WNBA: Kahleah Copper, Mercury look to heat up vs. Liberty


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Tuesday afternoon, Kahleah Copper was recognized as the WNBA’s Western Conference Player of the Week for a dynamic three-game stretch in which she averaged 29.7 points.

By the end of the day, Copper and the rest of the Phoenix Mercury were struggling to score while getting blown out by the undefeated Connecticut Sun.

Copper and the Mercury (3-3) hope they can quickly rebound from a sub-par showing Wednesday night in their visit to the New York Liberty (4-2).

The Mercury have lost their past two games by a combined 38 points. After being unable to keep pace with the Dallas Wings in Saturday’s 107-92 loss, Phoenix could not score in a 70-47 setback against the Connecticut Sun on Tuesday.

Copper, who came into the game averaging 29.2 points, was held to seven points. She made just 2-of-11 shots from the floor and missed all five of her 3-point attempts after entering the game shooting 50.5 percent and converting at 48.6 percent from behind the arc.

Copper’s struggles on the offensive end occurred as the Mercury shot a dreadful 23.8 percent from the floor and missed 26 of 27 tries from 3-point range. Copper, Diana Taurasi and Sophie Cunningham were a combined 6-of-36 from the floor and 0-of-17 from 3-point range.

“They (the Sun) came out and guarded,” Phoenix coach Nate Tibbetts said, per AZCentral.com. “I thought we had some good looks early. Probably the first four or five 3s were open looks. … Those are shots that we want to take.”

The Liberty are coming off two shaky performances after starting with four straight wins.

New York followed up a nine-point home loss to the Chicago Sky with Saturday’s 84-67 loss at Minnesota. The Liberty continued to experience trouble with turnovers as they finished with 16 against the Lynx.

“Some of the turnovers, I wasn’t quite sure why we were trying to pass the ball in there,” New York coach Sandy Brondello said. “We just have to have a little more discipline. Something doesn’t work, we have to know what the next action is and be better at that.”

Breanna Stewart totaled 20 points and 11 rebounds for New York. The Liberty, however, scored nine points in the fourth quarter and their backcourt duo of Courtney Vandersloot and Sabrina Ionescu were a combined 10-of-26 from the field and committed four turnovers apiece.

–Field Level Media


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