Brooklyn, NY—The New Liberty figured out a new winning formula for the season, they are incorporating Jonquel Jones early in their offensive sets. Getting Jones started early has paid off huge dividends for the Libs in their second part of the season.
Breanna Stewart scored 21 points and 12 boards to help the New York Liberty (23-6) beat the Chicago Sky (12-17) 89-73 on Friday night in front of an announced crowd of 8,070. It was their fifth straight victory.
With the win, the NY Liberty tied the franchise record for wins for the season, matching the 2015 team.
“It’s pretty cool, I didn’t know that,” Liberty coach Sandy Brondello said. “I think we won five in a row for the first time this year, so that was nice. I didn’t want to bring that up and jinx us. We had big goals coming in, and continue to grow.”
The game went back and forth in the first, the Libs had 19-14 lead at the 3:48 mark in the first but the Liberty offense look poise and looked confident on the hardwood.
The Libs clinched a playoff spot Thursday night by virtue of a few other teams losing, the Sky is currently in eighth place in the standings tethering on the last spot.
In the second quarter Betnijah Laney drained back-to-back threes to take a 28-16 lead and went into the break up by eight points (48-40). New York had a 57-53 advantage late in the third before scoring seven of the final nine points of the period and cruising into the fourth.
Alanna Smith led Chicago with 19 points and Courtney Williams chipped in 10 points, 10 boards and six assists.
In honor of 50 years of Hip Hop, the Liberty had MC Lyte announce the team’s starting lineup. She also performed at halftime and a postgame concert.
After the game, the team went over to actor Jason Sudeikis, who was sitting courtside with his family. They all posed for photos with the “Ted Lasso” star.
“I hope he keeps coming to game. Super excited to see him and his family,” said Ionescu, who poured in 19 points.