June 4, 2019 – Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA)New York Liberty News Release

WHITE PLAINS, NY- Despite rallying both early and late in the game, New York came up short five points to the Los Angeles Sparks on its annual School Day. The matinee performance began with the Liberty outscoring the Sparks 19-16 in the first quarter. At the half, LA led 36-34. The Liberty fought hard and was up by 5 late in the game, which saw twelve total lead changes and nine ties.

Tina Charles hit another milestone with her 21-point performance, passing Vicki Johnson as the New York Liberty’s all-time leading scorer (3249). She also grabbed 14 rebounds in her second consecutive double-double on the home floor.

Despite the Liberty’s 6-0 4th quarter run, Los Angeles rallied back from behind, snapping the Liberty’s lead with a 7-0 run of their own.

Liberty Notes:

Tina Charles scored 21 points and 14 rebounds. She is now the Liberty’s all-time leading scorer with 3249.

New York’s second leading scorer was Reshanda Gray, with 12 points and 5 rebounds.

All Liberty players who hit the floor scored at least four points.

Brittany Boyd dished 6 assists for the second consecutive game to lead both teams.

Liberty shot 39.7% from the field and 33.3% from three (5-15).

New York and Los Angeles tied on the boards with 40 each.

Los Angeles Notes:

Chelsea Gray scored 29 points and had 10 rebounds to lead all scorers in the game.

Chiney Ogwumike scored 15 points and 10 rebounds.

The Sparks shot 34.6% from the field and 38.1% on 3-pointers (8-21).


Coach Katie Smith’s opening remarks

“Best effort of the season out of the three games. I thought we were locked in defensively and I thought offensively we had people who were aggressive. It was night and day from Indiana to here. They had a couple defensive stops, three blocks in a row that really hurt us when we had decent looks, but we have to find a way to get those in or get to the free throw line.”

Coach Katie’s message to the team

“Honestly, after our last performance this is a huge step forward. It was a great response to a disappointing game at Indiana. I thought our defense was locked in from start to finish, our help-side was in, and they took care of each other. I think it was a building block that we need to make sure we are doing with energy, effort and discipline on Friday. If we do this every single night, if we compete like this, we are going to win some ball games. That’s what we’re telling them that we are growing we are building and on the other end we will find ways to put that thing in the whole”

Coach Katie’s thoughts on the team

“I am very very pleased about our effort today and with the way we bounced because it wasn’t fun at Indiana. I think for all of us from the team on to step out to and come in ready to go today is a huge step for us. I’d love to see this on Friday night and again i’ll ride with our team anytime”

Coach Katie’s advice to Tina to keep her head up

“At the end of the day it’s about who you are on a day to day bases. How do you perform, who are you and that’s what she does she shows up. If you do everything you can, you’re locked in, you’re doing it together and competing every day. You can’t always dictate wins and losses or whether you win championship, but you can dictate what you do and who you are on a day to day basis. You have to be who you are, the best version of you where you’re at every single day and then hopefully things start evolving and everyone’s coming along, and then good things happen. You have to trust the process and do it on a daily basis to build. I just keep telling her you have to keep showing up because it’s on you, it’s your legacy both individually and as a team of how you go about your business on a day to day.”

Reshanda Gray on today’s game

“We are a work in progress, I feel like we definitely improved a lot since our last game…and we just have to go back and watch film but we are starting to get there..we are starting to be the team that we want to be…we just have to be more consistent with it…”

Tina Charles on all time scoring record

“It means a whole lot…this franchise means world to me, so for that to happen, I would of never imagined it… I’m just grateful to be able to play in my city, New York.”

Tina on the match up and her teammates

“It was great, we definitely kept them on their heels..i don’t think either team could have been comfortable or relaxed. I think everyone who stepped on the court gave their best effort. Everything started with Amanda Zahui B and the defense she was playing. Allen came in and made some big shots for us. Everybody did what they had to do.”

Tina on Reshanda Gray

“She’s very dedicated. She’s the first one in the gym..she’s always working out with Spoon..always working on her moves, she asks a lot of questions, and pays attention to detail..she just wants to do all the little things..she’s very encouraging and brings the energy..so I’m really happy that we have her.

Tina to Liberty Fans

“I think our fans are very dedicated, very loyal… New Yorkers are very loyal, especially being in Westchester, we get a great crowd.”

Amanda Zahui B on “trusting the process”

“It’s definitely an improvement. We just gotta keep building on this and take on DC and you know we gotta trust the process..cause if we don’t trust it than we are going to give up, and we don’t want to give up..we trust the process because we believe in each other, we believe in Katie and the staff, and we believe in ourselves…

Amanda on school day

“I hope that they had fun..I hope they saw that we had fun on the court and that they had fun with whatever they are doing, than they are going to be happy…whether you want to work in a bakery or be a basketball player as long as you have fun with it, you can spread joy, happiness, and light to other people and that’s the only thing you can do in this world.”

Amanda on Reshanda Gray

“Man that girl is a beast, I don’t care what anybody says, that girl is a beast… Seeing her come off the bench and seeing that 6th man that has that energy, it has kind of been lacking..you know I’ve been the 6th man in previous years,but there is an extra fire to her and I am so happy, like it makes me so happy to see her be successful.”

Amanda on her 6 blocks

“Yeah just staying focused and not fouling. You know in the past I have been foul prone…staying disciplined, owning the new role I’ve been given.”


Coach Derek Fisher on Chelsea Gray

“I wasn’t surprised to see her making plays that she made, she’s been working her way back into shape and condition after coming back from overseas we gave her some time before getting started with us. So, she hasn’t played at this level the first few games, but today she did and I thought a lot of it had to do with her showing some patience getting off the ball initially and then the ball came back to her later in the possession.”

Coach on playing in New York again as a coach

“I’m happy for the players. If I could describe to you our schedule we’ve had over the last few days, it’s not easy to be in the WNBA. Because we don’t have our home facilities, and our players got no rest and had to travel here to New York on a 7 a.m. flight, and we got to the hotel at 7 p.m. Having and early start is great because a lot of kids had the opportunity to see it, but this wasn’t easy so I’m happy for them.”

On expectations for this group

“I think we have a roster that is capable of being one of the best teams in this league. How close we get to reaching that in the near future, I’m not sure on that part. I do believe that we have a team that can absolutely be great…”

On what he took from his coaching in New York to now

“There’s things I experienced while coaching here in New York that worked and didn’t work. I developed a philosophy, a belief on the way I want to coach the game: the things I want us do offensively and defensively. I think the communication aspect of it was a key learning moment for me as well. While coaching the Knicks, I tried to create some distance between being a player, and now a coach, but at times I needed to be closer to the individual players in terms of building relationships and having conversations. And that was a mistake in the sense that players need the personal relationship and connection with their head coach so that they can trust him, so now understanding that my communication method with our players is focused on overly communicating everything and building one-on-one relationships.”

Chelsea Gray on winning the game

“We stayed focused on what we wanted to achieve.. Coach {Fisher} had a good way of putting it: being sharp and effective in practice and having our game mentality going”

Chelsea on career high in points and Milestone Assist

“I saw one {shot} go down and it looked good … My teammates were saying that’s a good shot keeping doing it!”

Nneka Ogwumike on winning game

“Things weren’t going our way. We could not find an easy flow to the game… We just started relying on what Coach Fisher was saying in terms of spacing, ball movement, and rotation.”

Neneka on Preparing for next game

“Take it one day at a time. We played them 4 or 5 days ago so we understand what they are like… It does not matter who we are going up against we just have to compete and play our brand of basketball.”

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