By Arden Franklyn
During the last decade of the WNBA, the Minnesota Lynx have become a premier team in the league by winning three championships. And while the New York Liberty have been competitive with the Lynx in recent memory, winning a memorable game at the Target Center last season, and suffering a close 1-point loss earlier this season, Sunday afternoon’s win was the 1st in the last four tries against the Lynx. Most impressively, the Liberty secured the win by completely controlling the 2nd half of play. Below are three takeaways from the game.
1. Overcoming a slow first quarter start
The beginning of Sunday’s game saw a slow and uneven start by the Liberty. Minnesota’s defense forced a lot of turnovers and it contributed to the 11 point lead they built early in the second quarter. But the Liberty soon adjusted and closed the deficit to five by halftime. Bria Hartley and Tina Charles contributed key baskets during their second quarter comeback and as a team, the Liberty protected the ball better and picked up their pace.
2. Undefeated streak continues
In what has been a very interesting development this season, the New York Liberty have been undefeated at home whenever they enter the fourth quarter with a lead. The Liberty’s record improved to 9-0 after Sunday’s performance, because of another good third quarter run by the team. After exchanging baskets with the Lynx to begin the second half, New York eventually took a three point lead to end the period but pushed it to 12 with 4:58 remaining in the game. Those big runs have been commonplace for the team over the last three games. Against the Lynx it was a 21-4 run that swung the momentum for good.
3. Aggressiveness leads to extra free throw attempts
An underrated element to the Liberty’s offensive success has been free throw shooting. They’re currently fifth in free throw attempts with over 20 per game and shoot 77.9% from the line, which is eighth throughout the league but not far off from top five status. Against Minnesota, the Liberty took nine more trips to the line. New York has their share of players who can draw fouls and make their free throws, so it’s something they look to maintain with each game.