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Liberty Can’t Overcome Offensive Struggles By Tina Charles in Loss

Liberty launched a season-high 71 shots in loss to the Mystics.

(Photo by Catalina Fragoso - DoubleGSports)

(Photo by Catalina Fragoso – DoubleGSports)


The Washington Mystics employed a sticky defense along with the timely outside shooting of point guard Ivory Latta to edge the New York Liberty 74-59 on Sunday in front of 7,629 at Madison Square Garden.

The Liberty fell to 3-2 while the Mystics improved their early season record to 3-1.

Essence Carter paced the Liberty attack with 12 points (6 of 11 from the field) while grabbing six boards in a losing effort.

The Liberty received excellent contributions off the bench from Carolyn Swords who scored 12 points and Sugar Rodgers who chipped in with 10 but it was not enough to overcome the Mystics defensive intensity. Guard Brittany Boyd added nine points.

New York’s leading scorer, forward Tina Charles, was held to just six points (3 of 17 from the field), although Charles did manage to the lead the team with seven boards.

“We count so much on Tina [Charles] to score and she had a really bad game offensively,” said Liberty coach Bill Laimbeer. “We have to find other ways to score.”

The Mystics defensive effort limited the Liberty to shooting a season low of 31% (22 of 71) from the field.

“They (Mystics) played more physical than us. They beat us up and we didn’t respond,” added Laimbeer.

Both teams had a rather slow start (score tied at 12 at the end of the first quarter) but the Mystics picked up the tempo to take a 35-29 lead at the half. The Mystics increased their lead to 54-43 after three and never looked back in the contest.

“The biggest thing we are trying to do is make teams take tough shots,” said Washington coach Mike Thibault. “We have played good defense all season, we just haven’t played good offense, and tonight we finally did.”

Ivory Latta led the Mystics attack with 20 points (6 of 13, 3 of 8 from beyond the arc) while Stefanie Dolson added 15 (6 rebounds) and Kara Lawson chipped in with 13.

In previous action, the Liberty behind All-Star Tina Charles beat the visiting Phoenix Mercury, 68-57, on Thursday evening, June 11.

Charles had a superb evening for the Liberty as she scored 19 points while grabbing 11 boards in the win.

New York dominated in the paint, outrebounding Phoenix 35-23 while outscoring the Mercury 32-22.

Rookie Kiah Stokes joined Charles with 11 boards, the first double-digit rebound game of her career, adding six points and a pair of blocks.

DeWanna Bonner led Phoenix with 22 points and six rebounds.




The Liberty launched a season-high 71 shots in their loss to the Mystics.

The last time New York defeated the Mercury was back in 2012.

New York rookie forward Rebecca Allen will miss the remainder of the season due to a cartilage injury to her right knee.

The Liberty will host the Indiana Fever on June 19 and then hit the road for a pair of games against Atlanta (June 21) and Tulsa (June 26).The Liberty will return to The Garden on June 28 (3 p.m.) when they host the Los Angeles Sparks.


Follow Bob for all the WNBA highlights, features and more: @WhitneyBob

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Bob Whitney

Bob is a college basketball columnist here at He also covers Yale football and the Connecticut Sun of the WNBA.
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