2015 Season Opener Friday at MSG Against Atlanta

The New York Liberty will tip off the 2015 WNBA season on Friday, June 5, when it hosts the Atlanta Dream at Madison Square Garden. These two teams met in the preseason, also at MSG, with Atlanta picking up an 83-55 win.


New York leads the all-time series with Atlanta 17-8, and won three of four meetings a year ago, including both meetings at The Garden.

During this year’s preseason matchup, rookie Kiah Stokes led the Liberty with nine points and 11 boards, while Angel McCoughtry finished with 13 points for the Dream.

New York trailed by as many as 21 points in the first half, came all the way back to tie the game in the fourth quarter, before ultimately falling 85-80 at Minnesota in its preseason finale on June 1. Trailing by 15 at the half, the Liberty outscored the Lynx 24-16 in the third quarter and used a 12-2 run in the fourth to knot things 75-75 on a Brittany Boyd 3-pointer. Tina Charles led the Liberty with 19 points on 8-of-10 shooting and rookie Rebecca Allen finished with 10 points, scoring in double figures in all three preseason contests.


  • After sitting out the first preseason game, Tina Charles returned to average 15.5 ppg in two preseason appearances, which led the WNBA. She also shot a blistering 70.0 percent from the field, ranking fourth in the league.
  • Kiah Stokes enjoyed a strong start to her pro career, averaging 9.0 rpg, the fourth-best rate during the preseason. She also 26.4 minutes of action per game, ranking eighth in the league.
  • Rookie Rebecca Allen scored in double figures in all three games, and averaged 10.3 ppg during the preseason.
  • Sugar Rodgers came away with seven steals in three appearances, 2.3 per game, ranking sixth in the WNBA.
  • The Liberty will look to tighten up 3-point shooting and protecting the basketball. New York was outscored 63-21 from beyond the arc during the preseason and turned the ball over 15 times more (56-41) than its opponents.

Liberty center Tina Charles announced she will donate half of her 2015 salary to the Hopey’s Heart Foundation. She’s dedicated to placing a minimum of 100 automatic external defibrillators (AED) throughout the United States each year. Nearly 390,000 out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrests (SCA) occur annually. Having an automatic external defibrillators (AED) close by can mean the difference between life and death for a victim of SCA. Hopey’s Heart Foundation is committed to improving the health of student and amateur athletes by providing health education, CPR training and lifesaving AEDs in schools, community and recreational centers. To date, Hopey’s Heart has placed 142 AED’s.

On Wednesday, June 3, the New York Liberty hosted the Summer Tip Off presented by Chase as a part of its WNBA Cares Week initiative. The Liberty saw every member of the 2015 squad, in addition to coaches, and Liberty legends, fan out across New York City and New Jersey to host 11 youth basketball clinics simultaneously. The Libs held at least one clinic in every one of NYC’s five boroughs in addition to two in New Jersey. More than 1,000 local youth were impacted through the clinics, and every participant was provided with tickets to the season opener at Madison Square Garden. In addition to Madison Square Garden Marquee partner Chase, the New York City Parks and Recreation Department, Paterson Eastside High School and Queen City Academy stepped up to bring basketball to kids across the NYC metro area.

The New York Liberty and DraftKings on June 4 announced a marketing partnership that makes the daily fantasy sports destination the Marquee Partner of the Liberty. As the Liberty’s new Marquee Partner, DraftKings’ logo will appear on the team’s home and away uniforms and shooting shirts for all games. This will provide DraftKings with premium brand exposure to fans in-arena, and to consumers via national and local television broadcasts and media coverage.