Tina Charles’ double-double lifts Liberty over Sun 96-80

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Tina Charles’ double-double lifts Liberty over Sun 96-80
Tina Charles’ double-double lifts Liberty over Sun 96-80

NEW YORK (AP) – Tina Charles had 28 points and 17 rebounds to help New York beat Connecticut 96-80 on Wednesday.

Charles scored 10 points in the third quarter, showing off a dazzling array of moves in the post as the Liberty (10-9) turned a four-point halftime lead into a 20-point advantage. It was her ninth double-double of the season and the second consecutive double-digit win for New York.

Connecticut (12-9) had won six of its last seven games before Wednesday’s matinee game. Jonquel Jones had 14 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Sun.

Energized by a huge camp day crowd of 17,443 at Madison Square Garden, both teams came out strong on offense. The game was tied at 24 after one quarter and the Liberty led 45-41 at the half.

Charles had 12 points and 11 rebounds in the opening 20 minutes. The Liberty’s Shavonte Zellous also had 12 points at the half and finished with 16. She went 11 for 11 at the line.

COACHING SWITCH:

Connecticut coach Curt Miller will be in charge of the Eastern Conference All-Stars in Seattle on Saturday in place of New York’s Bill Laimbeer. His wife contracted a virus while in Africa on vacation and was hospitalized for a few days. Laimbeer decided to spend time with his wife, who is recovering. New York hits the road for two weeks after the All-Star Game.

HEY NOW, YOU’RE AN ALL-STAR

Sugar Rodgers is the All-Star replacement for Elena Delle Donne. The WNBA made the announcement before the game. Rodgers also will compete in the 3-point contest on Saturday. She’ll join Charles in representing the Liberty. Connecticut has three All-Stars with Jones, Alyssa Thomas and Jasmine Thomas.

UP NEXT:

Sun: Connecticut plays five of its next six games at home after the All-Star break. The Sun host Chicago on July 25.

Liberty: New York begins a five-game road trip at Minnesota on July 25.

New York Liberty center Tina Charles (31) guards Connecticut Sun forward Alyssa Thomas (25) during the first half of a WNBA basketball game, Wednesday, July 19, 2017 at Madison Square Garden in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
New York Liberty center Tina Charles (31) goes to the basket past Connecticut Sun forward Alyssa Thomas (25) during the second half of a WNBA basketball game, Wednesday, July 19, 2017 at Madison Square Garden in New York. The Liberty won 96-80. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
FILE – In this Aug. 14, 2015, file photo, New York Liberty head coach Bill Laimbeer watches during the first half of a WNBA basketball game, in Uncasville, Conn. Curt Miller has led the Connecticut Sun to the top of the Eastern Conference. Now he’ll get a chance to coach the East in the All-Star Game on Saturday, July 22, 2017. Miller will replace New York’s Bill Laimbeer, who backed out for personal reasons. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill, File)
Connecticut Sun forward Jonquel Jones (35) goes to the basket past New York Liberty center Tina Charles (31), guard Epiphanny Prince (10) and center Kia Vaughn (7) during the first half of a WNBA basketball game, Wednesday, July 19, 2017, at Madison Square Garden in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
New York Liberty guard Shavonte Zellous (1) drives to the basket against Connecticut Sun forward Morgan Tuck (33) during the second half of a WNBA basketball game, Wednesday, July 19, 2017 at Madison Square Garden in New York. The Liberty won 96-80. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
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