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Liberty loses fifth in a row

Liberty guard Epiphanny Prince looks for shooting space

Liberty guard Epiphanny Prince looks for shooting space against the Chicago Sky during a WNBA basketball game at Westchester County Center on Friday. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — The sky is still falling for the Liberty. The Sky saw to that.

After losing on a buzzer-beating three-point shot in Washington on Thursday night, the Liberty finished a back-to-back set Friday night and began a home-and-home set with Chicago at Westchester County Center.

The Liberty scored a season-high 99 points but allowed a season-high 103 to fall for the fifth straight game. The Liberty is 4-11, the WNBA’s second-worst record.

“It’s frustrating, not even those [last] two, just all of them, because we know what we’re capable of,” Epiphanny Prince said. “We know we’re a good ballclub. None of us like to lose . . . At the same time, we’re still optimistic we can turn this thing around.”

Tina Charles (24 points) wanted to emphasize the positives that came out of these last two losses, such as the offense coming around and Prince emerging as a second scoring option behind her with 21 points in each game.

The Liberty closed the 2017 regular season with a 10-game winning streak. “That’s the reason why we know we can overcome this,” Charles said.

Charles’ three-pointer with 29.2 seconds remaining cut the Sky’s lead to 99-96, but Allie Quigley made two free throws with 14.2 seconds left.

Prince, who missed the first seven games with a concussion, countered with a three-pointer with 10.9 seconds to play. “I feel like I’m getting my touch back,” she said.

The Sky’s lead was down to 101-99, but Courtney Vandersloot made two free throws with 9.2 seconds remaining for the four-point edge.

The Liberty shot 66.7 percent in those last 10 minutes, but Chicago shot 71.4 percent. “They picked us apart a little bit,” Liberty coach Katie Smith said.

Rookie Diamond DeShields paced six double-figure scorers for Chicago (6-9) with 22 points. “We have a lot of players who are capable of scoring in a lot of different ways,” she said.

The Liberty showed that capability early on, going ahead 24-13. But the lead shrunk to 27-26 after one quarter and stood at 55-52 at halftime after the Liberty allowed four points in the final 2.8 seconds.

“The little things that are making us lose, it’s fixable,” said Brittany Boyd (10 points, six assists and three steals). “ . . . And once we do it, we’ll be fine.”

New York Sports