It’s just one of them days.
The New York Liberty hit the road to take on the reigning WNBA Champions, the Chicago Sky, on Wednesday evening. The Libs couldn’t solve the Chicago defense and took a blowout loss, losing 83-50. It was the largest margin of victory in Sky history.
Early in the game, the Liberty had opportunities at the rim to cash in, but missed out. They had four wide open layups at the rim in the first quarter, but missed them all. In the first, they only scored nine points and shot 17.6 percent from the field. Things got worse for the Liberty in the second quarter as the Sky found their rhythm on offense and never looked back. Once they got down by a bunch, they tried to fight uphill but the Sky were too much to handle on this evening.
In the post-game, Sandy Brondello spoke about the loss being a learning experience:
“We’ve gotta be a little more grittier. We missed some wide open looks, too. We can’t allow makes and misses to mess with our confidence, and I thought our confidence was shaken a little bit today and they couldn’t get it it back. That was a great lesson for me to see that and they were so frustrated that they couldn’t let it go, to be honest. They’re still a young team trying to work it out, how it all goes together. We’ve gotta learn from it and move forward and have another opportunity. That’s the beauty of the WNBA, now we get to play again on Friday.”
The Sky focused a lot of their defensive energy on Sabrina Ionescu, and it worked to perfection. They blitzed her on pick-and-rolls and on the other side, attacked her a lot off the dribble when they were on offense. It was a rough night for the Liberty star as she went scoreless on the evening, going 0-5 from the field and only handing out two assists.
The Liberty were a bit more shorthanded as AD (Durr) was ruled out in the first half of the game due to an illness. Didi Richards missed this game with a right hamstring injury.
For the Sky, Candace Parker kept things humming along as she scored 11 points, grabbed six rebounds, and handed out four assists on the night. She was also on the finishing end of this highlight pass from Courtney Vandersloot in the third quarter:
Not to be outdone, their big free agent acquisition, Emma Meesseman, chipped in with 10 points and six rebounds while Dana Evans went 3-3 from downtown and scored 15 points in 26 minutes off the bench.
The Liberty welcomed Betnijah Laney back into the fold after she was held out on Opening Night with a knee injury. Like her other teammates, Laney struggled out the gate. However, she started to get into more of a rhythm in the second half and made a few nice plays.
In the postgame, we asked the Queen Bee if there was anything from the second half of this game that she could take into Friday’s game. Here’s how she answered:
“To just keep going. We were bad today, so we’re gonna come back, we’re gonna look at the film, we’re gonna see all the things we need to improve upon, and also focus on the things that went well because we did have some things that were good for us out there tonight. So just trying to take that into the game and get ready for Indiana.”
Welcome back, Han!
As the game got out of hand, Han Xu got a chance to get some playing time, and looked good in her time on the court. Xu led the team in scoring with ten points and her work in staying ready shined through. She spoke about it in the postgame and said:
Han Xu (via Cindy Chen): "[I] always stayed ready to go back on the court whenever, so today didn't add any pressure. [I] appreciate how helpful teammates are in helping the language and cultural barriers." (Q: @ClassicJpow) #WNBA #OwnTheCrown— Myles (@MylesEhrlich) May 12, 2022
With the schedule picking up a bit over the next few days, Xu will have some more opportunities to get on the court and make a positive impact on the team.
The Liberty return home to Barclays Center on Friday night to take on the rebuilding Indiana Fever.