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New York, NY- New York Liberty hosted the struggling San Antonio Stars in a meaningful game. With two games renaming, New York is one game behind Connecticut for the best record in the Eastern Conference.
With an eight game winning streak, the Liberty have put pressure on the Connecticut Sun to keep winning. Their defense has been the catalyst, holding opponents to 66.4 points per game, .377 from the field and just .270 from 3-point range. But they couldn’t not afford to look past San Antonio, who has the worst record in the league at 7-25.
The Liberty started ice cold from the field, shooting 2-10. New York tied the score at six with 5:23 remaining in the first quarter.
The Stars tried to slow the pace and make the game ugly. It helped as the Liberty continued to struggle but finally found some rhythm and ended the quarter on an 8-3 run to tie the score at 18-18 after one quarter.
The Liberty took their first lead of the game on a Rebecca Allen jumper to open the second quarter (20-18). The game got sloppy and neither team could get into a flow.
New York would take it’s biggest lead, 31-24, with 4:51 left in the second quarter. San Antonio would chip away at that lead, cutting it to one (36-35) on a Kayla Alexander basket. That was the closest they would get as New York would take a 40-37 halftime lead.
Tina Charles led New York with 11 points and five rebounds and Epiphanny Prince chipped in with nine points. San Antonio was led by Kayla Alexande’a 13 points and Kelsey Plum’s 11 points.
Over the first three minutes of the third quarter, New York outscored San Antonio 10-5 to take a 50-42 lead.
The Stars responded with a 7-0 run, capped off by a Plum 3-point play cutting the lead to 50-49. New York started attacking the basket and getting to the free throw line. New York would lead 65-60 after three quarters.
In the 4th quarter, the Liberty turned up their defensive intensity. Their team defensive rotation and effort were in synch. They held the Stars to nine points total in the 4th quarter. The final score of 81-69 extended New York’s winning streak to nine.
New York had four players who scored in double figures, Tina Charles and Epiphanny Prince each with 16 points along with 10 apiece from Kia Vaughn and Shavonte Zellous.
San Antonio was led by Kelsey Plum’s 18 points, Kayla Alexander’s 15 points and nine rebounds and Isabelle Harrison’s 10 points.