Liberty want to break losing cycle against Sky
After the New York Liberty suffered a 14-point loss to the Phoenix Mercury on Tuesday, Tina Charles expressed concern about the dire state of things.
“Oh, I’m very concerned,” Charles told reporters after an 83-69 loss to the Mercury. “Me being moody is just because of that, because I know that we’re better than that. I’m just tired of losing.”
While Charles is getting fed up, the Liberty keep losing. They’ll attempt to break a four-game losing streak Friday night when they host the Chicago Sky at the Westchester Civic Center in White Plains, N.Y.
Charles scored 12 points Tuesday when the Liberty trailed by 13 in the opening minutes. On Thursday, some things were better such as Charles scoring 18 points while New York shot 50 percent from the field.
However, the result was an 80-77 loss in Washington when Elena Delle Donne beat the buzzer with a three-pointer, dropping the Liberty to 1-6 in their last seven games.
When Delle Donne’s shot swished through, the Liberty dropped to 4-10, matching the worst start in team history. The Liberty also began 2006 and 2014 with 10 losses in 14 games.
If there is something positive about this it is that others helped Charles offensively. Epiphanny Prince led the Liberty with 21 points and Kia Vaughn added 16, but ultimately New York did not do enough and allowed at least 80 points for the 10th time this season.
Things are going better for Chicago. The Sky are 5-9 but have improved offensively in winning consecutive games for the second time this season.
Chicago averaged 72 points during a six-game losing streak but is averaging 95 in its last two games.
After halting the skid with a 97-88 home win over Phoenix on Sunday, Chicago followed it by shooting 49 percent in a 93-80 home win over the Atlanta Dream on Wednesday.
Rookie Diamond DeShields scored 23 points and has topped double digits eight times and reached 20 points three times.
“We’ve won two in a row after a tough loss,” DeShields said. “I think it’s a turning point for us as a unit as well. We’ve got some momentum moving into New York and we are confident in ourselves right now. We are playing really well, so yeah you could call it a turning point.”
Besides DeShields, Allie Quigley also is rolling in the last three games. She scored 22 on Wednesday and has topped 20 points in the last games.
Perhaps more impressive than the offense was the defensive effort on Angel McCoughtry, who averages 17.6 points. The Sky held her scoreless in the first half and to six points overall on 1-of-11 shooting.
Chicago took the first meeting withthe Liberty 80-76 at home on May 20. While Charles scored 19 points for New York, the Sky made her go 8 of 20 from the floor.
Another difference from the first meeting was DeShields being held to seven points and New York playing without Prince and Vaughn because of injuries.
“We’ve already beat New York once and so to play them two more times, we have to make sure we secure tiebreakers — against every team,” Chicago coach and general manager Amber Stocks said. “Getting one more (win) if not two, a sweep against New York is vital.”