July 17, 2016

NEW YORK (AP) With the first part of the WNBA season winding down, the New York Liberty want to head into the Olympic break on a roll.

Swin Cash scored a season-high 16 points and Tina Charles and Sugar Rodgers each added 14 to help the Liberty beat the Sun 83-76 on Sunday.

''We have two games left and you can either head into the Olympics on a high or on a low,'' Cash said. ''We want to get there rolling.''

New York trailed 66-65 midway through the fourth quarter before Brittany Boyd's three-point play gave them a two-point lead. The Liberty (17-7) wouldn't relinquish that advantage the rest of the way.

The Liberty, who are third in the AP WNBA power poll, were down 51-44 early in the third quarter before they got going. New York scored the first nine points during a 17-2 run, spanning the end of the third and the start of the fourth quarter.

Connecticut went without a field goal for 8:30 during that stretch. The Liberty reserves played a big part in the burst as Amanda Zahui B. and Boyd were effective on both ends of the floor, scoring, blocking shots and stealing the ball. Boyd's three-point play with 8:45 left in the fourth quarter capped the burst and gave New York its biggest lead of the second half - 61-53.

''She found her stride. Knows her specialty is transition. She provided a spark for us in the second half,'' Charles said of Boyd. ''She came up with some big plays to help us take the lead.''

Connecticut (6-16) wouldn't go away, going up 66-65 on Jasmine Thomas' runner with 5:07 left in the game.

Chiney Ogwumike had 18 points and 10 rebounds for 11th-ranked Connecticut. Thomas added 16 points.

''The third-quarter players off the bench for New York made impacts. They were physical around the rim,'' Ogwumike said. ''They flexed their muscle and we didn't flex our back.''

The Liberty built a 24-16 lead early in the second quarter before the Sun scored 19 of the next 22 points to take a 35-28 advantage. Thomas' shot just before the buzzer gave Connecticut a 39-36 advantage at the break.

New York has two games left before the Olympic break playing a matinee game in Washington on Wednesday followed by a home matchup against Indiana on Thursday. Connecticut visits Dallas and Chicago before it goes on break.

''It's huge. We saw after the game that LA lost,'' Charles said. ''We know we can still get into the first one or two seeds. To win out would be really big for us.''

You May Like