NEW YORK LIBERTY (0-2) vs. DALLAS WINGS (2-2)
Tuesday, May 29 • White Plains, New York (Westchester County Center) • 7:00 PM (ET)
TV: League Pass, MSG+
The New York Liberty seek its first win of the season against visiting Dallas. The Liberty have won three straight games against the Wings, most recently defeating the foe, 82-81 last September. Dallas has split its last two appearances falling to Minnesota and topping Atlanta while New York has endured setbacks to both Chicago and Minnesota.
Tina Charles earned her first double-double of the season against Minnesota (5/25) comprised of 18 points and 12 boards. Charles also went .500 from the floor last Friday.
Kia Nurse continues to contribute vital minutes as a reserve competing in 34 minutes against Minnesota which led New York.
Despite its outcomes, the Liberty’s largest deficit this season has been eight points against Chicago (5/20). Minnesota led by as many as six.
Kia Vaughn’s return rounds out the Liberty’s initial opening night roster, replacing Mercedes Russell.
In Kiah Stokes’ return to the lineup, the center notched four points, two rebounds and one block after picking up the start.
Bria Hartley and Dallas’ Skylar Diggins-Smith lead their teams with 4.5 and 5.5 respective assists per game. Those tallies rank ninth and third in the WNBA, respectively. Hartley’s six dimes dished against Chicago were one shy of her career-best (7) registered against Los Angeles on May 20, 2016. Diggins-Smith has peaked at nine assists saw against Phoenix, May 18, to roll out the Wings’ season.
Tina Charles had 18 points and 18 rebounds to help the Liberty clinch the third seed in the playoffs with an 82-81 win over the Dallas Wings on Sunday, September 3, 2017 and extend the Liberty’s winning streak to 10 games.
The victory matched New York’s franchise record for longest winning streak.
Trailing 82-79 after a Charles putback with 22.1 seconds to play, the Wings missed, but forced a turnover and Aerial Powers scored on a putback with 3.7 seconds left. When the Liberty inbounded the ball in the frontcourt after a timeout, they had a backcourt violation, giving Dallas one last shot. Skylar Diggins-Smith’s attempt from the 3-point line bounced off the rim at the buzzer.
There were 12 ties and 10 lead changes in the game.
Epiphanny Prince registered a team-high 20 points on .500 shooting (7-of-14). Kia Vaughn (11 points), Shavonte Zellous (12 points) and Hartley (13) rounded out the Liberty players in double-figures.
Glory Johnson led the Wings with 17 points, Diggins-Smith had 16 and Powers 14.
VETERAN AND ROOKIE
Charles and Nurse are the lone New York players to put up double-figures in both contests this season. Charles finished with 19 points against Chicago and 18 versus Minnesota. Charles also grabbed 12 boards against the Lynx. Nurse credited 17 points in her first professional game at the Sky and ended with 14 versus the Lynx.
“We can keep getting better in all aspects,’’ Smith said after Friday night’s gut-retching 78-72 loss to the defending champion Minnesota Lynx. “We’re going to continue to learn and to grow as a team. But I was really impressed with tonight’s performance.”