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Sun Top Liberty, 94-79

August 4, 2019 - Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) - New York Liberty News Release

WHITE PLAINS, NY- - The New York Liberty met the Connecticut Sun for the second time in the 2019 regular season today for a game at Westchester County Center. The Liberty fell to the Sun, 94-79

Tina Charles led all Liberty scorers with 20 points, 10 rebounds and 2 assists in her fifth double-double of the season. Charles scored14 first-half points on 60% (6-10) shooting from the field.

A slow start for the Liberty and hot shooting for the Sun in the first quarter gave Connecticut a lead by as much as 16 points. The Liberty ended the first quarter down 13. Courtney Williams started the game scoring six of Connecticut's 11 points in the opening five minutes and went on to score a season-high 28 points.

The second quarter opened with the teams trading baskets. The Liberty cut the Sun lead to eight, but Connecticut continued to score. Despite New York cutting into Connecticut's lead, the team went into the locker room at half down 13 points.

New York opened the third quarter with a 12-6 run that chipped away at the Sun lead, getting to within nine points with 6 minutes remaining in the third quarter. Connecticut extended its lead once again to 18 with less than three minutes in the third quarter.

Going into the fourth quarter, New York was down 16. Connecticut stretched its lead to 20 points with 9 minutes remaining in the final quarter of the game. A quick run by New York got the team within 13 points with less than seven minutes in the game but it wasn't enough to secure the win.

UP NEXT: The Liberty will be back in action on August 7 in Chicago when they face the Sky at 8 p.m. ET.

LIBERTY NOTES:

* New York shot 43.7% from the field and 18.2% from beyond the arc.

* Amanda Zauhi B added 16 points, five rebounds and five assists.

* Kia Nurse also scored double figures with 11 points. Nurse has scored in double figures in 17 of the team's 21 games.

* Bria Hartley added nine points, three rebounds and two assists off of the bench. Reshanda Gray contributed eight points and six rebounds.

* Asia Durr started for the first time since she's come back from her minor groin strain.

* New York's bench scored 29 points.

SUN NOTES:

* ?Courtney Williams' 28 points is a new season-high, eclipsing the 23 she scored in Washington on June 11. It is her 14th game this season in double-figures and the fourth in a row. It is her second game this season with 20 or more points and the 10th of her career.

* The 16 points scored by Alyssa Thomas is her 14th game in double-figures this season.

* Jonquel Jones finished with 14 points and now has 1,502 for her career. She is just the second player from the 2016 draft class to reach 1,500 or more points, trailing only Breanna Stewart with 2,019.

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New York Notes

Coach Katie Smith on team's struggle guarding the 3:

"We don't want to close out the right way, we close out short. You have to get in their space, take their shot away and make them do something their uncomfortable with. We talk about it, but we have to do it. If it's one of those nights where someone is hitting then you have to put pressure on them, run them off the free throw line and get ready to guard not only individually, but as a team."

Coach Katie on moving forward:

"We cannot turn the ball over! We probably lead the league in opponent's points off of turnovers. In two games we have given up 67 points off of turnovers, we are just coughing it up. You have to handle the ball, and if you don't handle the basketball we are basically spotting people 25 points a game, and in this league you're not going to win like that. We have to find ways to both guard and take care of the basketball."

Coach Katie on positive takeaways:

"Overall I thought we were alright. Obviously, Courtney Williams got hot, but we just put so much pressure on our defense when we are turning it over like that. We finally shot it a little bit better, not necessarily from three, but overall. I thought some of our defense was good. Again, we just have to be tighter, and on the offensive in we have to tighten things up and not give them easy opportunities."

Tina Charles on Liberty's performance:

"They received 37 points from our turnovers. That 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. 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."

Tina Charles on playing against Jonquel Jones:

"I'm very proud of her. We text and talk all the time. I'm proud of her growth and what's she been reflecting for the Connecticut Sun. She definitely demands attention every time she steps on the court. She's really been the glue for her team and she's doing a great job"

Bria Hartley on guarding Jasmine Thomas:

"She's a very good player. I definitely try to frustrate her to get into her head. She handles frustrations very well, and she's doing well this season."

Amanda Zahui B on playing against Connecticut Sun:

"They're a great team being number 1 in the Eastern conference obviously. They play great as a team, but for us we have to handle our turnovers. If we have lots of turnovers, it's important for us to sprint back and finish strong!"

Connecticut Quotes

Coach Curt Miller on Courtney Williams:

"It's fun to see her back, we haven't always found things this year and she realizes it as much as anyone. She really carried it tonight, offensively at times and put a lot of pressure on the defense. We know that's in there, it just hasn't been there as consistently this year."

Coach Curt on Jonquel Jones:

"She went from a person who we didn't think was a very good rim protector, to now she's leading the league in blocked shots. When you have one of the elite defenders in Alyssa Thomas on the other forward, then we can take some more chances, we can be more aggressive and try to disrupt because behind you, you have a rim protector. It allows Alyssa to be more aggressive, it allows us to try some things, and tonight that was the difference, it was 37 points off the turnovers."

Coach Curt on road trip:

"This four game road trip is really important and that sets the tone, we have two west coast trips in August. When all is said and done we will play 9 games in an 18 day stretch and a lot of those are on the road. So we know we're ahead of schedule from our 21 wins the last couple years, but we know we've got a ton of work ahead of us."

Coach Curt on playoff picture:

"It's still really congested. I think last year three teams went 9-1 in the last ten games, if that happens again, the standings are so congested anything can happen. We know we're not out of the woods. I just want to be in the top eight."

Courtney Williams on effort in today's game:

"I took my momentum from the last game, got to the same spots, knocked down shots and my teammates kept giving me the ball."

Williams on teams' progress and future goals:

"I think we have always known that we can win a championship. We know that we have all the pieces, it was just a matter of getting over that hump. We fell short the last couple of years, but we have always known that if we get teams in the series, nobody can bang with us."

Williams on the rest of the season:

"We are a championship team we just have to get there and prove it. We have to win games on the road, and I think we have shown that we can win at home but we struggled in our last away game, so I think we definitely have to pick it up this time around and get wins."

Jonquel Jones on team's catalyst this season:

"Our chemistry, moving the basketball and allowing everyone to get a touch of it. I think if we play like that, we are going to be hard to stop."

Jones on individual success:

"I think I just have to be aggressive. Just coming into this season coaches were talking about me taking a bigger role, being better on defense and on offense. I just go out there and play hard every time."

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