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Strong Liberty Effort Not Enough to Defeat Mercury in 78-72 Decision

August 18, 2019 - Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) - New York Liberty News Release

PHOENIX, AZ. - The New York Liberty continued its three-game road trip in Phoenix against the Mercury tonight in their second of three meetings of the 2019 season.

Phoenix defeated New York, 78-72.

Tina Charles led scoring for the Liberty with 23 points on 52.9% shooting from the field.

New York led by as many as five points in the first half. Tina Charles scored the first eight of her team's ten points in the game. She went on to score 15 in the first quarter alone.

The second quarter began slowly for both teams with no scoring in nearly two minutes. New York gained some momentum going on a 4-0 run to take back the lead with more than seven minutes left in the half.

Solid defense from the Liberty limited Phoenix to only one point for the first nearly five minutes of the second quarter. However, Phoenix went on a 7-2 run to regain the lead. The Liberty went into the locker room at half down by six points.

New York started a solid third quarter on a 4-0 run and continued to chip away at the Mercury lead. Down one with five minutes left in the third, New York forced a shot clock violation.

A three by Bonner gave the Mercury a one-point lead. An and one and a good free throw by Reshanda Gray boosted New York over Phoenix and sparked an 8-0 Liberty run to close the third quarter. The Liberty led by as many as eight points.

Reshanda Gray opened the fourth with a basket to extend the team's run to 10-0. New York led early in the fourth quarter when the Mercury went on a 10-2 run to come back and tie the game. Halfway through the final quarter, the Mercury regained a two-point lead after Bonner made two free throws.

Bria Hartley hit a three-point shot from the wing with less than two minutes left to play in the match, putting New York down one point.

A three-point shot by Leilani Mitchell with 53.3 seconds in the fourth quarter extended the Mercury lead to four. Down the stretch, made free throws and hot shooting by Bonner sealed the deal for the Mercury to defeat the Liberty, tying this season's series, 1-1.

UP NEXT: New York heads to Indiana to finish the last game of its three-game road trip against the Fever on Tuesday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. ET.

LIBERTY NOTES:

* New York shot 38.4% from the field and 20% from the three-point line. The team shot 100% from the free throw line.

* Tina Charles has scored double figures in the last five of six games. Tonight, she had 15 in the first quarter alone on 75% (6-8) shooting from the field. She finished with 23 points and 13 rebounds in her sixth double-double of the season.

* Charles entered the game only two points behind Seimone Augustus' 10th spot on the WNBA's all-time scoring list. For the second consecutive game, Charles made history passing Augustus with 5878 total WNBA points scored.

* The Liberty scored 40 points in the paint, compared to 18 for the Mercury.

* Tanisha Wright scored a season-high 18 points, five assists and four rebounds.

* Rebecca Allen started today's game over Reshanda Gray.

* Kia Nurse, Bria Hartley and Reshanda gray each added nine points for New York.

* The Liberty went into battle without starters Amanda Zahui B (concussion) and Asia Durr (groin) for the fourth consecutive game.

MERCURY NOTES:

* In its last game without Brittany Griner, Phoenix shot 34.9% from the field and 37.5% from the three-point line.

* DeWanna Bonner led all scorers with 30 points and 10 rebounds.

* Two additional Mercury players scored double figures. Leilani Mitchell and Yvonne Turner scored 19 and 13, respectively.

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