Despite another dominant performance from Tina Charles, who posted her 10th double-double of the season with 24 points and 16 rebounds, the New York Liberty (10-10) fell to the Minnesota Lynx (17-2) 76-75 on Tuesday night at Xcel Energy Center.
Minnesota led by as many as 9 in the 2nd half, but the Liberty used an 11-2 run, capped off by an Epiphanny Prince 16-foot jumper with 1:38 to play to tie the game at 74-74. Two possessions later, Lindsey Whalen hit what proved to be the game-winning shot, a 12-foot baseline jumper.
Prince drew the Liberty back within one by making 1-of-2 at the line, and after another defensive stop, New York had a chance to pull out the win, but Sugar Rodgers’ 3-pointer with a second left was no good.
Maya Moore scored a season-high 27 points and Sylvia Fowles just missed her 11th double-double of the season with 18 points and nine rebounds for Minnesota (17-2), which won its fourth straight. Fowles and Charles were named Monday as the WNBA Players of the Week in their respective conferences. Each lived up to their billing early, especially Charles.
Tuesday’s matchup featured the top two defenses in the WNBA. New York and Minnesota were solid on that end for the entire night, but both teams took it up a notch in the fourth quarter. The game tightened up and had taken a dramatic turn. The Lynx became more active in forcing turnovers and had a half-dozen deflections, while the Liberty sealed off the paint and forced the Lynx into late shot clock situations and made them settle for long twos. Minnesota’s offense ground to a halt as they only scored six points in the final seven minutes of the game. Their head coach noticed something wasn’t quite right with the offense.
What’s Next For The Liberty?
This was the 1st game of a 5-game road trip for the Liberty, its most consecutive road games since the 2012 season. New York returns to action on Friday night when it faces the Indiana Fever for the 1st time this season. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 PM (ET).
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