Home in Brooklyn, the Liberty (5-1) edged the Dallas Wings (1-2), 88-81, in their first meeting of the 2021 season. The team has jumped out to its first 5-1 start since the 2007 season.
New York led by as many as 15 points and finished the game with 19 team assists, led by DiDi Richards’ 5, while the team totaled 7 steals on the night.
At home, New York continued their strong shooting, finishing 46.7% from the field, 40.0% (10-25) from beyond the arc and 81.5% at the free throw line. The Liberty bench scored 16 total points, playing a large role in tonight’s back-to-back win.
There were 7 lead changes and 6 ties in tonight’s matchup.
For the sixth consecutive game, Betnijah Laney scored 20 or more points, finishing with 26; surpassing Cappie Pondexter’s record of 5 games (three times). The only Liberty player to record 20+ points in 6+ consecutive games is Tina Charles (longest streak of 9 games).
Laney is the first Liberty player to open a season with six 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).
1999 Cooper, Cynthia, Hou. 9
2009 Jackson, Lauren, Sea. 8
2000 Swoopes, Sheryl, Hou. 8
2015 Delle Donne, Elena, Chi. 7
2008 Pondexter, Cappie, Pho. 6
2021 Laney, Betnijah, N.Y. 6
New York finished the contest with 33 rebounds, just one shy of the Wings’ 34; 10 of which were offensive boards. New York recorded 19 assists, 2 more than Dallas’ 17.
Liberty legend, Vickie Johnson, matched up against her former team of nine seasons for the first time as a head coach. VJ still holds the franchise record for most games played (282), minutes played (8,950), and ranks second in multiple categories including, but not limited to, points scored (3,248), rebounds (1,077) and assists (787).
For the sixth consecutive game, Betnijah Laney (26) and Sabrina Ionescu (15) scored in double figures for New York. Ionescu also recorded 9 rebounds and 3 assists, and Laney added 3 assists on the night.
Earlier today, Sabrina Ionescu was named the WNBA’s Eastern Conference Player of the Week from May 14-23, 2021. This is her first career Player of the Week honor.
Natasha Howard scored a season-high 17 points on 5-8 (62.5%) shooting from the field and recorded 6 rebounds before leaving the game with 7:03 remaining in the fourth quarter. An update on her status will be provided as soon as possible.
Liberty guard Sami Whitcomb recorded 9 points on 3-9 from the field and 3-8 from deep; extending her streak of 3+ three-point field goals made to four games.
Rebecca Allen added 6 points and tied her career-high three steals (fifth time).
Rookie DiDi Richards logged a career-high 19:28 minutes where she recorded 3 points (1-2 3PT), 5 assists (career-high) and 3 rebounds (career-high).
Dallas guard Arike Ogunbowale led the visiting offense with 26 points on 6-20 shooting from the field and 9-10 at the foul line.
Marina Mabrey was the Wings’ second leading scorer with 21 points on 50.0% (8-16) shooting from the field and 50.0% (4-8) from beyond the arc.