Bulgak Posts Double-Double in Debut; Liberty Falls to Sky

NEWARK, DEL. – The New York Liberty’s 2016 first-round draft pick Adut Bulgak posted a double-double in her first professional debut, finishing with 17 points and 12 rebounds as the New York Liberty fell to the Chicago Sky, 93-59, in its 2016 preseason opener at the Bob Carpenter Center on the campus of the University of Delaware in Newark, Del.

Bulgak came off the bench to play 23 minutes, shooting 5-of-10 from the field, and grabbed six of her 12 boards on the offensive end. She also showed off her range, knocking down a 3-pointer in the 4th quarter.

Sugar Rodgers also scored in double figures, finishing with 10 points. New York’s other 2016 draft pick Ameryst Alston finished with seven points on 3-of-6 shooting, also hitting a three.

The Sky jumped out to a 24-11 lead through the first quarter of play and led 47-31 at the half. Chicago keyed on early New York turnovers to move in front 16-6 on a Betnijah Laney layup five minutes into the game.

Chicago opened the second half on a 18-2 run to extend its lead to 68-33 before Rodgers snapped the Liberty out of a scoreless stretch with a long jumper.

New York returns to action on Thursday, May 5, when it hosts the Minnesota Lynx in a preseason game at Levien Gymnasium on the campus of Columbia University at 7 p.m.

New York’s two 2016 WNBA Draft picks impressed in their professional debuts. Bulgak led all scorers with 17 points, shooting 5-of-10 from the field with a 3-pointer. Alston scored seven points, also hitting a three, in 23 minutes.

Adut Bulgak nearly missed Sunday’s game because of travel concerns. After flying to Tallahassee to attend her college graduation on Saturday, her flight to Philadelphia was cancelled. She flew in Sunday morning, after another cancellation, and arrived at the Liberty hotel moments before the team boarded the bus to leave for the Bob Carpenter Center.

The Liberty turned the ball over 19 times, which led to 25 points for the Sky. Chicago outscored New York 25-6 in points off turnovers.

The Liberty played without four significant pieces as Tina Charles, Swin Cash, Kiah Stokes, and Shavonte Zellous all missed Sunday’s preseason opener.