New York Liberty Erases 15-point 2nd half deficit to beat Indiana Fever on the road 85-94

INDIANAPOLIS, IND. – JULY 28, 2017 – The Liberty (11-10) erased a 15-point 2nd half deficit and came back to beat the Indiana Fever (8-15) 85-84 on Friday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Tina Charles scored a game-high 25 points and Bria Hartley matched her season-high of 17 points.
After leading by as many as 9 in the 1st quarter, New York was down 6 at half, and found itself in a 60-45 hole just two minutes into the 2nd half as the Fever opened the 3rd quarter on an 11-2 run. After a timeout, New York outscored Indiana 21-6 to come back and tie it at 66-66 on a Nayo Raincock-Ekunwe free throw. From there neither team led by more than 3 points.
The Liberty was back down two, 82-80, with fewer than 90 second to play when Bria Hartley nailed a 3-pointer, her 3rd of the game, to but New York back on top. Following a defensive stop that featured a critical block from Kiah Stokes. The Liberty iced the game with a pair of Sugar Rodgers free throws at the other end.
New York’s 5-game road trip continues on Sunday, July 30, when it faces the Chicago Sky at Rosemont Arena. Tipoff is scheduled for 6 PM (ET).
New York Liberty Notes

• The Liberty overcame a 15-point deficit (60-45) to pick up the win at Indiana; the previous largest deficit overcome for a win this season was 10 points (55-45) at Dallas on June 16, a game New York went on to win 102-93 in overtime on the road

• From the 5:51 mark of the 2nd quarter the Fever went on a 32-11 run to take a 60-45 lead with 8:36 to play in the 3rd; included an 18-0 run from the end of the 2nd into the start of the 3rd

• New York used a 21-6 run from the timeout taken after falling behind by 15, to come back and tie the game 66-66 on a Nayo Raincock-Ekunwe free throw

• Bria Hartley matched her season-high of 17 points, going 3-for-3 from 3-point range and 6-of-8 from the field

• Tina Charles finished with 25 points to post her 3rd-straight game with 20-plus points and 14th 20-point game of the season

• Kiah Stokes hauled in a team-high 10 rebounds to post her 6th game of the season with double-digit boards

• New York improved to 6-1 when Bria Hartley scores in double figures

• New York improved to 10-5 when attempting at least 15 free throws as a team

• The Liberty improved to 10-4 when scoring more 2nd chance points (Outscored Indiana 10-4 in 2nd chance opportunities)

• The Liberty improved to 4-6 on the road this season

• Indiana shot 19-of-32 (.594) from the field in the 1st half

• New York improved to 3-9 when trailing at the half and 2-6 when down at the half on the road

• New York is now 9-24 all time on the road against the Fever
Quoting Liberty Head Coach Bill Laimbeer

(On earning the win)

“Every win in this league is tough, and tonight was no exception. I thought they played very well and got us down big in the second half, but we showed heart and made a stand for the win.”

(On the message in a timeout, down 15 in the third quarter)

“I told them that they weren’t playing hard enough or smart enough. It’s a long game and we can claw our way back in it, but they have to dig deep. They’ve got to go out there and show heart, especially defensively.”

(On Bria Hartley)

“She made some very big shots tonight. She knocked down a key 3-pointer down the stretch. She didn’t know the shot clock in one instance and got a turnover, but she’s getting better day by day and her confidence is building.”

(On the rebounding margin)

“Before the game, we talked about how we could dominate the rebounding and went out there with that as one of our goals. Unfortunately, our defense wasn’t very good for three quarters of this game. We gave them the opportunity to win, but we were able to make all the big plays down the stretch and win the game.”
Quoting the Liberty’s Bria Hartley
“I think we came out and started the game really well, but we kind of let it get away from us.  we have to fix that and make sure that we sustain a good effort throughout the entire game.  But luckily we were able to pull out the win.”
(On the difference between the first and second half)

“I think the first half we kind of let them be the aggressor.  In the second half we started bad in the beginning but we came out and turned it around and we were able to get them back on their heels and people made big shots.”
Quoting the Liberty’s Tina Charles
“We showed a lot of heart, like Bill (Laimbeer) had said afterwards.  We definitely wanted to get the win in Minnesota.  We had the same kind of opportunity.  We were able to close it out in the end.  You know the game was ours in the first quarter.  We let them get the momentum, they started making shots.  We started the third quarter not the way we wanted to in the first five minutes.  They went up 15 points.  But the fact that we were able to not hold our head down, the same way how we didn’t against Minnesota when we were down 10 at half, I think is really huge and we’re showing a lot about ourselves.”

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