The New York Liberty have wrapped up their 2020 season with another hard-fought loss against the Dallas Wings, 82-79. With the loss, the Liberty finish their season at 2-20 while the Wings keep their playoff hopes alive with the win.
The game came down to the final minute of play. Rookie Jazmine Jones, who finished with a team-high 21 points, seven rebounds and four assists in 31 minutes of play as a starter, connected on a layup with 59.8 seconds remaining to put the Liberty up 79-78 but the Wings responded, ending the game on a 4-0 run, escaping with the win.
.@Jazmine_Jones4 capped off her amazing rookie season with another strong performance! 21 pts, 7 reb, 4 ast. #LibertyLoud pic.twitter.com/GKIfOwlvMd— New York Liberty (@nyliberty) September 13, 2020
Another of the Liberty’s seven rookies, Neah Odom ended the season on a strong note posting a career-high 20 points, one rebound, and one assist in 31 minutes of play. The forward shot 10-of-12 overall and 0-of-1 from deep in the loss.
It was the first time in franchise history that two rookies scored 20+ in the same game. The last time this was done in the WNBA was in June 2015.
Watch Neah finish the season strong with her new career high 20 points! #LibertyLoud pic.twitter.com/Hnri6t5X7u— New York Liberty (@nyliberty) September 13, 2020
Despite losing the final game of their season, the big news came before tip-off. The Liberty announced that the team has re-signed Kiah Stokes to a contact extension through the 2021 season. Stokes, a 6’3” forward, has been with the team for five years.
Libs Fam, she's here to stay! @kstokes41 is locked in!— New York Liberty (@nyliberty) September 13, 2020
For more information visit https://t.co/0wk4D1OluJ pic.twitter.com/4wKawcbJDg
Stokes, who was drafted by New York with the 11th pick in the 2015 WNBA Draft, has played a big role for the team this season, excelling on both ends of the floor. She was also the only Liberty player to appear and start in every contest this season, averaging 5.8 points per game and 6.7 rebounds per game.
“Kiah is an integral part of our team and she has shown tremendous growth in her game both offensively and defensively this season,” said Liberty GM Jonathan Kolb . “As one of the best shot blockers in the league, her physicality and ability to stretch the defense is something that is integral to the Liberty’s culture and future success.”
The team entered the ‘wubble’ without Asia Durr the No. 2 pick in the 2019 Draft who’s been battling COVID-19. Then, they lost Sabrina Ionescu in the third game with a devastating left ankle sprain.
Despite ending the season with a 2-21 record, ownership and management believe the Liberty have a bright future ahead, which will include a high draft pick in the 2021 WNBA Draft. The Liberty will have a 44 percent at the overall No. 1 whenever the WNBA Draft Lottery takes place...
Postgame: Coach @WalterHopkinsJr, Neah, and @Jazmine_Jones4 reflect on the 2020 Season and the excitement for the bright future ahead. pic.twitter.com/QM61ze4PsA— New York Liberty (@nyliberty) September 13, 2020
“There is so much to be excited about with the group, the organization,” Walt Hopkins said. “We really have a group that gets it and wants to do it the right way and understand that this is part of that.”
The Liberty will now head out of the “wubble” and return home. For some, however, the end of the WNBA season doesn’t mean the end of their play in 2020. Several Liberty players are expected to head overseas to play in international leagues.
- Game Report: Dallas Wings 82, New York Liberty 79 - WNBA.com
- Obunbowale Carries Wings Past Liberty In Season Finale - AP
- Liberty season ends with close loss to Wings - Sarah Valenzuela - New York Daily News
- Jones and Odom Set A Liberty Rookie Record in Final Game of 2020 Season - New York Liberty
- Liberty Sign Stokes To Contract Extension - New York Liberty