NEW YORK LIBERTY (12-12) vs. INDIANA FEVER (9-17)
Tuesday, Aug. 8 • New York, N.Y. (Madison Square Garden) • 7:00 PM (ET)
The New York Liberty returns home to Madison Square Garden following a 5-game road trip to face the Indiana Fever on Tuesday night at 7 p.m. The Liberty went 2-3 on its road trip, which included an 85-84 comeback win at Indiana, and is coming off an 87-74 loss at Los Angeles last Friday. The Fever picked up their biggest win of the season, knocking off 1st place Minnesota 84-82 on Sunday afternoon at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
• The New York Liberty ended a 5-game road trip, its longest since the 2012 season, with an 87-74 loss to the Los Angeles Sparks on Friday night at the Staples Center. The Sparks used a big 3rd quarter to break open a game that was tied 44-44 at the half. Bria Hartley finished with 16 points to lead the Liberty offensively, and Tina Charles scored 10 points, after missing most of the 1st quarter when she was whistled for 2 fouls in the 1st 48 seconds of action.
• Tina Charles was named the WNBA Eastern Conference Player of the Month for July, extending her league record for career Player of the Month accolades to 10. Charles led all East players in scoring last month with 22.2 ppg, and ranked 1st in the WNBA averaging 11.2 rpg.
• New York will face Indiana for the 2nd time, having picked up an 85-85 win at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on July 28. The Liberty erased a 15-point 2nd half deficit in that game, and used a couple of clutch plays on both ends of the court to come away with the 1-point win.
• Bria Hartley has led the Liberty in scoring in consecutive games for the 1st time this season, posting 17 points at San Antonio and 16 at Los Angeles. She ranked 2nd on the team averaging 12.0 ppg on the recent road trip.
Briann January and Bria Hartley will matchup in the backcourt on Tuesday night. Hartley has been on fire as of late, averaging 16.5 ppg over the last two games, and had one of her best games of the season when these teams last met, matching her season high of 17 points going 6-of-8 from the field and 3-of-3 from 3-point range. January had 8 points and 6 assists in the 1st meeting, and is averaging 9.8 ppg and 4.0 apg this season.
The last time New York faced off with Indiana, the Liberty used a huge 2nd half comeback to grab a 1-point victory. Trailing by as many as 15 in the 2nd half, the Liberty came all the way back thanks to clutch plays down the stretch. Down by 2 with fewer than 90 seconds to play, Bria Hartley came up clutch with her 3rd 3-pointer of the game. After one more stop, the Fever had a chance to regain the lead as Erica Wheeler drove to the rim with 19.9 on the clock, cut Kiah Stokes was there for the block and Candice Dupree misfired on a 15-foot jumper 6 seconds later. It was the biggest come from behind win for the Liberty since erasing the same size deficit at Minnesota on June 29, 2016, when New York overcame a 15-point 4th quarter deficit to win 95-92 in overtime.
LIBERTY FACTS & FIGURES – KEY NUMBERS
The number of points that Tina Charles needs to move past Becky Hammon (2,367) for 3rd place in franchise history in scoring. Charles currently ranks 4th with 2,335 points.
New York shot a season-best 53.3 percent from 3-point range in the win over Chicago on July 30, sinking 8-of-15 from beyond the arc. The Liberty had not shot over 50.0 percent from three in a game this season.
New York has dished out more than 20 assists in 3-straight games and is averaging 24.3 apg over that span, including a season-high 26 assists at San Antonio on Aug. 1.
The Liberty is leading the WNBA in defensive field goal percentage at .417. New York has led the league in defensive shooting percentage in back-to-back seasons.
Tina Charles has posted a double-double in 55.1 percent of her career games played. She has 140 double-doubles in her career and leads the Liberty with 11 double-doubles this season.
New York erased a 15-point 2nd half deficit to come back in beat Indiana 85-84 on 7/28. It was the largest deficit overcome for a win this season, and the largest since digging out of a 15-point hold in the 4th quarter at Minnesota on 6/29/16.
TO THE POINT
Bria Hartley has been performing at a high level since re-joining the starting lineup before the game against the Washington Mystics on July 16. Over the previous 7 games she has scored in double figures 5 times, twice matching her season-high of 17 points, ranking 2nd on the team averaging 12.1 ppg while shooting .508 from the field (30-of-59) and .452 from 3-point range (14-of-31). She has led the Liberty in scoring in back-to-back games for the 1st time this season, posting 17 points at San Antonio on Aug. 1, and following that up with 16 points against the Sparks on Aug. 4.
Sugar Rodgers has been red hot from the outside over the past 3 games, where she has shot better than 50 percent from three in each outing. After hitting at least 4 3-pointers in consecutive games for the 1st time this season in the win at Chicago on July 30 and at San Antonio on Aug. 1, Rodgers went 2-for-4 from three at Los Angeles. Over that span she is 10-of-19 (.526) from three and has moved up to 15th in the WNBA in 3-point shooting percentage (.369). Rodgers leads the Liberty and ranks 4th in the league with 52 3-pointers this season.
SOMETHING IN RESERVE
Since making a change to the starting lineup before the game against the Mystics on July 16, the Liberty has seen increased production from its bench. Last season, New York ranked 4th in the WNBA with 28.3 bench points per game. Entering the game against Washington, the Liberty was last in the league, averaging just 14.8 ppg from its reserves. That changed with a 41 point effort from the 2nd unit, and New York followed that up with 29 points from its bench, surpassing 20 bench points in consecutive games for the 1st time this season. Against Chicago on July 30, the Liberty set another new season high with 42 bench points. The Liberty is now averaging 18.9 ppg from its reserves.