Basketball

Canada's Kia Nurse impresses in WNBA debut

Canadian Kia Nurse had an impressive WNBA debut, scoring 17 points off the bench for the New York Liberty in a 80-76 road loss against the Chicago Sky.

Hamilton native scores 17 points for New York in loss

Kia Nurse, right, led Canada to gold at 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto. (Julie Jacobson/Associated Press)

Canadian Kia Nurse had an impressive WNBA debut, scoring 17 points off the bench for the New York Liberty in a 80-76 road loss against the Chicago Sky.

The 22-year-old from Hamilton also had three assists, two rebounds and two steals for the Liberty. The decorated University of Connecticut alumna was selected 10th overall in the 2018 WNBA draft.

Chicago's Allie Quigley scored a game-high 22 points Sunday night, including two free throws that helped stem a New York rally at Wintrust Arena.

After New York closed within 74-73 when Tina Charles drained a 20-footer with 3:14 remaining, Quigley drew a foul and canned two free throws to make it 76-73 at the 2:59 mark. Cheyenne Parker came up with two clutch plays immediately after Quigley's foul shots.

Parker rejected Bria Hartley's layup attempt, then grabbed Quigley's missed shot and converted a reverse layup with 2:03 remaining for a five-point lead. Jamierra Faulkner sealed it by drilling a 10-foot jumper from the right baseline with 46.3 seconds remaining as Chicago won its second straight game.

Faulkner contributed 14 points, five rebounds and five assists in a reserve role, while Gabby Williams added 12 points and three steals. The Sky hit 47.6 percent of their field-goal attempts and carved out a critical 43-30 advantage on the glass. Charles scored 19 points to lead the Liberty, but made just 8-of-20 field-goal tries.

​Playing its season opener, New York stumbled out of the gate. Chicago rattled off the game's first seven points, capped by a 3-pointer from Stefanie Dolson, before the Liberty got going. But New York was able to battle back and eventually forged a 22-22 tie going to the second quarter.

New York opened up a 29-24 edge early in the second as Nurse drove for a layup, but the rest of the quarter went back-and-forth. A jumper by the Sky's Faulkner with 1:09 remaining in the half drew them within 40-38 at the half.

Chicago clamped down defensively in the third quarter, holding the Liberty to only 11 points and taking a 56-49 lead when Diamond DeShields converted a jumper. Charles sank a jumper as time expired to bring New York within five.

With files from CBC Sports

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