ARLINGTON, TEXAS – SEPT. 11, 2016 – The New York Liberty’s late comeback attempt ultimately fell short in an 84-81 loss to Dallas Wings on Sunday afternoon at the College Park Center.
Down by as many as 22 points, the Liberty stormed all the way back to make it a one possession game late in the fourth quarter, 80-78. Skylar Diggins converted on a driving layup at 14.3 remaining to put the Wings back up by four, but Sugar Rodgers connected on a deep 3-poiner on the next possession to make it a one-point game with 5.6 to play.
New York fouled on the ensuing inbounds, leading to a pair of free throws for Diggins on the other end, and the Liberty’s potential game-tying 3-point attempts was off target.
Tina Charles continued to demonstrate why she is the league’s leading Most Valuable Player candidate, turning in another monster performance on Sunday. She posted her league-leading 19th double-double of the season with 29 points, 10 rebounds, five blocks, and three assists, and also took over the WNBA scoring lead, averaging 21.5 ppg.
Charles was one of three Liberty players in double figures as Rodgers finished with 15 and Carolyn Swords scored a season-high 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting from the field.
New York trailed by as many as 22 in the first half, and was down 55-35 at the break, after getting off to a slow start early in the game. The Liberty committed seven turnovers in the opening period, which led to 11 points for the Wings, as Dallas steadily build a commanding lead.
However, New York stormed out of the half, opening the second period on a 10-0 run, highlighted by consecutive 3-pointers from Rodgers and Brittany Boyd to indicate that the game would be a fight to the finish.
The Dallas lead was down to single-digits following a pair of Rodgers free throws with 5:33 left in the 3rd quarter, and the Liberty trailed by just six heading into the final period.
What began as a tight fourth quarter appeared to be headed towards a Dallas win as the Wings pulled in front 80-70 thanks to a Karima Christmas 3-point play with 3:58 on the clock.
New York responded with eight unanswered, four points each from Charles and Swords, including Charles’ third 3-pointer of the day, only to see Diggins ice the win with a clutch bucket and free throws late in the game.
Boyd set a new career high in assists for the second time in as many games, dishing out 10 on Sunday; she had eight against Connecticut on Friday night.
Christmas finished with a team-high 23 points for Wings, and Diggins scored 22.
The New York Liberty will host the Washington Mystics for its final home game of the regular season in what will be Fan Appreciation Night presented by Chase on Tuesday, Sept. 13, at 7 p.m.
• Carolyn Swords scored a season-high 14 points
• Tina Charles tied her career high with 3 3-pointers
• Tina Charles had a season-high five blocked shots
• Tina Charles finished with 29 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists and 5 blocks, her 18th game with 20+ points this season and her 19th double-double
• Brittany Boyd had a career-high 10 assists, second straight game with a new career high after she had eight on Friday against Connecticut
• After trailing by as many as 22 points the Liberty pulled within 1 82-81 on late Rodgers 3-pointer.
• Tina Charles took over the WNBA lead in scoring with 21.5 ppg and now leads the league in scoring and rebounding