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.
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.
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.