The Seattle Storm led by Breanna Stewart and Jewell Loyd felt the heat in the Westchester County Center Tuesday evening as they defeated the New York Liberty 77-62. With the win, Seattle moves into a tie for first place in the standings with the Phoenix Mercury and also push their win streak to three games.
With the loss, the Liberty find themselves second to last in the standings and will need to work on the little things to help them push forward.
“This league is so good and very little separates top to bottom and those little things that the teams who are more consistent and more discipline throughout the forty minutes are going to get wins,” said NY Liberty Head Coach Katie Smith. “And right now we are a little too inconsistent,” she added.
“We just have to talk a little bit more, move a little bit more, passing more, helping more, just one possession at a time doing a little more,” said Liberty center Kia Vaughn. “Everybody has to just do a little bit more and just try and find ways to get it done no matter what,” she added.
The game got off to a slow start as both sides struggled offensively for the first two minutes before Vaughn got things going with a lay-up. After trading baskets back and forth, the Liberty led by Vaughn’s eight points used a 7-0 run to take a 19-16 lead after the first quarter.
“It was just what the game gave me and I thought it was going to be good but it didn’t work out that way so overall it’s just tough,” said Vaughn
Everything began to go downhill for the Liberty in quarter number two as they would only score a total of nine points. Seattle got hot and converted on some easy shots to end the first half on a blazing 16-2 run.
“The last four minutes I think they had a 16-2 run, we had a couple missed shots a few easy run outs, they got a lot of easy buckets,” said Coach Smith. “If you’re not scoring you can’t let the other team score, again we missed some shots weren’t able to run our offense we just muddled through it a lil bit,” she added.
New York would come out of halftime firing but the Storm were able to fight off every run the Liberty had to offer. Seattle would reach its biggest lead of 20 points midway through the fourth quarter forcing Coach Smith to wave the white flag and empty the bench.
There were still some bright spots within the tough loss for the Liberty as they received some good production from Amanda Zahui B. and Bria Hartley. Zahui B. provided 13 points and 4 rebounds off the bench. While Hartley the leading scorer for the Liberty with 16 points, scored her 1000th career point in tonight’s game.
The Liberty look to bounce back as they head up to the nation’s capital for a match-up against the Washington Mystics this Thursday, July 5th. It will be a rematch of last weeks nail-biter that saw New York lose a close one 80-77.