Balanced-scoring Liberty cap season sweep of Sun

Balanced-scoring Liberty cap season sweep of Sun

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Aug 15, 2023; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; New York Liberty guard Marine Johannes (23) dribbles up the court against the Las Vegas Aces at Michelob Ultra Arena.
Image: Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports

Betnijah Laney scored 19 points as the New York Liberty completed a regular-season sweep of the Connecticut Sun with a 89-58 victory on Friday night.

Laney was one of five Liberty players to score in double digits during the team’s fifth straight win.

Breanna Stewart tallied 14 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists, Marine Johannes chipped in 18 points, Courtney Vandersloot added 13 points and Jonquel Jones had 10 points. Laney and Johannes each connected on a trio of 3-pointers.

The Liberty (29-7) won without star guard Sabrina Ionescu, who was sidelined due to a calf injury.

Tiffany Hayes led the Sun (25-12) with 11 points, while Olivia Nelson-Ododa added 10 points.

The Sun took a brief lead in the first quarter, 6-5, when Natisha Hiedeman sank a 3-pointer. From there, it was all Liberty, as they embarked on a 15-5 run and never looked back. The Liberty led by 11 points at the end of the first quarter and 24 points by the end of the third.

Defense has been key for Connecticut this season, but it allowed New York to shoot 54.8 percent from the floor.

New York led by as much as 26 points in the third quarter, and key in that period was the playmaking of Stewart. She only scored two points in that stretch of 10 minutes, but grabbed three rebounds and dished out six assists, setting up her teammates and empowering the Liberty to pull away.

Stewart has now scored 819 points this WNBA season, which is good enough for fourth all-time in a single season in league history. The record is 860, set by Diana Taurasi in 2006. Stewart has four regular-season games remaining to catch that mark, starting with the Liberty’s game on Sunday at the Chicago Sky.

Next up for the Sun, who went 0-4 this season against New York, is a home game on Tuesday against the Los Angeles Sparks.

—Field Level Media

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About the Author

Anthony Barnett
Anthony is the author of the Science & Technology section of ANH.