Liberty Outlast Sky in Windy City, 93-85

TEAM NOTABLES

In Chicago, the Liberty (4-1) outlasted the Sky (2-1), 93-85, in their first meeting of the 2021 season.

New York recorded a season-best 93 points in the Commissioner’s Cup contest (team is now 3-1 in Commissioner’s Cup play).

Six Liberty players, including the team’s starting five, scored in double figures in today’s matchup, which marked just the 9th time in franchise history the Liberty have done so (last: July 15, 2018 vs. Chicago).

In the Windy City, New York shot 49.3% from the field and 50.0% (14-28) from beyond the arc. The team connected on 70.0% of free throws, and the Liberty bench scored 21 total points.

There were 11 lead changes and 6 ties in today’s matinee matchup.

For the fifth consecutive game, Betnijah Laney scored 20 or more points, finishing with 20. The only Liberty players to score 20 in 5+ consecutive games are Tina Charles and Cappie Pondexter.

Today, Laney became the first Liberty player to open a season with five games of 20+ points in franchise history. Throughout the league’s history, the record for the longest 20+ point streak to open a season is 9, and is held by Cynthia Cooper (1999 season).

The visiting Liberty finished the contest outrebounding the Sky 40-35. New York recorded 25 assists, 3 more than Chicago’s 22; a season-high for New York.

Coach Walt Hopkins now has a 2-1 record against his former Minnesota Lynx colleague Coach James Wade and the Chicago Sky.

Up Next:
The New York Liberty return home to take on the Dallas Wings tomorrow, May 24, at Barclays Center. Tip-off is at 7 pm ET on YES Network.

 

PLAYER NOTABLES

For the fifth consecutive game, Betnijah Laney (20) and Sabrina Ionescu (19) scored in double figures for New York. Ionescu recorded 12 assists (tied career-high) and 5 rebounds. Laney totaled a season-high 6 rebounds and tied a season-high 5 assists.

Rebecca Allen scored in double figures with a season-high 13 points on 5-13 from the field.

In her Liberty debut, Natasha Howard, totaled 12 points on 50% (5-10) shooting from the field and a team-high 7 rebounds in 21:43 minutes.

Liberty guard Sami Whitcomb recorded 11 points on 3-5 shooting from deep, while also adding 4 rebounds and 4 assists.

Rookie Michaela Onyenwere totaled 10  points and 4 rebounds against Chicago.

Chicago guard Diamond DeShields led the Sky in scoring with a season-high 22 points.

Chicago center Astou Ndour-Fall added 17 points on 53.8% (7-13) shooting from the field, while forward Ruthy Hebard posted a double-double of 15 points and 10 rebounds.

Courtney Vandersloot dished game and season-high 16 assists to go along with 14 points for the Sky.