Brooklyn, NY—The New York Liberty has stepped the game up and all of the pieces are falling together nicely for the Libs.
The Aces had a busy weekend visiting the White House on Friday to celebrate their 2022 WNBA championship. Vice President Kamala Harris and Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff hosted the team in the East Room.
Sabrina Ionescu poured in 25 points and Breanna Stewart chipped in 20 points, 12 boards and seven assists to help the New York Liberty beat the Las Vegas Aces 94-85 on Monday night in the final regular-season meeting between the two teams.
Las Vegas (30-6) started on fire led 16-7 with four minutes left in the first quarter before New York regained their composure and settled down . The Libs outscored the Aces 31-10 over a ten minutes span to go up 38-26 with 3:10 left in the half. New York led 47-35 at the half as Ionescu had 17 points, much to the delight of the sellout crowd of 11,615 that showed up for the rare Monday night game.
“The whole game, I felt pretty confident we had good control,” said Liberty guard Courtney Vandersloot. “After our slow start, we picked things up defensively and were scoring in transition. I think we had a really good grasp on the game the entire time.”
The victory brings Sandy Brondello’s team within 1.5 games of the Vegas Aces, who are atop the standings in the WNBA.
A’ja Wilson scored 15 of her 23 points in the first half for the Aces. Jackie Young had 24 to lead Vegas.
The Aces never really threatened in the second half as the lead didn’t dip to single digits until Young hit a 3-pointer with 1:23 left that made it 90-82.
The game got a little chippy in the second half, with words being exchanged between a couple of players after a hard foul. Jonquel Jones also got charged with a flagrant one foul after a review for getting bottled up with Cayla George.
“More than being home, getting some rest,” Las Vegas coach Becky Hammon said. “This was our 11th game in 23 days. That’s two trips to the East coast. That’s a lot. plus a trip to the White House.”
Stewart and Wilson are two of the favorites to win the league’s MVP award, along with Connecticut’s Alyssa Thomas. The Liberty had a customized pizza truck in front of the arena hyping up Stewart’s MVP credentials.