Kristi Toliver knows what it takes to win a championship, she did it last season with the LA Sparks before joining the Washington Mystics this season, and it showed as the 5’7″ guard hit a WNBA Playoff record nine 3-pointers for Washington.
“I didn’t come here to be a passive tentative player,” Toliver said. “I came here to dominate. To Lead. And what better place to do it than Madison Square Garden.”
Indeed, the Garden was electric, as the 9,000 plus fans and the guest DJ provided an atmosphere of playoff basketball.
The Liberty got out to a big lead in the 1st half, going up 29-15 on a Tina Charles 3-pointer with 8:05 left in the 2nd quarter. The Mystics were able to draw to within 6 points by halftime as Toliver started to heat up from the outside; she scored 12 of her 32 points in the 2nd quarter when she sunk three 3-pointers.
“We just rode her wave today,” said Elena Delle Donne who finished the game with 18 points and 10 rebounds. “She was unconscious, but that’s her.”
Toliver excelled at both ends of the court, not only heating up from behind the arc but also playing some superb defense on Epiphanny Prince, making it tough for the sharpshooter to see any daylight.
Prince ended with 12 points on 4 of 9 from the field and 2 of 7 from 3-point land. Tina Charles scored a team-high 18 points and Bria Harley added 15 points for the Liberty who finished with the best record in the Eastern Conference for a 3rd-straight season.