Wednesday, July 6 – 4 p.m. PT
Madison Square Garden | New York, NY
WNBA League Pass
A year after finishing with the best record in the league, New York is once again at the top of the Eastern Conference standings with a 12-6 record. The Liberty has had two days off since a road loss to the L.A. Sparks, while Seattle (6-11) is on its only back-to-back of the season after Tuesday’s defeat at Atlanta.
Including an 86-78 defeat at KeyArena last month, the Storm has lost seven consecutive games to New York. Dating back to 2013, this losing streak is the longest in the series history.
Heading into Wednesday’s matchup, Liberty forward and former MVP Tina Charles is leading the entire league in both scoring (23.1 points per game) and rebounding (9.8). She’s also ninth with 4.2 assists per game, and Charles boasts a 2.0 assist-to-turnover ratio. This year she added the three-point shot to her game – After never attempting more than five in a season, Charles is 9-for-23 from beyond the arc at an efficient 39.1 percent in 2016.
Rebounding has been a challenge for Seattle this year, as the Storm ranks last in the league with a 0.447 rebounding percentage. That is one of the Liberty’s strengths: New York boasts the league’s best percentage in both overall rebounding (.534) and defensive rebounding (.767) for the second straight year. Bill Laimbeer’s team has been top three in defensive boards each of last three seasons.
Guard Sugar Rodgers is having a career season for the Liberty, increasing her scoring average from 8.1 points per game last year to 16.2 this year. Rodgers had 18 points and five assists in the win over Seattle on June 5, when Storm counterpart Jewell Loyd struggled from the field. Loyd has also dramatically increased her scoring average from year to year (10.7 points per game as a rookie to 16.8 this year).
- New York forward Swin Cash, who has announced this will be her final WNBA season, is playing her second-to-last regular-season game against the Storm. The teams will also meet Sept. 7 at Madison Square Garden, and with the new postseason format of the top eight clubs making it regardless of conference, they could technically face off in any round of the playoffs. Cash, a three-time WNBA champion, two-time NCAA champion and two-time Olympic gold medalist, spent four years of her illustrious career with the Storm (2008-11). In the 2010 championship season, Cash started all 41 games, posting averages of 13.8 points and 6.0 rebounds per game.