The New York Liberty welcomed back Epiphanny Prince in last Friday’s return game from the Olympic break, an 84-77 win over the Stars in San Antonio.
Prince rejoined the team after missing the first 26 games this season while recovering from a torn ACL. The 2015 Second-Team All-WNBA selection, who suffered the injury while playing for her Russian Premier League team last November, hopes to pick up where she left off with the Liberty.
In her season debut Friday, the two-time All-Star made an instant impact with five points, an assist and a steal in just seven minutes.
“I thought that she looked as good as can be expected,” Liberty head coach Bill Laimbeer told reporters. “Obviously there is some rust, but we knew that would be the case.”
Before her injury, she had significant numbers for the Liberty as the No. 2 scoring option next to Tina Charles, averaging 15 points and 3.5 assists.
Prince, in her seventh WNBA season, needs nine points to surpass the 2,500-point mark for her career.
In Prince’s absence this season, the Liberty have been led by Charles and guard Sugar Rodgers. Rodgers, who has filled Prince’s role as the team’s second scoring option this season, is approaching the franchise’s single-season 3-point record of 78. She has 73 with seven games to go.
Prince, a career 37.3% shooter from the perimeter, looks to join Rodgers, a 43.2% 3-point shooter this season, on the outside attack. Prince also shot 46.7% from the field in 2015.
“I expect [Prince] to be a contributor for us down the stretch and in the playoffs,” Laimbeer said.
The Liberty (19-8) look to expand their conference lead, as they are on the road to face the Indiana Fever (12-13) on Thursday.