Bria Hartley went one of two from the free throw line to put the New York Liberty up two. Seconds away from handing the Connecticut Sun their second loss of the season and snagging themselves a huge home win against the top team in the East.
Then it happened.
With 5.8 seconds remaining, Jasmine Thomas drove the lane, opted out of the wide open layup to send the game to overtime (which had me screaming at the television) and kicked corner to Shekinna Stricklen who nailed a corner three at the buzzer plus the foul to complete the four point play for the win.
The Liberty put together a tremendous first half leading 54-41 at the break but were outscored 47-32 in the second half by the Sun to ultimately fall by two 88-86. New York shot the ball well at 46 percent for the game, they took care of the basketball with only 11 turnovers and they made the hustle plays.
Tina Charles led all scorers finishing with 24 points on 9-18 shooting. Shavonte Zellous added 13 and seven assists and Marissa Coleman and Kia Nurse chipped in 11 a piece.
A heartbreaking loss for the Liberty who fall to 2-4 on the season. This Liberty team is intriguing from a standpoint of how close they are from being 6-0. They are in every game they play and consistently give themselves chances to win. The four games they have lost have all been by six points or less.
vs. Sky: Lost by 4 vs. Lynx: Lost by 6 vs. Mercury: Lost by 6 vs. Sun: Lost by 2
Any time you have the dominance of a player like Tina Charles, veteran guard play and a deep bench capable of stepping up and contributing more than most, you've got the tools to stay in games and to give yourself a chance.
Kia Nurse is one of the more dominant rookies so far this season. She went off against the Fever for 34 points and is currently averaging 16.6 per game. Amanda Zahui B has consistently been a presence inside off the bench and playing some of the best basketball of her four-year career.
The Liberty have the tools but have yet to be able to consistently put together a complete 40-minute effort. I believe they will, and would not be surprised if we see them going on a run in the later part of the season.
The Sun get back into the win column after suffering their first loss of the season earlier this week to the Atlanta Dream. They advance to 6-1 on the season behind Jasmine Thomas who finished the game with 19 points and 8 assists. Chiney Ogwumike added 16 points and eight rebounds as the Sun remain in first place in the league.
The Liberty will host the Indiana Fever on Sunday, Jun 10th at 3:00pm ET. The Fever are still currently 0-6 on the season.
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