Rough going continues for the Liberty

LOIS ELFMAN | 8/8/2019, 1:41 p.m.
Another game, another loss and another step further from the playoffs. Despite promising moments and decent performances, the New York ...

Another game, another loss and another step further from the playoffs. Despite promising moments and decent performances, the New York Liberty continues to lose. Last week saw losses to the Dallas Wings and the Connecticut Sun.

The 87–64 loss to the Wings came in Dallas. Guard Kia Nurse continued her season-long consistency with 13 points, the Liberty’s top scorer. Rookie Asia Durr had 10 points and Rebecca Allen contributed 11 points. By contrast, five Wings players were in double figures, with rookie Arike Ogunbowale leading the way at 22 points.

Liberty coach Katie Smith said before the game the team had talked about boxing out, the Wings’ athleticism and the opposing team’s size on the perimeter. “We talked about how we had to battle; we had to hit them and go get it,” said Smith. “But they kept coming and we didn’t push back enough…They just took us off the dribble, made plays and got us on our heels. Kudos to them—they played really well.”

So, it was back to New York and another matchup with the Sun. The game just before the All-Star break had been pretty close, but Connecticut came ready on Sunday afternoon. Four Sun players were in double figures, including guard Courtney Williams with a season-high 28 points. Although three Liberty players scored double digits, the Sun prevailed 94–79.

“They received 37 points from our turnovers,” noted forward Tina Charles, who had a double-double, 20 points and 10 rebounds. “This was our issue this game and the last game. We really just have to start taking care of the ball. Once we handle that, I feel like we can start pointing out other areas that need improvement.”

She added, “We have to change our pace as a team. But for our team, we have to keep our pride and reflect that on the court.”

The Liberty makes its regular season debut at Barclays Center in Brooklyn on Sunday in a game against the defending WNBA Champion Seattle Storm. It will be the Liberty’s third annual Unity Day Game. This year’s theme, Forgotten Behind Bars: Women’s Healthcare, Family and Representation, focuses on mass incarceration of women.

On Thursday evening, the team will host a panel discussion at the YWCA Brooklyn, Roulette Theater. Prior to Sunday’s game, there will be a youth basketball clinic at Barclays Center, a workshop with WOWsdom and a pre-game performance by BOUNCE Centers on Gun Violence.