The New York Liberty prepares to enter the Olympic break with a back-to-back against the Washington Mystics and Indiana Fever on Wednesday-Thursday, July 20-21.
Wednesday’s showdown with the Mystics will be the first meeting between the teams since the first game of the season, when New York picked up an 87-76 win at the Verizon Center. Tina Charles posted a double-double of 24 points and 11 rebounds, as the Liberty pulled away in the second half after coming back from an early deficit to tie the game at halftime.
The Mystics, which have lost five in a row, were without Ivory Latta and Tierra Ruffin-Pratt in that first meeting. It was Tayler Hill leading the way for Washington, scoring 20 points on 4-of-8 shooting from 3-point range.
• The Liberty bounced back with an 83-76 win over the Connecticut Sun on Sunday afternoon at The Garden. Led by Swin Cash’s 16 points, New York finished the game on an 18-10 run to secure its fourth-straight home victory. Cash was one of three Liberty players in double figures with Tina Charles and Sugar Rodgers each chipping in 14.
• Tina Charles posted her 13th double-double of the season with 14 points and 10 rebounds in the win over Connecticut, making it back-to-back games with a double-double for the Liberty forward. In three games last week, she averaged 15.7 points and 11.0 rebounds per game.
• Sunday’s win over Connecticut was New York’s 16th game decided by 10 or fewer points this season. The Liberty is 11-5 in those contests, and 6-0 in contests decided by five points or fewer in 2016.
• The Liberty has been outscored 42-19 in points off turnovers over the past two games. New York is 8-6 when losing the turnover battle this year.
• This is the first meeting between New York and Washington since the season-opener. The Liberty saw Tina Charles post 24 points and 11 rebounds in that 87-76 win.
PLAYER TO WATCH
Forward Swin Cash turned in a vintage performance in the Liberty’s win over the Connecticut Sun on July 17, scoring a team-high 16 points with six rebounds. Cash shot 6-of-9 from the field and also had two assists and two steals. It was the most points Cash has scored in a Liberty uniform, and her highest scoring output since netting 16 as a member of the Chicago Sky on Sept. 8, 2013. It was also the first time she led her team in scoring since finishing with 18 points for Chicago on Aug. 15, 2013.
So far this season, the biggest indicator of wins and losses for the Liberty has been the ability to take care of the basketball. Over the past two games the Liberty has been outscored 42-19 in points off turnovers, and New York is just 8-6 when losing the turnover battle and has lost only once when scoring more points off turnovers or turning the ball over fewer times than its opponent (against the Atlanta Dream on May 24).
The Liberty defense completely stifled the Atlanta Dream in an 86-62 win at Madison Square Garden on July 13, as New York limited Atlanta to just .299 from the field, a season-low for Liberty opponents this season. Two games later, Connecticut shot just .338 in a Liberty win. Over the past four games the Liberty has been turning up the defensive pressure, holding opponents to just 72.8 ppg while shooting .370 from the field. The Liberty ranks third in the WNBA, allowing 79.4 ppg, and is first with a defensive field goal percentage of .405.