NEW YORK, NY - Only two more home games left in the regular season and New York did not disappoint. Things seemed to go relatively smooth for the Liberty during the first period of play. After all, they have momentum as the East's No. 1 seed.
New York got off to a quick start. The first half included a robust performance from guard Epiphanny Prince as she went into the locker room with 13 points. Though they attempted, and came close to closing in on the Liberty, the Sun was unsuccessful, and they ended the half down 39-28.
New York pulled away further early in the 2nd half with a 6-0 run. Again, Connecticut tried to close in and were able to cut the Liberty's lead to just 3 points. However, thanks to two consecutive buckets, one from Prince and one from Essence Carson, New York pulled ahead and continued to dominate.
"They played really hard. I think every player in the WNBA plays hard and with pride, regardless of what their team's record is," said Tina Charles. "The Sun showed it tonight."
Charles sealed her double-double with 16 points and 13 rebounds.
Prince finished with a solid 25 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 assists to help in the smooth victory over Connecticut.
"She's [Prince] one of the best two guards in the league," explained Coach Bill Laimbeer. "That's why we have her. She can score. Not only can she score, she can pass. She might have the quickest hands in the league."
The Liberty defeated the Sun 74-64, to clinch home court advantage during the playoffs.
"You win your home games, you win the Championship," said Laimbeer. "That's what that means. We still have to win. We don't get bonuses or trophies for having the regular season best record. This gives us the opportunity to play at home in big games, and win."
Rookie of the Month and arguably Rookie of the Year, Kiah Stokes is also eager to contribute to this team during the playoffs.
"It means a lot that others feel that way," said Stokes. "I still need to be more of a presence offensively, and pick up my defense. It's been a little off the past couple of games. It's definitely a team effort, though, and we have to do what we need to do to fit the pieces together."
One thing is for sure; the Liberty has no problem with team chemistry, which they attribute their successful regular season to. With the best record in the WNBA, 20-9, and their first playoff berth since 2012, they are the team to beat.
NY plays their final home game of the regular season on Friday against the Washington Mystics at 7:30 ET.