NEW YORK, N.Y. – JUNE 3, 2016 – The New York Liberty snapped a three-game losing streak by cruising to a 91-59 win over the Indiana Fever on Friday night at Madison Square Garden.
For the Liberty (3-3), it was the largest margin of victory since a 38 point win over the Phoenix Mercury on August 14, 2010, and the biggest ever win in the all-time series with Indiana (3-4); the previous mark was 19 points (74-55) set on June 25, 2002.
Sugar Rodgers led New York with a game-high 21 points, burying 5-of-8 3-point attempts. Tina Charles finished with 14 points, nine rebounds, and six assists, narrowly missing out on what would have been her sixth-straight double-double to start the season. Facing her former team for the first time, Shavonte Zellous chipped in 13 points to round out the Liberty’s double-digit scorers.
It was a somewhat uncharacteristic 3-point barrage that carried New York to the large final margin. The Liberty nailed 6-of-8 attempts from deep in the fourth quarter, outscoring the Fever 31-13 during the final period.
Shoni Schimmel came off the bench to hit both of her 3-point shots in the fourth, and Zellous and Brittany Boyd also connected from deep. For the game, New York sunk a season-high 10 threes.
The Liberty started strong, closing the first quarter on a big run to take a 26-20 lead, shooting 63.2 percent from the field as a team.
The second quarter featured more of the same, a strong surge heading into the locker room. New York clamped down defensively, holding Indiana without a field goal over the final 3:16 of the half, gradually building a 42-29 lead. Zellous capped things off by drawing a foul with 0.1 on the clock on a desperation 3-point attempt, sinking all three shots at the line.
The lead ballooned to 50-33 early in the third quarter after Rodgers made a nice drive to the basket. The Fever would pull back within 11, but could not get any closer down the stretch.
New York will begin a three-game road trip on Sunday afternoon when it faces the Seattle Storm at Key Arena. Tipoff is at 7 p.m. (ET).
• Tina Charles had her streak of five-straight double-doubles come to an end, but she led the Liberty with six assists.
• New York held the Fever to just 32.8 percent shooting as a team; the Liberty has limited five of its first six opponents to under 36.0 percent from the field.
• Sugar Rodgers had her fourth-career 20-point game and the second of the season. After hitting five 3-pointers on Friday night, she leads the Liberty with 18 this season.
• Swin Cash made her first start of the season as she finished with nine points, five rebounds and two steals.
• The Liberty outscored Indiana 40-18 in the paint and also had a big advantage in second-chance scoring (15-5).