Indiana takes down New York 84-72, Liberty five-game winning streak ends
From the team:
The New York Liberty had its five-game winning streak come to an end with an 84-72 loss at Indiana on Wednesday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
Tina Charles led New York (12-6) with 18 points and Epiphanny Prince matched her season high of 17, shooting 7-of-13 from the field with a team-high four assists. Tanisha Wright made it three Liberty players in double figures with 13 points.
New York was done in by an uncharacteristic 21 turnovers, which led directly to 24 Indiana (10-8) points the other way. The 21 turnovers were the most for the Liberty since committing a season-high 26 at Tulsa on June 26; the team was averaging just 13.0 over the last nine games, posting an 8-1 record during that stretch.
New York led for just 60 seconds in the first half, and throughout the game whenever the Liberty would make it close, or briefly take the lead, not only would the Fever respond, but it would do so in a big way to regain the lead and create a cushion.
After a Kiah Stokes layup late in the first quarter, Indiana responded with a 10-1 run, pulling in front 28-21 on a Shenise Johnson bucket at 8:48 in the second.
The Liberty was back within two as Sugar Rodgers lined up a 3-pointer from way behind the arc, capping off a 7-2 spurt, but it was answered with a Maggie Lucas trey on the ensuing possession, part of a 6-0 run that made it an eight-point game.
Charles started to heat up late in the first half, scoring five points in the final 3:36 to power an 11-4 New York run, and hit again on the first possession of the second half, giving the lead back to New York for just the second time.
It was back to a one-point Liberty lead with two minutes remaining in the third as Essence Carson found Stokes for an open layup to make it 57-56. The Fever again answered in a big way, scoring on three-straight possessions to rattle off a 7-0 run in fewer than 90 seconds retake a 63-57 advantage.
This time the lead would stick. Indiana opened the fourth on a 10-0 run, capped off by a corner three from Lucas to go up by 14. Wright finally ended the Liberty scoring drought with a finger roll, powering a run of 10-unanswered for New York.
Prince had five-straight points for New York and seven during that stretch, completing a 3-point play, as the momentum completely shifted back towards the Liberty. But New York could not pull closer than four. As it had done all night, Indiana found a way to respond, closing the game on a 9-1 run to secure a win.
New York will return to action on Sunday, August 2, when it hosts the Seattle Storm at Madison Square Garden at 3 p.m. It will be Becky Hammon/Inspiring Women Night presented by Delta as Hammon will be inducted into the Liberty Ring of Honor with a halftime ceremony.
- The Liberty saw its five-game winning streak, its longest since the 2010 season, come to an end.
- New York concluded its stretch of four-straight road games with a 3-1 record and is now 6-4 away from Madison Square Garden this season.
- The Liberty entered the game leading the WNBA with 38.8 rebounds per game but lost the battle of the boards 32-27.
- Tina Charles extended her double-digit scoring streak to 10-straight games and Epiphanny Prince has scored in double figures all eight games this year.
- Prince matched her season-high of 17 points.
- New York committed 21 turnovers, the most since 26 at Tulsa on June 26, which led to 24 Fever points.
- Kiah Stokes fouled out with 4:10 remaining in the fourth quarter and was the first Liberty player to foul out of a game this season.