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Liberty drops season-opener on road against Sky

The Liberty trimmed its deficit to one point on four occasions, the last of which came with three minutes to go.

The New York Liberty's Kia Nurse during a

The New York Liberty's Kia Nurse during a preseason WNBA basketball game on May 8 in Uncasville, Conn. Photo Credit: AP / Jessica Hill

CHICAGO — Allie Quigley scored 15 of her 22 points in the fourth quarter to help the Chicago Sky beat the Liberty, 80-76, on Sunday night.

It was the Sky’s first game at the new Wintrust Arena. Quigley made 2 of 3 free throws and Diamond DeShields hit a three-pointer to spark an 8-2 spurt that made it 68-64 with six minutes to play and Chicago (2-0) led the rest of the way. “We’ve got to hit shots,” new Liberty head coach Katie Smith said. “They hit shots, and we didn’t. That was honestly the biggest thing. We’ve got to make them more uncomfortable, but they shot at 46 percent, almost 47 percent and we shot at like 37 percent.”

The Liberty (0-1) trimmed its deficit to one point on four occasions, the last of which came when Tina Charles’ jumper made it 74-73 with three minutes to go. Quigley answered with two free throws before Cheyenne Parker’s offensive rebound and putback pushed the lead back to five.

Jamierra Faulkner had 14 points, five rebounds and five assists. Gabby Williams, the No. 4 overall pick in the 2018 WNBA Draft, scored 12 points and shot 5-for-7 for Chicago.

Charles was high scorer for the Liberty with 19 points.

“The next game we play is Minnesota.” Charles said. “I know each of those individuals on that team. They’ve got Tanisha Wright, who’s a great defender. It’s going to be a harder game. We’ve got to be more aggressive. We’ve got to take ownership of our mistakes and what we do.”

Kia Nurse came off the bench to score 17 points and Amanda Zahui B added 15 points with seven rebounds. “I think I was excited to play, to finally get one under my belt,” Nurse said. “But I think I’ve been trying to, within practice, to work on the confidence, make sure my teammates can be confident in me, and earn a sense of trust there.”— AP

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