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New York Liberty C Tina Charles named Eastern Conference Player of the Week

Tina Charles of the New York Liberty was honored for a strong performance in a crucial road trip, during which she hit two game-winners.

Geoff Magliocchetti

Tina Charles has been named the WNBA’s Eastern Conference Player of the Week. It marks the 30th such award for the veteran and 20th as a member of the New York Liberty.

Charles averaged 20.7 points and 8.3 rebounds over three games last week. The first two games of that stretch featured the last half of a four-game winning streak that helped the Liberty get back into the WNBA playoff conversation. Both victories came on visits to Western Conference competition.

Those wins might’ve never come to be if not for the late efforts of Charles. The final quarter of Wednesday afternoon’s visit to Seattle was a back-and-forth affair in which neither team led by more than two over the final seven minutes.

With just over a minute to go, Charles took a lob from Brittany Boyd under the Storm’s basket. One dribble later, she put it through the net to give New York an 84-83 advantage that they’d hold for the remaining time. The winning points were the last of Charles’ 26 on the afternoon.

Two days later, Charles came through again as the Liberty rolled through Phoenix. The Liberty erased an early 17-4 deficit to set up another roller-coaster second half against the Mercury.

She would create the 10th, and final, lead change of the second half with a jumper that sank with 51 seconds to go. The Liberty would prevail 80-76. Charles would add 12 rebounds to her 23 points to create her third double-double of the season.

The Liberty’s winning streak came to an end on Sunday afternoon against Las Vegas, but Charles extended a streak of games in double-figures to seven with a team-high 13 points. New York currently sits a half-game out of the final playoff spot in the jam-packed WNBA standings.

Friday’s opponent, Brittney Griner, won the Western Conference’s weekly honor. She averaged a double-double with 30.5 points and 10.0 rebounds.

Charles and the Liberty return to action on Friday night. They’ll hit the road once against to battle the Chicago Sky (8:00 p.m. ET, ESPN3).

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