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Dallas drubs New York Liberty behind 32 from Diggins-Smith (Highlights)

A Sunday win over the Dallas Wings wasn’t to be, as the New York Liberty have now dropped eight of their last nine.

Celebrating her 21st birthday, Maddie, the canine New York Liberty mascot named after Madison Square Garden, couldn’t be blessed with the gift of a victory on Sunday afternoon.

Skylar Diggins-Smith tallied 32 points, setting the pace for the Dallas Wings, who didn’t let an early lead go to waste this time around in White Plains. Victims of a 17-point comeback in their first visit in June, the Wings this time kept the pressure going to score a 97-87 win, dooming the Liberty (5-14) to their eighth loss in their past nine games.

“I think, right now, it’s a pride thing,” head coach Katie Smith said. “There’s a lot of basketball to be played, (we have) a lot of stuff to prove both individually and as a unit.”

Tina Charles again led the way for the Liberty, putting in 26 points in defeat.

3rd Star: Rebecca Allen

Though playing time has been relatively low for Allen, who did not play in four straight games earlier this season, but she and her fellow reserves posted respectable numbers once things got out of hand for New York. Allen put in five points and tallied two rebounds, as the reserves not only refused to let Dallas break 100 points, but also helped create a respectable final score. Allen’s efforts were singled out by Smith.

“I appreciate it because I know Becca hasn’t played a bunch,” Smith said. “Whenever you call her number, she always gives what she has. It shows a lot about who she is. It also says a lot about our bench. We’re really proud of those who don’t get a lot of minutes locking in.”

2nd Star: Amanda Zauhi B.

Dallas has enjoyed the inside prescience of Elizabeth Cambage all season. Her efforts on the inside led to a bit of a confrontation with Zauhi B., as each player picked up a technical while matched up against each other in the first quarter.

Zauhi B.’s efforts in a physical game were much appreciated by the crowd gathered at Westchester County Center. She was cheered whenever she entered and exited the game and provided a spark off the bench with 12 points.

She declined to comment on the confrontations with Cambage, but saw some positives for the team to build on as they try to scrape together a strong finish to the season.

“We got to find a way to just win,” Zauhi B. said. “We’re playing more physical and I think we’ve upped the tempo a lot. That’s definitely something positive and we’re definitely staying together through the rough times.”

1st Star: Tina Charles

Charles came one rebound short of a double-double, but took no solace in her personal accomplishments, only vowing to help lead the charge in helping the team recover.

“We going to try and stay together, try to get the next game,” Charles said. “We just got to hold our heads up be hopeful.”

“At the end of the day, you can’t always control your team, your outcome. You go out there and do your job as well as you possibly do it, you take the W or L with it,” Smith said. “It’s always about personally doing the best job you can. It doesn’t always end up going your way. But you can lay your head down at night and know you did a good job, then get back up tomorrow and try to do better.”

How It Was Decided

Smith was blunt in her brief opening statement, declaring “letting them shoot 49 percent isn’t going to get it done (and) us shooting 40 percent is not going to get it done.”

Taking away a fourth-quarter outlier, the Wings (10-8) shot 55 percent from the floor, helping them pull away from the hapless Liberty. New York dug themselves into their own hole with a particularly brutal second quarter, where they just 27 percent (7-for-27), missing all eight three-point attempts in the process.

Games Notes

  • Marissa Coleman (right ankle sprain) missed her seventh consecutive game.
  • The Liberty shot a season-high 28 free throws, hitting 19. Brittany Boyd was the most efficient, hitting all six of her attempts.

What’s Next

The Liberty will hit the road for a Wednesday morning game against the Connecticut Sun (11:30 AM, MSG+). This will be the teams’ first meeting since a Shekinna Stricklen buzzer beater helped the Sun steal an 88-86 thriller in Westchester on June 7.

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