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Postgame Notes: Liberty Stun Sun, 79-76

NOTES

  • After falling at the buzzer in their first matchup against the Connecticut Sun, the New York Liberty got their revenge, emerging with a 79-76 victory after a Shavonte Zellous buzzer-beating three.
  • The Liberty turned the ball over seven times in the first quarter, equaling their total for the rest of the game.
  • The Liberty started the second quarter with a near-four-minute scoring drought as the Sun went on an 8-0 run.
  • A Tina Charles and-1 ended the dry spell with 6:05 to play in the half.
  • The Liberty (43.8) and Sun (43.6) had near-identical shooting percentages in the first half, but Connecticut held a 7-0 second chance point advantage.
  • New York made just two of their 10 attempts from deep in the first half, but bounced back after the break, making five out of 11.
  • The Liberty’s five blocks in the contest were one short of their season-high (six against Las Vegas (6/22)), and their highest total since that game.
  • The Sun doubled the Liberty’s attempts at the charity stripe, making 14 of 24, while New York hit eight of 12.
  • Tina Charles led the Liberty with 19 points and 11 rebounds, notching her fifth double-double of the season.
  • Brittany Boyd stuffed the stat sheet, registering five points, eight rebounds and eight assists. The rebound total marked a season-high, and it was her third game this season with at least eight helpers.
  • Epiphanny Prince finished with 15 points, her third straight game in double figures. Her three-pointer with 24 seconds to play tied the game at 76.
  • Zellous joined Charles and Prince in double figures, scoring 14 points, including the game-winning three. The Liberty are 6-2 when the guard scores at least 10 points.
  • In the two contests against Connecticut this season, Zellous is averaging 13.5 points, 3.5 rebounds and 5.5 assists per game.
  • The two matchups between the Sun and the Liberty have been settled by a combined five points, as both have ended with buzzer-beaters.
  • The Sun’s 76 points were the fewest by an opponent since the Dream scored 72 (6/19).
  • The contest was the third Liberty game this season decided by a buzzer beater, and the first in which they emerged victorious.
  • The victory snapped a three-game losing streak for the Liberty.

NEW YORK COACH QUOTES

Head coach Katie Smith on Shavonte Zellous’ impact and effort…
“I hate to say it, but it’s somewhat expected. When she doesn’t do it, that’s when we’re like, ‘Come on Z [Shavonte Zellous]’. This is the Zellous that we need and we know can do both ends. She is one of our best basketball IQs and one of our best players. This has to be a consistent factor. Whether it’s an attack mentality and on the other end we’re locking down the defensive end. I’m happy for her again today, but we need this every single game and she is one that I one hundred percent think can do that, and she needs to do that.”

Smith on holding Connecticut in the third quarter…
“Yeah, I just think we were locked in, we were moving a little bit. We still gave up a little bit on our help side, we need to be over a little quicker. I thought we were covering for each other. I thought guards were coming in for rebounds – their bigs are active – so our bigs have a handful trying to box them out. I thought our guards really got in there and rounded up some rebounds that we needed. I just thought as a whole, it was just a really good team effort.”

NEW YORK PLAYERS QUOTES

Shavonte Zellous on how she felt getting the win after hitting the game-winner…
“Good, not because of the game-winner, it’s good because we got an actual win. We’ve had some adversity this season, so to come here against a very good Connecticut team and get the win, it’s a plus for us.”

Tina Charles on the win…
“It feels really good. It’s something that we need. We’ve been losing a bunch of games, so to get a win is
definitely a great momentum boost.”

Charles on the message during the huddle with 3:45 to go in the game…
“Just to stay together. There was three minutes left, that’s a lot of time and plenty of ball game left. We just stayed composed. While I’ve been playing for this organization, there have been situations where we were in the same thing, and we were able to come back and overcome it or at least go into overtime. I think everybody was very collective and together right there.”