The New York Liberty used another impressive second-half effort to pick up a 68-57 victory over the Phoenix Mercury on Thursday night at Madison Square Garden.
New York improves to 3-1 overall and a perfect 3-0 at The Garden, winning back-to-back games for the first time this year.
As she has done in all four games this season, All-Star Tina Charles led the Liberty offensively, putting up 19 points with 11 rebounds, and naturally she sparked what turned into a huge third-quarter for New York as it took complete control of the game after a low-scoring first half. “It was an ugly game, but I’m glad we got the win.” Charles said. “Things weren’t going our way, but we just kept playing and that’s what it’s all about.” Charles hit the first two field goals of the second half, helping the Libs build a five-point lead while igniting a 10-2 spurt to open the period.
After scoring 25 points in the first half, New York put up 23 in the third quarter alone, and over the last two games the Liberty hold a 47-29 advantage over the opposition in the third.
Fewer than three minutes into the half, Brittany Boyd found Essence Carson for a long-jumper, giving the Liberty a double-digit lead, 25-35, for the first time. It was one of Boyd’s three dimes, while Carson scored in double figures for a second-straight game, finishing with 10 points while knocking down a pair of 3-pointers.
The Liberty lead never dipped down to a single possession the rest of the way, although Phoenix was able to pull within four early in the fourth quarter, only to see New York answer with an 8-1 run, capped off by a long Charles jumper.
Phoenix did make a late push, trimming its deficit down to 63-57 with 1:23 remaining, but it was Swin Cash with the dagger, as she calmly drained a corner trey with 40 ticks left on the clock, effectively icing the game.
New York was dominant on the glass and in the paint, outrebounding Phoenix 35-23 while outscoring the Mercury 32-22 on the interior. Rookie Kiah Stokes joined Charles with 11 boards, the first double-digit rebound game of her career, adding six points and a pair of blocks.
DeWanna Bonner led Phoenix with 22 points and six rebounds. “We’re going to play the same against everyone, every game. she said. “We’re the team to beat, that’s a motivation within its self”
New York continues its four-game home stand on Sunday, June 14, when it hosts the Washington Mystics at Madison Square Garden. It will be Dads and Daughters Day at The Garden with tip off scheduled for 6 p.m. The Mercury head to Indiana to take on the Fever in a back-to-back on Friday at 4pm.
Story courtesy of NY Liberty press release