NY Liberty’s Carolyn Swords is latest to step up for team

Depth has been a key part to the New York Liberty’s success this season, and Carolyn Swords has been the latest to step up.

The 6-6 center, in her second season with the Liberty, is putting up impressive numbers during the team’s last four games. She is averaging three offensive rebounds per game during that stretch, including four in a 77-67 loss to the Los Angeles Sparks on July 3. It was her first such game since an 85-79 loss to the Atlanta Dream on May 24.

Swords plays a key role for the Liberty, who lead all teams with 39.4 rebounds per game, on the glass. She matched her career-high in rebounds (11) twice over that span, first against the Sparks and again in a 75-65 win over the San Antonio Stars on Sunday. She also grabbed a career-high nine defensive boards against the Stars. During an 88-85 win against the Chicago Sky on July 8, Swords recorded her first multi-block game of the season.

The fifth-year pro has demonstrated more of a scoring touch of late. Swords has averaged seven points during the Liberty’s current three-game winning streak, up from her 4.3 season average. The 26-year-old has attempted a season-high eight field goals in each of the team’s last two games.

Swords’ increased output coincides with more time on on the court. Head coach Bill Laimbeer has played his starting center a season-high 23 minutes in each of their last two games.

The Liberty (15-6) next host the Dream (11-9) on Wednesday morning at Madison Square Garden.