NEW YORK LIBERTY (4-10) vs. CHICAGO SKY (5-9)
Friday, June 29 • White Plains, NY (Westchester County Center)
7:30 PM (ET) • TV: League Pass, MSG+
Tina Charles’ 19.4 points per game rank eighth in the league (as of 6/28).
Charles’ 6.9 rebounds per game are tied for 11th in the league (as of 6/28).
Kia Nurse is tied for fourth among rookies with 10.8 points per game (as of 6/28).
Bria Hartley is 11th in the league with 4.0 assists per game (as of 6/28).
Brittany Boyd’s 4.6 assists per game would rank seventh in the WNBA, but her nine appearances don’t qualify (as of 6/28)
Nurse made her WNBA debut against the Sky (5/20), scoring 17 points off the bench on 50 percent shooting from the field.
Opponents are averaging a league-high 21.8 assists per game against the Sky, while the Liberty rank top five in the league in assists at 18.9 a contest (as of 6/28).
Kia Nurse and Diamond DeShields have a lot in common; they both come from impressive families full of athletes, they were both first-round draft picks this year, and they are two of the best rookies in the WNBA this season. DeShields’ 13.1 points per game rank third among first year players, while Nurse’s 10.8 a game ties her for fourth. Nurse had the upper hand in the first matchup, outscoring DeShields 17-7.
On May 20, 2018, the Liberty tip-offed their 2018 season with a loss to the Sky in Chicago, 80-76.
Allie Quigley led the Sky with 22 points, 15 of which came in a closely-contested fourth quarter.
Tina Charles led New York with 19 points. Rookie Kia Nurse added 17 and Amanda Zahui B scored 15.
DISHIN’ AND SWISHIN’
The Liberty distributed 24 helpers on 31 made field goals against Washington (6/28) marking their second-best assist performance. This included 14 assists on 18 first-half field goals. New York dished 25 dimes against Connecticut on June 7 and has reached and/or surpassed the 20-assist mark on six different occasions this year. Tina Charles had the most impact on the cause crediting six assists in a near 32-minute production. Sugar Rodgers and Brittany Boyd earned four dimes apiece while Shavonte Zellous registered three in almost 18 minutes. Moreover, the quartet combined for 29 points spearheaded by Charles’ 18 points.
Epiphanny Prince not only put in a team-high 21 points against the Mystics (6/28), one-point shy of Elena Delle Donne’s game-high 22-point production, but she also showed out for 24 minutes without a single turnover-the only guard and starter to do so. Additionally, she knocked in four triples, benefitted three rebounds, handed out a pair of assists and came up with a theft. Her season-high point total nearly outmatched what she has otherwise contributed (23 points through 5 contests). The veteran averaged double-figures following the conclusion of the 2017 season (12.0 ppg).
Kia Vaughn showed a scoring promise early trumping her previous season-high eight points prior to the intermission. The center totaled 10 points knocking down all four of her looks from the floor to lead the Liberty and tie two others at the break. She finished with 16 points on 75-percent shooting as one of three Liberty players to conclude the night in double-figures.
NOT SO FREE, FREE-THROWS
The Liberty are converting 77.8-percent of their tries at the charity stripe which slots them ninth in the league. However, that clip stems from just going 158-of-203. New York’s opponents this season are hitting more than what the Liberty are attempting (241-of-312). Chicago is one of those teams as they Sky have graced the line 268 times netting 212 of them (79.1-percent). During the Liberty’s four-game skid, New York has made just 30 free-throws contrasting its counterparts’ 76 makes.