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Liberty Drops Tough 71-87 Season Opener to the Storm

VIDEO: Hear from members of the New York Liberty after the team’s 71-87 loss to Seattle, as the New York Liberty were one of many teams to help jump start the 2020 WNBA Season.

The New York Liberty’s first-ever No. 1 overall selection, Sabrina Ionescu, made her highly-anticipated WNBA debut today against Breanna Stewart, Sue Bird and the Seattle Storm. Ionescu and the Liberty’s active rookies combined for 34 points in the team’s 71-87 loss to Seattle.

Liberty newcomer and veteran guard, Layshia Clarendon led both teams in scoring with a game high 20 points, shooting 55.6% from the field, along with 3 assists, 2 steals and 2 rebounds. Clarendon also shot 83.3% from the line (10-12).

Here are some interesting news and notes from the team:

KEY STATS:

 

New York went 19-22 (86.4%) from the free throw line.

The Liberty shot 34.8% from the field.

New York and Seattle both scored 26 points in the paint.

 

KEY RUNS:

 

1Q: Seattle let by as many as 12 points in the first quarter, but New York cut the lead to 8 by the end of the quarter. The Storm went on a 12-8 run to finish the first.

2Q: New York outscored Seattle 19-18 in the second, which was in part was led by the Liberty’s 8-0 run to open the quarter and tie the game. In response to New York’s run, Seattle went on an 8-0 run of their own later in the 2nd.

3Q: None

4Q: Seattle led by as many as 19 in the fourth, going a 19-7 run with 3:30 remaining in the quarter.

 

LIBERTY NOTES:

In the season premier, which saw four lead changes and six ties, the Liberty’s newest veteran guard, Layshia Clarendon, led both teams in scoring with 20 points in her debut with New York.

Swedish center Amanda Zahui B finished with 10 points, 8 rebounds and 2 assists in 23 minutes of action.

New York’s six active rookies combined for 34 points, and Ionescu led the way in her 33:56 minutes with 12 points, 6 rebounds and four assists. Leaonna Odom and Jocelyn Willoughby each added 9 points, respectively. Willoughby also grabbed 4 rebounds.

After sitting out last season, Kiah Stokes marked her return to seafoam hitting her first career three in the third quarter of the game. She finished with five points on 10 rebounds.

All Star guard Kia Nurse left the game with 8:07 left in the second quarter with an ankle sprain injury.

 

STORM NOTES:

Alysha Clark finished with 6 points, 7 rebounds and 2 steals.

2018 Finals MVP Breanna Stewart returned to the court after missing the 2019 WNBA season with a ruptured Achilles tendon. Stewart led the Storm outright with 18 points (6-12 FG), 8 rebounds and matched her regular season career high with 4 steals.

Sue Bird suited up for Seattle after she was sidelined last season while recovering from a knee surgery. Bird tallied 11 points and went 3-of-5 from three-point range. The WNBA all-time assists leader dished out 5 dimes without committing a turnover.

Jewell Loyd became the first Storm player to cross the double-digit point threshold, finishing with 14 points on 5-of-9 shooting.

UP NEXT:

New York will take on the Dallas Wings on Wednesday, July 29. Tip-off is set for 8 PM ET.

For more information on the New York Liberty fans are encouraged to click on the link seen here:

https://liberty.wnba.com/

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