NEW YORK, NY. – JULY 15, 2015 –The Liberty saw four players score in double figures as it took down the San Antonio Stars, 84-68, during Camp Day Wednesday afternoon at Madison Square Garden.
Before a crowd of 18,617, the Liberty (8-5) put on a show from start to finish, eventually cruising to its largest margin of victory this year. It was the sixth-largest largest crowd to ever watch the Liberty play at The Garden and the most since August 11, 2002.
Essence Carson came off the bench to pour in a season-high 16 points on 7-of-12 shooting from the field. Tina Charles, fresh off being voted a starter for the 2015 WNBA All-Star game, had 14 points, 11 of those in the first half, and grabbed six boards.
Epiphanny Prince made her season debut at Madison Square Garden in style, with 13 points and four assists and Sugar Rodgers also added 13 with five assists and four rebounds.
The Liberty led by as many as 20 points and all 11 players that saw action recorded at least one field goal, indicative of the balance the team has displayed all season long. Once again the bench scoring battle went in New York’s favor, as the Liberty reserves outscored San Antonio’s 45-23.
New York held an eight-point advantage – 61-53 – going into the final quarter. Four minutes later, that lead had doubled, and the game belonged to them. Sugar Rodgers hit a pull up with a crafty stutter step at the six-minute mark then drove into the lane on a perfect pass from Kiah Stokes 40 seconds later and hit the foul shot to extend the advantage to 19 points.
The Stars (3-11) came out of the halftime locker room with a spark of energy, and came within striking distance – only trailing by four points on a Danielle Robinson lay in with two minutes gone in the quarter.
Robinson finished with a game high 18 points. After that, the Liberty were back in control again. Prince and Rodgers hit back-to-back pull up jumpers at the five-minute mark and the lead was back to double figures.
In the second quarter, Carson came alive. She hit a mid-range dagger with six minutes to go in the quarter to put the New York lead up to 12, and drove to the basket for a lay in to quiet the Stars directly after a Dearica Hamby make.
New York jumped out in the first quarter, outscoring the Stars 23-15 to get the game started on the right foot. Carolyn Swords made her first start with the Liberty and had four of the team’s first six points – including the first bucket of the game.
Brittany Boyd extended the lead to 8 by the start of second quarter, pulling back for jumper in the paint with under a minute to go in the opening period.
New York will be right back to work when it returns to Madison Square Garden on Thursday night to host the Connecticut Sun at 7 p.m.
New York Liberty Post Game Notes
- The Camp Day crowd of 18,617 was the sixth-largest to ever watch the Liberty play at Madison Square Garden and the team’s largest home crowd since August 11, 2002.
- Carolyn Swords made her first start of the season and her first WNBA start since 2013, finishing with eight points and four rebounds in 21 minutes.
- Essence Carson was not in the starting lineup for the first time this year, and scored a season-high 16 points
- Epiphanny Prince made her Madison Square Garden debut as a member of the Liberty after being acquired in an offseason trade. She started her second game and finished with 13 points, which is her average through three games with New York, scoring in double figures in each game.
- With the win New York improved to 3-1 against the West this season and it was the first win over the Stars since July 8, 2011, snapping a six-game losing streak.
- All 11 Liberty players hit at least one field goal and 10-of-11 had at least one rebound.
- New York is now 5-2 at Madison Square Garden this season.
- The Liberty bench outscored San Antonio’s 45-23.