Tina Charles (26) and Kia Nurse (24) helped secure a comeback victory over the Storm Wednesday afternoon.
The Seattle Storm have been able to overcome a lot so far this season. With many key pieces missing they have been able to stay towards the top of the WNBA standings due to their strong play at home. Between Angel of the Winds Arena in Everett and Alaska Airlines Arena in Seattle, the Storm were able to start the season 5-0 on their court. But after losing to the Mercury on Sunday and now a loss to the Liberty earlier today, Seattle has suffered their first back to back losses in over a year.
The game was a back and forth affair the entire day, with a single point separating the two teams at the half, 41-40.
The Storm started the second half with a 10-6 run to take a 50-47 lead. After a New York timeout, Natasha Howard and Sami Whitcomb hit back to back threes to give the Storm their first double-digit lead of the game. They would hold on to that double-digit lead heading into the 4th as they outscored the Liberty 30-19 in the third quarter.
Then came the Tina Charles show in the 4th. The 9-year vet put on an absolute clinic nearly outscoring the Storm herself in the quarter as she scored 11 of her game-high 26 in the final frame. Coach Dan Hughes said the Liberty just had a great plan for Charles.
“They played to her well and she delivered. That was problematic for us because we were scoring and defending.”Coach Hughes on the play of Tina Charles
Even with Charles’ scoring, Seattle still was in it late. With 25.7 left, and coming off of a timeout, Seattle had a chance to win the game. Jordin Canada had a great look from 3 that rimmed out and after a put-back attempt by Alysha Clark was no good, the final buzzer rang.
Despite the loss, Mercedes Russell stood out. She put up a career-high of 19 points but did miss a couple key free throws late that proved to be costly.
“It just comes down to the little things at the end of games. It happens it’s basketball.”Mercedes Russell speaking after the loss
Coach Dan Hughes was pleased with his second-year center overall as she continues to develop.
“I thought she really did a great job of creating step-ins and things where we can throw it to her. The team continues to look for her more which has got to be a theme. It’s evolving and its kind of true of this team we have on the floor right now.”Coach Hughes on Russell’s performance
Seattle was bitten by the injury bug again as forward Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis went down mid-way through the 2nd half with an injury. She was helped off the floor by her teammates.
Former Storm player and New York Liberty Head Coach Katie Smith was pleased with her team’s improvement after a rough start. The Liberty improved their record to 6-7 on the season after starting the year 0-4.
“I think our offense has really improved. Our reading of the defense is one thing and also our tempo has been good all year and we’ve been building on that. But also our defense overall, our discipline and the consistency that we’ve been playing.”Liberty Coach Katie Smith on their 3-game win streak
The Storm will have a chance to bounce back on Friday as they host the Atlanta Dream at Alaska Airlines Arena. That will be a 7:00pm tip.