By:Marvin Chambers:|4.0 Sports Media
Madison Garden, N.Y.-Tina Charles scored 25 points and grabbed 8 rebounds. Charles’ 9.0 rebounds per game are good for fourth in the league, and the forward has had three consecutive double-doubles coming into the game. New York came up a little short against the Phoenix Mercury 80-76 at the “World The Famous Arena” in front of a crowd of 7,215.
New York (2-3) shot 52.2% (12-23) from the floor led by Charles 10 points in the first quarter. Bria Hartley gave the Liberty its first lead when shit a 26′ foot jumper from the right corner of the court to take a 20-18 and she kept the Mercury on their heels in the first half.
“We had our opportunity to win the game but turnovers hurt us today. You can’t beat a hot team like Phoenix playing baaketball like we displayed. We are professionals and we will look over the tape and make adjustments as we see fit.” Liberty Shavonte Zellouss said.
Liberty Brittan Boyd made her long-awaited return to the court, hitting a runner in the paint early in the second quarter for her first points in over year. Boyd has been out since May of last season rehabbing from a torn achilles torn. Boyd finished with 2 points for the game playing four minutes.
Mercury (5-3) Diana Taurasi had 21 points and 8 assists was a headache for the Liberty in the first half on the perimeter. Taurasi 3-pointer in the second quarter became the only player in WNBA history to reach 8,000 career points. Taurasi had help with 6’9 center Brittney Griner who controlled the paint chipped in with 26 points and 6 rebounds.
Phoenix behind Taurasi hot shooting took a 43-38 lead into the break. In that half the Liberty grabbed 16 offensive rebounds while Phoenix managed only one.
Guard Bria Hartley had her highest scoring output of the season, finishing with 18 points, including 12 in the first half. It was Hartley highest point total since June 22nd 2014, when she hit a career-high 26 points against the Storm.
The matchup marked the 12th meeting between the Liberty and the Mercury. Overall the series is even 6-6. The two have both gone 3-3 in the six meetings at the Garden during their 12 game stretch.
Tina Charles scored the 4876th point of her career when she scored on a layup early in the first quarter. Charles surpassed Hall of Famer and three-time MVP Sheryl Swoopes to move up to 19th on the WNBA all-time scoring last.
The Liberty will play the Connecticut Sun home at the Westchester County Center for a 7 p.m. start time.