Bronx, NY —The NY Liberty has to find a way to play sixty minutes of hard nose basketball and not give quarters away. On paper the Libs have a formable team but on the court they are not on the same page.
The one thing, the Liberty has to control is getting their bigs into foul trouble it hurts the team down the stretch. That was their achilles heel on Sunday.
Aerial Powers dropped 27 points, Kayla McBride and Sylvia Fowles chipped in 18 apiece and the Minnesota Lynx held off a late surge by the New York Liberty to beat them 84-77 on Sunday after nearly blowing a 19-point lead.
“Our shots weren’t falling just like the way Minnesota’s shots were falling,” Natasha Howard said. “We see Minnesota on Tuesday and we’re going to go back and watch film and see what we can do different.”
The Liberty shot poorly in the first half but the Lynx managed to stay afloat taking a 46-37 lead at the break.
With the Libs in foul trouble in the third, the Lynx amped it up on defense and scoring, Powers took advantage and put on a shooting clinic. A jumper by Sabrina Ionescu on the left elbow got the Liberty, which trailed 71-55 after three quarters, within one (74-73 )with four minutes left in regulation.
Powers ripped down an offensive rebound on the ensuing possession and cashed in a pair of free throws. She then rebounded a New York miss and scored on the other end for a 78-73 lead.
Ionescu spoke on what the team needed to do in order to put a stop to The Lynx winning Tuesday’s game. “We just have to come together as team and rely on team defense a little bit more to stop the hot hand,” Ionescu said. “We’re going to have to come back and make those adjustments as a team.”
Minnesota (3-8) turnovers gave New York several chances down the stretch, but the Liberty kept turning the ball over and never got closer than three before the Lynx seize control of the game.
Ionescu led the Liberty (3-8), which had won two straight games had 31 points and seven assists. Natasha Howard chipped in 20 points. New York was 4 of 30 from 3-point range, 28 of 41 inside the arc.
The Lynx was 7 of 13 on 3-pointers and shot 49% overall. Minnesota won the earlier matchup and will try to complete the season sweep on Tuesday night.