After a nice performance at home, the New York Liberty took to the road again, but only for one night. Epiphanny Prince scored all four of her points in the final 30 seconds, to help the Liberty hold off the Atlanta Dream 83-77 on Friday night. Shavonte Zellous led all scorers with 20 points and Tina Charles finished with 15 points and eight rebounds. Brittney Sykes scored 16 points for Atlanta (10-17), which lost its sixth straight.
The Liberty led by as many as 19 points in the first half and maintained a 47-34 advantage heading into the break, matching its season-high point total for the first period. The margin was 14 heading into the 4th, but a 9-0 run by the Dream allowed Atlanta to get back into the game, and the deficit was down to 1 point, 75-74, with fewer than 30 seconds to play. That is when Epiphanny Prince sunk her only bucket of the game, a pull-up 15 footer that pushed the margin back to 3, and she iced the game second later with a pair of free throws.
The Liberty won for just the 2nd time this season when being outscored in 2nd chance opportunities (15-13), and is now 2-7 in that situation. With the win, the Liberty improved to 6-8 on the road in 2017 and most of all, keep pace in the WNBA playoff standings. The Liberty sit 1.5 behind the Washington Mystics of second place in the Eastern Conference.
Tina Charles Keeps Moving Up The Ranks
With her 3rd field goal of the 1st quarter, Tina Charles passed New York Liberty Ring of Honor member Becky Hammon for 3rd place in franchise history in scoring and now has 2,376 points over her three-plus years with the Liberty. Charles is already the Liberty all-time leader in rebounding (1,170) and scoring average (18.8 ppg) Tina Charles still trail Cappie Pondexter (2,970 points) and Vickie Johnson (3,246 points) in the Liberty history books.
This season, Charles is averaging 20.1 points per game, an improvement from her career average of 18.1 points per game. At this rate, she is on track to surpass Pondexter by the close of next year. If New York can make a deep playoff run either this season or next, she could surpass Johnson as well.
In addition to posting ring of honor-worthy stats in New York, Charles is also making her mark on the all-time league leading charts. Tina Charles passed Penny Taylor to move into 21st place in scoring in WNBA history with 2,619 points.
Next Up For The Liberty
The Liberty returns to Madison Square Garden on Sunday, Aug. 13, when it hosts the defending champion Los Angeles Sparks. Tip off is scheduled for 3 PM.