Brooklyn, NY—The NY Liberty looked out of sync for the first eight minutes of the contest being down 9-0 and 23-6 in the opening frame. But the Libs pulled it together and stayed with the script.
On Sunday, the Liberty (9-3) beat the Washington Mystics (8-5), 89-88 in overtime, in the second game of their 2023 three-game season series.
Sabrina Ionescu scored 31 points with 6 assists to lead the way for the Liberty.
NY got their offense going in the second quarter behind Ionescu and Betnijah Laney to trim the Mystics lead to 45-39 at the half. Breanna Stewart had a difficult time shoot over Elena Delle Donne missing seven of her field-goal attempts in the first half. Her poor shooting was only the third time in her career that she was held without a field goal in the first half.
Right before the game, Stewart was selected as an All-Star Game captain. It’s the second consecutive year that she’s held that position. Stewart, the Liberty’s first-ever All-Star captain, will make her fifth WNBA All-Star appearance and second consecutive as a captain.
“There’s so many good things you can take away from this game,” Mystics guard Ariel Atkins said. “That’s why it sucks that it went down the way it did.”
The Liberty shot 37% (27-73) from the court, 34.3% (12-35) from downtown, and 79.3% (23-29) from the charity stripe.
New York out-rebounded the Mystics 45-29 on the glass and crowded Delle Done in the second half making it difficult to get clean looks at the rim.
The Mystics was up 83-80 in overtime, but a pair of threes from Ionescu gave the Liberty an 86-85 lead. Then a three-point play by Breanna Stewart with 19.7 seconds left in overtime sealed it.
Elena Delle Donne (15 points, six boards) missed a jumper with five seconds remaining and Myisha Hines-Allen missed a cutting layup off an inbounds pass with 2.6 seconds left.
“We had free throws to win the game and put it away. We didn’t,” Mystics Coach Eric Thibault said. “I thought we controlled most of the game. It was in our hands to close it. And you find out a lot about yourselves in games like this.”
Breanna Stewart had 18 points and Betnijah Laney chipped in 17 points.
Ariel Atkins and Natasha Cloud lead the way with 24 and 23 points respectively for the Mystics.
Liberty will travel to Connecticut to play the Sun on June 27th for a 7:00 P.M. start time.