WHITE PLAINS, NY (June 9, 2019)—Despite a season-high 25 points from two-time All-Star Kayla McBride, the Aces fell to the New York Liberty, 88-78, Sunday at the Westchester County Center. New York improved its record to 1-4, while Las Vegas fell to 2-3.
The Aces led by seven points on two occasions in the first quarter, the last with 1:59 remaining, 22-15. The Liberty went on a 25-8 run over the next nine-plus minutes to go up, 40-30.
New York eventually pushed its lead to 16, 59-43, with 6:15 to go in the third quarter. The Aces sliced the Liberty advantage to four, 60-56, by scoring 13 of the next 14 points.
New York’s lead vacillated between four and 12 points the rest of the way.
New York outshot the Aces 39.5 percent (32 for 81) to 35.4 percent (28 for 79). Las Vegas is 0-2 this season and 1-18 over the last two seasons when getting outshot by an opponent.
New York’s bench outscored the Aces’ 18-16.
Las Vegas outscored the Liberty 21-12 on second chance points.
Sydney Colson dove to the ground after a loose ball at midcourt with 48.1 seconds remaining in the first quarter, receiving a cut above her right eye, which required stitches. She rejoined the team on the bench in the second half, but did not return to action. She will be reevaluated Monday in Las Vegas.
The Aces made just 35.4 percent of their shots from the field. That is the lowest percentage for Las Vegas since June 10 at Phoenix when they made just 32.4 percent of their shots.
Liz Cambage scored in double figures for the 36th consecutive game, which is now the longest active streak in the WNBA. Teammate A’ja Wilson had the longest active streak at 37 games, but the 2018 Rookie of the Year was held to five points Sunday. That 37-game streak was also the second longest streak to start a WNBA career (Cynthia Cooper).
Liz Cambage recorded her first double-double of the season (17 Points, 10 rebounds). Her last came on August 17, 2018 (43 points, 13 rebounds vs. Las Vegas).
Kayla McBride scored in double figures for the fifth straight time to begin the season (25 points). She also scored 20 or more points for the second time this year.
Kayla McBride connected on a three-pointer for the 23rd straight game which is the second longest active streak in the WNBA (Diana Taurasi, 44).
Jackie Young scored in double digits for the first time in her WNBA career (11 points).
Las Vegas’ bench averaged 38.3 points over the last three games, but scored 16 points this afternoon.
The Aces return home to take on New York for the second time this week on Friday, June 14, at 7:30 PT.
NEW YORK QUOTES:
Head Coach Katie Smith on Liberty Turnovers
“We have goals, and our goal is 13 turnovers and we had only 10 today with the loose ball one. We can’t have possessions off; we don’t shoot the ball extremely well all the time so we need possessions we can’t allow those to go away. We’ll keep harping on it but today was a good day, it matters, and it helped us get this win.”
Coach Katie Smith on Team Energy
“From start to finish this game, I think for me, and for our crew, was one of the best energy, one of the best executions, one of the best teams…I’m proud of those who have been here this whole time, I’m proud of the ones that are here bringing it every day…every day they show up ready to go.”
Coach Katie Smith on Point Distribution
“[Tina] does draw a lot of attention and she always needs to be aggressive, but we also need other people to be able to get their own shots, to knock down shots when they’re doubling and leaving other players and I thought everyone, including Tina, was able to find other people who got good looks and were able to put them in the hole.”
Coach Katie Smith on Kia Nurse
“She’s somebody we’re always gonna rely on, on the defensive end and keep challenging her to also get better at it and depending on who she’s guarding…but I thought she was solid, she flies around, she’s gonna always compete and at the end of the day we love that.”
Tina Charles on the win
“We always had confidence… It’s just about how we close out the game. Most of the games we lost we have been in. I am just happy we were able to come out with the victory”.
Charles on the lead changes
“Being able to get stops… being able to score on the other end. Having Tanisha Wright on the other end really helped us a lot. Having her (Tanisha Wright) controlled the tempo and when to set up a play and when to push the ball.”
Bria Hartley on the win.
“It was really important we lost a couple of close ones (games)”. We (team) wanted to get over that hump and get our first win.”
Hartley on the team responding to the Aces run.
“That is just the game of basketball teams are going on their runs and you have to be able to with stand them. We made shots and stops when we needed to. We were able to limit their offense rebounding and go on a run.”
Hartley on team preparing for next opponent
“We just want to build on this… we have had great energy and intensity going into these last couple of games and we want to carry these on into the next one.”
LAS VEGAS QUOTES:
Coach Bill Laimbeer on today’s loss
“New York played a very fine basketball game. They wanted this win more than we wanted it, that was the bottom line. We didn’t come out with the energy and intensity from the start. We got down 16 then we started to really play. We need to understand how hard we need to play in this league every day and we will be ok. Until then we will be like this. But we’re still learning and we’re still young so I can’t be overly pissed off.”
Coach Laimbeer on Tina Charles
“Tina is a phenomenal basketball player. She’s gonna keep winning the game. She’ll keep them in the game. She enhances her performance every year. She gives her team the chance to win the game.”
Coach Laimbeer on A’ja Wilson
“We have to get A’ja on track. Tina really took it for her today. Tina was physical with her today and took her out the basketball game. A’ja has to work on her individual game. It came so easy for her last year. I told her this season she has to do something different.”
Coach Laimbeer on Liberty Shooters
“They really got some shooters. Nurse is a capable shooter from the perimeter. Overall Zahui is getting the opportunity to play, which is something she always wanted. So on that end they have some good shooters on their team. Not sure where Asia Durr was. I didn’t see her tonight but she’s good as well.”