On Tuesday evening, at the end of a three-game road trip, the New York Liberty scored its first win since July with an 82–76 win over the Indiana Fever to snap an eight-game losing streak. Tina Charles was the Liberty’s top scorer with 23 points. Fellow University of Connecticut alums Kia Nurse and Bria Hartley contributed powerfully to New York’s total with 20 and 16 points respectively.
“Just happy that we came out with a win. We definitely needed it,” said Charles. “I just wanted to make sure that I told my teammates to know [the Fever] are very confident when they’re on their home court floor. So, I’m just happy we were able to get an early jump on them.”
Both the Liberty and the Fever are currently in the bottom four of the WNBA rankings. The first three playoff spots have already been locked in by the Washington Mystics, the Connecticut Sun and the Las Vegas Aces. The remaining five playoff berths are still up for grabs and the time is now for teams to make a move.
It has been a packed road trip for the Liberty. On Friday, the team lost a close game with the Dallas Wings 83–77. It was again close on Sunday as the Liberty were on the losing end of a 78–72 game with the understaffed Phoenix Mercury, which has been dealing with injuries and suspensions.
“We battle, we play hard and we haven’t been lucky in the past,” said Liberty head coach Katie Smith after the win in Indiana. “I thought we played well. I thought we moved the ball. I thought we had some really good glimpse of driving and kicking. People sharing the ball. Then, I thought our defense has been pretty solid over these last couple of games. Tonight, it came through toward the end.”
Nurse continues to be a strong contender for this year’s WNBA Most Improved Player Award. She called the victory over Indiana a great team win.
“We moved the ball really, really well, both offensively and—as a team—defensively we were really, really good today,” said Nurse. “That was fun to see.”
The Liberty returns to home court at Westchester Country Center on Friday for a game with the Atlanta Dream. It’s now or never to secure a spot in postseason play.