New York has a new star, even if she’s currently playing in Bradenton, Florida.
Sabrina Ionescu in her second WNBA game finished with 33 points, seven rebounds, seven assists and shot 6-of-10 from deep ... but couldn’t get the Liberty in the winning column. The Dallas Wings defeated the Liberty, 93-80. New York is now 0-2 in the WNBA “wubble” at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, about 100 miles southwest of where the Nets (re-)open their season Friday.
“She had a heck of a game,” Liberty coach Walt Hopkins said. “She did everything she could to get our offense going. It was the same thing essentially she tried to do in the last game; she saw that we kind of needed a boost offensively, she went out and created one. The shots fell tonight. Did a great job getting to the rim, an efficient game, we just didn’t have enough holistically.”
“I definitely felt more like myself, more comfortable and more confident,” Ionescu said. “The game, obviously not happy because we didn’t win. So that part still isn’t up to my standard, our standard as a team and an organization.”
Ionescu said that after she scored 12 points in her WNBA debut Saturday she went back and looked at film.
“Realizing the reasons why I was missing (against Seattle); my shot was a little bit rushed and I didn’t have that much confidence,” she said. “Honestly, I don’t think I thought I’d get those shots in the WNBA and I did. I went back for two days on speeding up my shot, getting it to where I want, watching film and I think that definitely helped a lot
Ionescu, the first overall pick in the WNBA Draft this April, played an efficient game, going 11-of-20 overall, 6-of-10 from deep and 5-of-5 from the line. She also had five turnovers.
The Liberty were in the game through the first quarter, down by two entering the second behind Ionescu’s 10 points. Dallas took over in the second, opening with an 18-4 run that spanned more than six minutes, blowing the game wide open. By halftime, Ionescu had 21 points, but Dallas had jumped out to a 15-point lead. The Wings played well enough in the third but the lead was 17 going into the final quarter and 13 at game’s end.
Layshia Claredon, who scored 20 points in the Liberty’s opener on Saturday, finished with 11 on Wednesday, the only other Liberty player to score in double figures. The Liberty’s two other veterans, Amanda Zahui B and Kia Nurse, combined for only nine points. All seven of the Liberty’s rookies played, including Megan Walker who had been quarantined following a positive test for the coronvirus.
Clarendon, a leader in the WNBA’s social justice movement, appeared Wednesday on MSNBC, speaking with Andrea Mitchell.
Arike Ogunbowale led Dallas with 20 points in the team’s first win. Satou Sabally who starred with Ionescu at Oregon finished with 12.
The Liberty play again Friday vs.
- Box Score: Dallas Wings 93, New York Liberty 80 - WNBA.com
- Sabrina Ionescu’s 33 points not enough in Liberty loss to Wings - Sarah Valenzuela - New York Daily News
- Ogunbawale, Wings Overcome Ionescu’s 33-Point Effort - AP
- Sabrina Ionescu drops 33 points as Liberty fall to Dallas for second-straight loss - Ryan Young - Yahoo! Sports
- Sabrina Ionescu erupts for 33 points, NY Liberty lose to Dallas Wings, Satou Sabally (12 points) - James Crepea - The Oregonian