By Arden Franklyn
A common trait in teams with championship aspirations is the ability to bounce back, no matter the circumstances they’re in. And for the New York Liberty, it came in the form of overcoming a 15 point second half deficit to defeat the Indiana Fever, 85-84. Keep in mind, the Liberty are in midst of a five game road trip and suffered a very close loss against Minnesota on Tuesday. Below are takeaways from Friday’s game in Indiana.
1. One run changes everything
Despite the back and forth that occurred in the first half, the Liberty found themselves down 60-45 in the third quarter due to a 32-11 run by the Fever. What soon followed was a 21-6 run by the Liberty that included key baskets by Tina Charles, Bria Hartley and Epiphanny Prince. After coming back and tying the game, the Liberty never found themselves down more than three points the rest of the way. As Bill Laimbeer said after the game, where New York was unable to execute down the stretch against Minnesota, the team came up with clutch plays in the much needed victory over the Fever.
2. Bria is regaining her rhythm offensively.
For those that have watched the Liberty all season, they know how much of an impact Bria Hartley can have when offensively effective. The 5-foot-8 guard from Connecticut is a capable three point shooter and driver to the basket. Hartley matched her season high of 17 points against the Fever and has scored double digit points, in three of the team’s last four games. The Liberty are now 6-1 when she does so.
3. Surviving a second quarter letdown
Although the Liberty have won games before when scoring fewer points than their opponent in the second quarter, it has been rare to see them come back to win after facing a double-digit deficit, the team had done so just once before Friday night. Prior to leading by 15 points in the third quarter, the Fever outscored New York 29-18 in the second quarter and shot 59% from the field. They also saw four players en route to double digit scoring performances in Natalie Achonwa, Tiffany Mitchell, Candice Dupree and Marissa Coleman. From the end of the 2nd into the start of the 3rd it was an 18-0 Fever run that helped them build the large lead. But New York regrouped and proved they could come back in the face of adversity on the road.