ARLINGTON, TX- The Liberty began a three-game road trip in Dallas against the Wings tonight, their third and final regular season matchup of the 2019 season.
New York fell to the Wings, 83-77 in a close one.
Tina Charles led all scorers with 25 points on 40% (10-25) from the field and 66.7% (2-3) from deep. New York had to find a way to close out the game in the final minutes of this contest if they had any aspirations of making the playoffs.
New York began the game strongly, leading by as many as five points in the opening minutes of the quarter. The Wings went on a run to close the quarter and lead New York 23-18. In the first half, Dallas never looked back, maintaining their lead over the Liberty. New York had a problem closing out shooters on the perimeter and Dallas made them pay for their mistakes.
“We play hard every game we just have to find a way to concentrate in the fourth quarter and step it up. We know how good we are and no one in here is getting down. The season is our to take, we just got to get out and do our job like professionals.” Liberty Tina Charles said after the game.
The Wings opened the second quarter on a 6-2 run in the first three minutes. New York changed their defensive alignment in the last two minutes of the half and it cut Dallas’ lead to five points.
Going into the break, New York was down six points, having shot 37.9% from the field and three balls for them were non-existent. Dallas shot 43.8% from the field and 27.3% from beyond the arc in the first half. The Wings made the shots when it counted the most.
The Liberty opened the second pushing the tempo, going on a 4-0 run and forcing a Wings’ timeout with 7:30 left to go in the quarter. For the first time since the first half, New York tied the game at 44 with less than six minutes left in the third quarter.
A 8-0 run Dallas spurt half-way through the third quarter extending their lead, again. Back-to-back three-point goals by Tina Charles put the Liberty within one point of the Wings, but two miscues consecutive steals by Dallas, gave them a five-point lead going into the final quarter.
Dallas Arike Ogunbowale opened the fourth connecting on a mid-range jumper on the left perimeter. It was followed by two offensive rebounds and a three-point basket for New York’s guard, Marine Johannès.
A three by UConn Bria Hartley followed by a three from Tina Charles knotted the game at 69 with less than five minutes left in the contest. The teams went back and forth for the remainder of the game. Tied at 71 with 2:54 left, New York came out a timeout and scored two points to regain the lead, 73-71. An and-one along with made free throw by Isabelle Harrison with 1:16 left in the game gave the Wings a one-point advantage.
An offensive rebound and two made free throws by Tanisha Wright gave New York a one-point lead with less than one minute in the contest.
Isabelle Harrison scored an up and under layup through traffic to give Dallas the lead back in the game. An off the ball foul called on Tina Charles resulted in a made free throw by Ogunbowale. She made two more free throws with 20 seconds left in the game to give the Wings the 79-75 lead.
In the end, the Wings made their free throws down the stretch to pull out the win.
UP NEXT: New York continues its three-game road trip when the team heads to Phoenix to play the Mercury on Sunday, August 18 at Talking Stick Resort Arena at 3 p.m. ET.
- New York shot 41.9% from the field and 28.6% from the three-point line.
- Tina Charles led the Liberty with 25 points and seven rebounds on 40% (10-25) from the field and 66.7% (2-3) from deep.
- Tina Charles entered the game only 11 points behind Becky Hammon’s 11thspot on the WNBA’s all-time scoring list. She passed Hammon (5,841) with 25 points on the night giving her a total of 5,855 total career points.
- Charles also entered the game only six rebounds behind Tina Thompson’s (3,070) fifth spot on the league’s all-time list. She also hit this milestone tonight with seven boards, giving her a total of 3,071.
- Tanisha Wright (1389) passed Temeka Johnson (1382) to get the 10thspot on the WNBA all-time assists list, finishing with seven assists and a game-high nine boards.
- In the first quarter, Kia Nurse scored a game-high10 points. She had 17 points on the night on 44.4% (4-9) from the field, four rebounds and three assists.
- Bria Hartley also scored double figures for the team, adding 12 points and two assists.
- The Liberty went into battle without starters Amanda Zahui B (concussion) and Asia Durr (groin).
- The Wings shot 40.3% from the field and 30% from beyond the arc.
- Allisha Gray led Dallas scorers with a career-high 22 points on 62.5% (5-8) shooting from the field.
- Coming off of a career-high 35-point performance, Arike Ogunbowale scored 21 points for the Wings on 33.3% (6-18) from the field.