On Sunday at Atlanta, Bill Laimbeer changed the starting line up for the second time this season, going with Tanisha Wright, Tina Charles and Essence Carson, who have started every game but added Sugar Rodgers and Swin Cash to the mix at the guard and forward spot.
This was Sugar Rodgers’ first WNBA start in her young three-year career. It was by far her best game of the season, dropping a season high 17 points with two long balls, grabbing three rebounds, and dishing out four assists – checking off all the categories she knows she needed to.
“It was fun. I did my job- defend, rebounding, share the ball,” Rodgers said.
And the change worked. The Liberty had a huge first quarter, outscoring the Dream 21-10, which started them on their way to victory.
“I just knew we would have a better start than what we had been having,” Rodgers said. “It was more experienced players. Not only did I start but Swin started too.”
Not only did Rodgers’ start help the team win, but it helped her game. Before Atlanta, Rodgers had shot 3-of-24 from behind the arc, going 1-for-6 in the previous game against Indiana just two days earlier. She was 2-for-5 on Sunday, finally getting more than one to fall.
“I’ve been in a shooting slump,” Sugar admitted. “Good shooters keep shooting. That is what the coaches said – keep shooting and one will fall. Two fell so that was good.”
Just a few years ago in college, Sugar Rodgers was THEE girl. In 2009, she led Georgetown into the national rankings for the first time in fifteen years, and carried them to the NCAA tournament for just the second time in program history during her sophomore year in 2010. She average 19 points in her four years at Georgetown, tallying 2513 career points as the leading scorer in Georgetown basketball history for both the men and women. She was drafted by the Minnesota Lynx with the 14th pick in 2013, and was on their championship squad before joining the Liberty the following year.
Now, Rodgers has two years of WNBA experience under her belt, and she is still making adjustments.
“Its been a little slow, but its picking up the pace,” Sugar admitted. “I had to work my way up and I am okay with that.”
Heading into this weekend’s games, Rodgers is averaging a career-best 8.0 points per game, and has scored in double figures in three-straight games, scoring at a 12.6 ppg clip during that stretch.
The Liberty face Tulsa on the road on Friday night at 8 p.m. (ET), before returning home to host the Los Angeles Sparks on Sunday, June 28, at 3 p.m. For tickets, CLICK HERE.