By Arden Franklyn
Fewer things in sports are better than a good ol road win, especially if a team’s backs are against the wall and the odds seem difficult to overcome. On Friday night, the New York Liberty escaped College Park Center in Arlington, TX with a 102-93 overtime victory over Skylar Diggins-Smith and the Dallas Wings. Here are three takeaways from the team’s performance.
1. Over Zellous
Guard Shavonte Zellous has always been known for her toughness and ability to fill up the stat sheet, but now it’s time to recognize her scoring. The former University of Pittsburgh product has been averaging 20.0 Points Per Game in the month of June and reached the 20 Point mark, at least three times in the previous eight games. Against the Wings, Zellous recorded a season high in points with 28, none bigger than her game-tying bucket with just 0.6 remaining in regulation.
2. Bria’s Break Out Game
There were certainly high expectations for guard Bria Hartley after her arrival via a three team trade this past off-season, and the laid-back guard is starting to find her rhythm. On Friday night, Hartley recorded a season high in points with 17 and has reached double digits three times over the team’s last six games. Her emergence is critical for a Liberty team that wants to be defined by its depth, especially with two key elements in Kia Vaughn and Epiphanny Prince gearing up to return from overseas duties by the end of the month.
3. Getting Stops When It Matters Most
The Wings are one of the highest scoring teams in the WNBA, averaging 93.0 ppg through two meetings with the Liberty this season, but they were slowed down in the game’s most important moments. After scoring 20+ points in the first three quarters, the Wings were held to 24 combined points by the Liberty in the fourth quarter and overtime. That also included a two minute stretch where they failed to score, with just 5 points in OT. After shooting 50.0 percent (15-of-30) from the field in the 1st half, the Wings were limited to just 34.0 percent (16-of-47) in the 2nd half and overtime.