Wednesday, September 7 – 4:00 p.m. PT
Madison Square Garden | New York, NY
WNBA League Pass
Thanks to Sunday’s huge win at Atlanta, the Storm (12-17) sits in the eighth playoff spot with five games remaining. Seattle has won three of its five contests since the Olympic break. New York, which dominated Phoenix 92-70 on Saturday, has clinched a top-four seed and first-round bye in the playoffs. A year after finishing with the best regular-season record in the league, the Liberty is currently third at 20-9.
Seattle is aiming for its first victory over New York since 2012, which would end an eight-game losing skid. The two previous meetings this season were tightly contested until the Liberty seized control in the final minutes.
Rebounding has been the telling stat for Seattle this season – The Storm is 3-15 when its opponent gets more boards, and 9-2 when it wins or ties in the rebounding battle. On Wednesday, Seattle faces a Liberty team that has been the best rebounding unit in the WNBA for two straight years. Despite that, Storm rookie Breanna Stewart recorded her season high in rebounds (17) against New York on June 5, and also had 16 boards in the next meeting at Madison Square Garden.
Liberty forward Tina Charles is currently first in the league with 9.9 rebounds per game and second with 21.1 points per game. If she surpasses current scoring leader Elena Delle Donne by the end of the season, Charles will become just the third player to lead the WNBA in both scoring and rebounding.
Seattle, which ranks third in the league with 19.1 assists per game, has reached 20 or more assists in 10 of the last 12 games. Sue Bird, who ranks second all-time in assists, is yet again atop the WNBA leaderboard with 5.7 helpers per game. Against Chicago on July 17, Seattle had a season-high 28 assists compared to just 12 turnovers, led by the career-high 10 dimes of Jewell Loyd. Alysha Clark had a career-high seven assists on Sunday at Atlanta.
Veteran point guard Sue Bird is coming off one of her best games of the season: 23 points on 10-of-18 shooting, five assists and zero turnovers against Atlanta on Sunday. Bird has knocked down at least a trio of three-pointers in all five games since Olympic break, and she’s shooting a career-high 45.6 percent from deep. Second-year guard and former University of California star Brittany Boyd has started at point the last couple games for New York, averaging 14.5 points and six assists.
- Liberty forward and former Storm champion Swin Cash will be honored in a retirement ceremony following Wednesday’s game. It will be the final game against Seattle for Cash – who announced her retirement in June – although the teams could end up meeting in 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, she started all 41 games, posting averages of 13.8 points and 6.0 rebounds per game.
- On Sunday against Atlanta, the Storm was without starting forward Crystal Langhorne, who suffered a lacerated right eye at Chicago two days earlier. Ramu Tokashiki made her first start of the season, notching eight points and seven rebounds. Langhorne remains day-to-day.
- Two-time All-Star Epiphanny Prince has played all three games since the Olympic break after missing New York’s first 26 contests due to a knee injury. The injury was suffered while playing for her overseas team in the offseason. Although Prince is back, the Liberty is dealing with injuries to a few other key players. Guard Shoni Schimmel (concussion), center Kiah Stokes (hip) and longtime Storm guard Tanisha Wright (knee) have all been sidelined as of late.