Home US SportsWNBA Liberty suffer first defeat this season after 90-81 loss to Chicago Sky

Liberty suffer first defeat this season after 90-81 loss to Chicago Sky

by

The Liberty suffered their first loss of the season after the Chicago Sky beat New York, 90-81, at Barclays Center on Thursday night.

The Sky just played tough, gritty ball like their head coach and Liberty legend Teresa Weatherspoon. They outrebounded the Liberty 38-35, 11-6 on the offensive boards, outscored New York in the paint 46-36, and turned the ball over less (9-14).

Here are the takeaways…

-The first half of Thursday’s game was probably the worst of the Liberty’s young season. On both ends of the floor, New York had a tough time. They turned the ball over eight times and the Sky turned that into seven points.

The Sky also ran out to a 9-4 fast break point advantage in the first half and outscored the Liberty in the paint, 18-10. It didn’t help that Jonquel Jones was in foul trouble for the majority of the first half, picking up her third foul with five minutes to go in the second quarter. All in all, the Sky shot 40 percent in the first half to New York’s 34 percent. Chicago also benefitted from the whistle. They took 15 free throws to New York’s four in the first half.

Chicago had an 11-point lead at one point, the largest deficit the Liberty have had this season.

-The Liberty turned things around in the third quarter, being aggressive to the basket and finally getting to the free-throw line. They played fast and were in transition to get the easy shots. They would take the lead early in the fourth quarter, their first since it was 11-9, but the Sky would clamp down on defense to go out on a 6-0 run to retake the lead with 6:30 to go.

However, Liberty turnovers led to easy Sky buckets and New York just couldn’t get a stop. This was punctuated when the Sky grabbed two offensive rebounds in one possession, which led to a Marina Mabrey three-pointer to put the Sky up seven.

-Mabrey was on a heater early and the Liberty had no answers for her. Mabrey made her first four shots (two from three-point range) en route to 12 points at the half. She wound up with 21 points on 8-of-13 shooting (3-8 from three) with six rebounds and seven assists.

Chicago had five players in double figures: Elizabeth Williams (17), Michaela Onyenwere (13), Chennedy Carter (12), Dana Evans (12) and rookie Angel Reese (13).

Sabrina Ionescu was the offensive spark the Liberty needed especially in the third quarter when they cut the Sky lead. Ionescu used her elusiveness to get to the basket and make some circus shots. It wasn’t enough, however, as Ionescu finished with 19 points on 8-of-19 shooting (2-7 from three) with four rebounds and six assists.

Breanna Stewart did not have a usual Stewie game. Stewart finished with 18 points on 5-of-12 shooting with 10 rebounds, five assists, four steals, and a block.

-Jones, playing in foul trouble, wound up with eight points and four rebounds. Nyara Sabally played 18 minutes off the bench for Jones and picked up six points, four rebounds and two assists.

The Liberty bench was outscored 22-17.

Game MVP: Marina Mabrey

The Sky guard was surgical in her scoring. Whether it was driving to the basket, a midrange jumper or a three, Mabrey did it all in this game. And her three-pointer off of an offensive rebound to give Chicago some breathing room was a gut punch that New York could not recover from.

Highlights

What’s next

The Liberty will hit the road to take on the Minnesota Lynx on Saturday. Tip-off is scheduled for 1 p.m.

Source link

You may also like