First pair of teammates in Liberty franchise history to earn First and Second All-Defensive Teams honors
NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 22, 2023 – The WNBA announced today that New York Liberty forward, Breanna Stewart, has been named to the 2023 All-Defensive First Team, and guard/forward, Betnijah Laney, was selected to the All-Defensive Second Team.
For the second consecutive year, Stewart garnered First Team honors after recording 9.3 rebounds (3rd in WNBA), 1.6 blocks (4th in WNBA), and 1.5 steals per game, which combined for a total of 3.3 defensive win shares (3rd in WNBA) through 40 games played.
Laney anchored New York’s defense en route to an All-Defensive Second Team selection. Betnijah, the Liberty’s primary perimeter defender, was integral in transforming the Liberty into a top defensive unit where the team paced the WNBA in lowest opponent field goal percentage (42.4%), ranked third in defensive rating (99.4) and fewest opponent fastbreak points (9.9), as well as fourth in blocks (4.5) and fewest opponent points per game (80.6).
Stewart and Laney are the first pair of teammates in Liberty franchise history to earn First and Second All-Defensive Teams honors in the same season. Stewart has now secured five total All-Defensive nods, including two First Team finishes (2022-2023), which was New York’s first since 2017. Laney earned her second-career All-Defensive award, including her First Team selection in 2020, and became the first Liberty player to record Second Team honors since 2016.