Liberty Flames
Charles scores 18, leads Liberty to 76-61 win over Dream (Jun 7, 2017)
Liberty Flames

Charles scores 18, leads Liberty to 76-61 win over Dream (Jun 7, 2017)

Published Jun. 7, 2017 2:23 p.m. ET

NEW YORK (AP) Tina Charles and Kiah Stokes have been dominating the boards lately, and that has translated into wins for the New York Liberty.

Charles had 18 points and 15 rebounds while Stokes added a career-best 17 boards to help the Liberty beat the Dream 76-61 on Wednesday in the annual school day matinee game. It's the second time in three games that the Liberty held a double-digit advantage in rebounding.

''Our coaches stress we have to box out and rebound to be a good defensive team,'' Stokes said. ''The fact Tina and I both had a lot shows how important we are to this team in rebounding. As long as we keep it up, we'll be a good team.''

New York held Atlanta to just 27 percent shooting, including the Dream going 1-for-13 from behind the 3-point line.


''We got killed on the boards and when you can't rebound you have less possession,'' Atlanta center Elizabeth Williams said. ''We didn't shoot well, that was clear. When you're not rebounding the ball, it's hard.''

Sugar Rodgers added 16 points for the Liberty (5-3), who have won three straight games.

New York jumped all over Atlanta (4-3), scoring the game's first seven points. After the Dream tied it at 7-all, the Liberty scored 15 of the next 21 points to take command. Charles scored 11 in the opening quarter and had 17 at halftime.

The Liberty led 47-29 at the half. Atlanta cut its deficit to 10 heading into the final period but could get only within eight.

Rookie Brittney Sykes and Tiffany Hayes led the Dream with 14 points.

''I came full circle and it was surreal,'' said Sykes, who grew up in Newark, New Jersey. ''When the Liberty were in Newark playing at the Prudential Center, I used to go to every single game with my high school teammates. For summers I watched them play. To be in the league I watched growing up is crazy.''


Dream: Hayes was the WNBA player of the month for May and has scored in double figures in 16 consecutive games. ... Atlanta trailed Washington in its last game by 18 points before rallying to take a lead late in the game and falling just short. ... Sancho Lyttle played her final game for Atlanta before heading to play in the EuroBasket tournament with Spain.

Liberty: New York is 18-6 in June the past three seasons. ... The 29 points in the opening quarter were the Liberty's most in a period this season. ... Lindsay Allen had the first baskets of her pro career, hitting consecutive shots in the fourth quarter. Her college coach Muffet McGraw was in the stands looking on.


This is the fourth consecutive season that the Dream have played either a camp or school day game at Madison Square Garden. The Liberty have won three of the four games, with the only defeat coming in an exhibition contest in 2015. Atlanta will take part in four matinee games this season, two at home, two on the road. The game drew 14,7816 fans, the biggest crowd of the season.


Dream: Visits Connecticut on Saturday.

Liberty: Hosts Seattle on Sunday to close out a five-game homestand.


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