Charles' career game lifts Liberty to 93-89 win over Wings (Jun 2, 2017)
NEW YORK (AP) With New York down a few players for the next few weeks, Tina Charles knew she'd have to raise her game.
Charles scored a career-high 36 points and Shavonte Zellous added 27 to lead the Liberty to a 93-89 win Friday night.
''I came out with a mentality that we were without two key players and I had to step up offensively,'' Charles said.
She also got a lot of help. Zellous had a season-high, Kiah Stokes added 13 points and a career-best 15 rebounds.
''I think we're at our best when everyone's involved when everyone's flowing,'' said Charles. ''Everyone can leave the arena feeling good about themselves.''
New York (3-3) was missing Epiphanny Prince and Kia Vaughn, who are both playing in the EuroBasket tournament this month. Zellous picked up the scoring in their absence. She had just 22 points total in the team's first five games. She surpassed that mark early in the fourth quarter.
''I was being aggressive,'' Zellous said. ''The first couple games I was a bit hesitant to be myself.''
Her 3-pointer gave New York an eight-point lead midway through the final period. The advantage increased to 87-78 on Charles' 3-pointer that gave her a scoring high. Dallas cut it to 87-84 with a minute left. After two free throws by Zellous extended the lead to five, Kaela Davis converted a three-point play.
Dallas had a few chances to tie in the final 30 seconds, but Charles and Sugar Rodgers converted four free throws in the final 20 seconds to seal the win.
''We left a lot of things on the boards, rebounding we gave them a lot of second opportunities,'' Dallas coach Fred Williams said. ''When it came down to it, it came down to rebounding and boxing out.''
New York outrebounded Dallas 44-28.
Skylar Diggins scored 19 points and Theresa Plaisance added 18 to lead Dallas (3-3).
Bria Hartley got the start and had her best game of the young season since coming to the Liberty in a trade in the offseason. She had six points in the first six minutes and finished with 10.
Despite the strong first half by Hartley and Zellous, New York trailed 50-45 at the break.
Dallas: The Wings are playing short-handed as Courtney Paris is out for six-to-eight weeks with a knee injury and Aerial Powers is still recovering from a hip injury that has sidelined her this season so far.
New York: Charles' previous best of 32 points came against Connecticut last season.
Dallas: Wings play at Indiana on Saturday night.
New York: Liberty host Phoenix on Sunday.