The Liberty lost their 12th game in 13 outings Saturday night but the big news wasn’t the 82-65 Connecticut Sun victory, but good news about Sabrina Ionescu, the overall No. 1 pick in the WNBA Draft and the Liberty’s hope for the future.
Shortly before the game in the WNBA’s Bradenton “bubble” or “wubble,” the Liberty issued an optimistic statement on Ionescu’s injury status...
BRADENTON, FL—August 22, 2020— New York Liberty guard Sabrina Ionescu, who suffered a left ankle sprain in the second quarter of the team’s July 31 game against the Atlanta Dream, has been evaluated and physicians have determined that no surgery is needed. She has received a positive prognosis for a full recovery and is continuing to rehab.
Additional information on her status will be shared as it becomes available.
The Oregon product went down in the Liberty’s Game 3 and there was speculation that she might require season-ending surgery. Now, there’s some hope that 5’11” point guard might get some minutes in the Liberty’s nine games ... or whether Joe Tsai’s team will take a more conservative route and rest her.
The Liberty could use Ionescu. Once again, the Liberty played hard but once again, a win escaped their reach. The big issues again was New Yorkers’ inability to put the ball in the hoop. New York shot 37.0 percent from the field and 27.6 percent from beyond the arc ... but did hit 89.5 percent from the free throw line.
Another recurring issue showed up Saturday night as well. The Liberty fell behind early. Connecticut opened the first quarter on a 10-0 run led entirely by Alyssa Thomas. The Sun outscored New York, 24-16 in the first quarter.
Then, it was New York’s turn. The Liberty went on a 11-6 run midway through the second quarter to cut Connecticut’s lead to as few as three points. The Liberty outscored the Sun 22-21 in the second quarter, going into the locker room down 7 points.
But third quarter woes sunk the Liberty’s hopes. Connecticut got out to a 12-7 run with 4:48 remaining in the third quarter. Going into the final frame, New York trailed by 17. New York and Connecticut scored 16 points apiece in the fourth.
Kia Nurse recorded a team-high 17 points with four assists and three boards. Layshia Clarendon, filling in for Ionescu at the points, added 12 points on 40.0 percent (2-5) shooting from beyond the arc.
Meanwhile, rookie guard Jazmine Jones had her sixth consecutive game scoring in double figures including this highlight...
.@Jazmine_Jones4 creating space for 3. pic.twitter.com/9ngfR1nobK— New York Liberty (@nyliberty) August 23, 2020
Jones, who’s becoming an offensive force, finished with 11 points on 50.0 percent shooting from the field, as well as five assists and four rebounds. Over that stretch, the 12th pick in the 2020 Draft is averaging 14.5 points. For the season, she’s averaging 10.5 points and shooting better than 40 percent from deep, tops on the team.
Clarendon and other vets had positive words for Jones...
The vets discussing how key some of the rooks have been on both ends of the floor. pic.twitter.com/hCn6FQnebQ— New York Liberty (@nyliberty) August 23, 2020
For the Sun, Thomas finished with a game-high 25 points, while Jasmine Thomas added 16 points. DeWanna Bonner posted a double-double of 14 points and 12 boards to go along with six assists.
The Liberty will take on the Chicago Sky on Tuesday, August 25, at 7:00 PM ET on Fox Sports GO.
- Thomas, Bonner Lead Sun To 85-62 Win Over Liberty - AP
- Sun Outshine Liberty, 82-65 - WNBA.com
- Sun head into (abbreviated) break with rout over Liberty - Ned Griffin - New London Day
- Full-Game Highlights: Connecticut Sun 82, New York Liberty 65 (Video) - Basketball Box