remains first in the Eastern Conference and third overall with a 14-6 record.
This will be the second meeting of the season between New York and San Antonio, with the Liberty taking the first game 90-75 back on June 11 in Texas. That contest was a one-point game heading into the fourth quarter, but the Liberty pulled away down the stretch, outscoring the Stars 28-14 over the final 10 minutes. Sugar Rodgers led all scorers with 22 points, shooting 6-of-9 from 3-point range.
• Once again the Liberty executed down the stretch and made the plays necessary to win a close game, holding off a second-half Chicago Sky rally to pick up an 88-85 win at Allstate Arena on Friday night. Tanisha Wright hit what proved to be the game-winner with 29.4 remaining and New York came up with a pair of big defensive stops down the stretch. Tina Charles led the Liberty with 29 points and nine rebounds. Sugar Rodgers scored 21 points and nailed five 3-pointers.
• Head coach Bill Laimbeer picked up is 200th career victory in the win at Chicago on Friday, becoming just the seventh coach in WNBA history to reach the milestone. Laimbeer is 200-151 in his career and has a 63-59 record with the Liberty, but is 37-18 over the past two seasons in New York.
• Tina Charles was named the WNBA Eastern Conference Player of the Week for the third-straight week and fifth time overall this season, which ties the WNBA single-season record for wins by one player. In two games last week, Charles averaged 29.0 ppg and 9.5 rpg. She continues to lead the WNBA in scoring at 22.8 ppg.
• New York pulled away in the fourth quarter in the first meeting with the Stars, outscoring them 28-14 in the final period. Rodgers led the Liberty with 22 points, hitting six 3-pointers.
PLAYER TO WATCH
Sugar Rodgers nailed five 3-pointers in the win over Chicago on Friday night and continues to lead the league with 62 makes from downtown so far this season. She was particularly effective from 3-point range in the first meeting with the Stars, when she led all scorers and knocked down six shots from the perimeter.
Rodgers continues to be a prime candidate for the WNBA’s Most Improved Player award, averaging 16.4 ppg, 11th in the league, which is more than double her 8.1 ppg last season, a mark that stood as a career-high over her three WNBA seasons. Rodgers is impacting the game in more ways than just shooting threes. She had four steals against the Sky on Friday, and ranks 20th in the league in steals and is also top-40 in rebounds, assists, and blocks.
With its 88-85 victory at Chicago on July 8, the Liberty improved to 5-0 in one possession games, and New York is 6-0 in games decided by five or fewer points. The Liberty has played in a franchise record six overtime games this season, posting a 3-3 mark in those contests. The WNBA record for overtime games by a single-team in the same season is seven, accomplished three times.
Sinking a free throw with 15.1 remaining in an 88-85 win over the Chicago Sky on July 8, Liberty guard Tanisha Wright scored her 3,000th-career point, her second big milestone of the season, as she secured her 1,000th-career rebound in the Liberty’s win over Dallas on June 14. A 12-year veteran of the league, Wright is on a very rare list, as one of just 12 players in WNBA history to score at least 3,000 points, with 1,000 rebounds and 1,100 assists.