New York topples Atlanta, rookie Brittany Boyd becomes a “fan favorite”
— Lindsay Gottlieb (@CalCoachG) June 6, 2015
The New York Liberty toppled the Atlanta Dream 82-73 in front of the 8,910 fans at Madison Square Garden Friday night.
Tina Charles led her team with 17 points and 12 rebounds. Swin Cash added 15 points, 11 of those coming in the second half on 6-of-8 shooting from the field. Rookie guard Brittany Boyd contributed 12 of her 14 points in the first half and dished out three assists.
Angel McCoughtry scored 27 for the Dream, with 14 in the second half. Tiffany Hayes added 17 including three 3-pointers. The Liberty amassed a 17-point lead in the first quarter after a jumper from Tanisha Wright. Boyd solidified the Liberty’s 51-38 halftime lead with a layup.
New York head coach Bill Laimbeer was pleased with the rookie’s performance.
“We knew what she was out of college,” said Laimbeer. “We knew that we had a push guard that could move the ball up the floor. Her vision is better than I expected….Every day has been a progression… Everything we’ve told her to do she’s listened and inputted it. And it’s safe to say that she’s a fan favorite.”
The Dream came out strong in the second half with a 10-2 run to start the third after several baskets by McCoughtry. In the fourth quarter Atlanta came within six with two minutes to go on a lay up from Erika DeSouza. However, the Liberty roared back with a lay-in from Cash, assisted with a dagger pass from Boyd.
The Liberty travel to Washington to face the Washington Mystics at the Verizon Center on Saturday. The Dream are back in action on Sunday with a home game versus the Connecticut Sun.
Tina Charles Continues Humanitarian Work
Charles is continuing her fundraising efforts this summer for her foundation Hopey’s Heart, named in honor of her aunt who succumbed to sudden cardiac arrest. The organization donates automated external defibrillators to schools to help combat deaths from the condition.
“Right now I have a rebounding initiative,” said Charles. “Anybody is able to pledge a certain dollar amount for every rebound I get this season.”
One hundred percent of the proceeds go towards purchasing AED’s: hopeysheart.org
New York Liberty
Head Coach Bill Laimbeer
On Tonight’s Game
“At training camp I told you all that I didn’t know what we have. I still don’t know. But I know how we are going to play. I know that we are going to be intense and how hard we are going to play. I know the chemistry of our ball club. All of these were on display tonight… I’d love to win, but if we lost we wanted to put on a good show for the fans because that is who they are in the locker room… I like this basketball team. They play hard. Now we’ll see how it transfers into wins and losses.”
On her father’s influence on her game
“My dad and I are close. He’d probably give me like a grade C for tonight’s performance. He is pretty tough on me and he knows how well I can play. But that is good for me. It helps me to get better”
Head Coach Michael Cooper
On tonight’s game
“You have to give a lot of credit to them (The New York Liberty). They played extremely well, and they stayed with their stuff. They hung with us on rebounding and that has been our strength the last couple of years, but now people understand that when they play us the got to get on the boards!”
On tonight’s defense
“I thought we did a better job in the second not turning the ball over; but our inability to play good solid defense kind of kept us in the hole. Our depth is very, very good, but turnovers are key. We will have to keep our turnovers down to a minimum. We are a running team so 14-15 will be good for us.
On the New York Liberty
“New York outplayed us. They played, sprinted, and rebounded harder than us. That’s why they won the game tonight.”
On Atlanta Dream’s overall performance
“It is just defense. Defense comes first and we didn’t play defensively. We let them do whatever they want. We played weak and let the Liberty push us around. We didn’t follow the game plan.”
On Atlanta Dream’s defense
“We’re still making adjustments. We just have to make sure our defense is ready for all of the other games this season.“
On the second half performance
“We started out in a hole and we made a come back. Our loss is from the way we started. If we didn’t start like that, we wouldn’t have lost the game. Our defense got better and offense was flowing in the second half. We just can’t start like that”