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Liberty Now Shift Their Focus in tough test Against the Mercury

 

Amanda Zahui B. Photo by: Stacy Podelski/1495Sports

There have been some major improvements for the New York Liberty (0-3) but now they will take on one of the toughest teams in the WNBA on Sunday in the Phoenix Mercury (1-2) it will be interesting to see how the team will respond and what adjustments Head Coach Walt Hopkins will make to the team.

The biggest question for the Liberty is who is going to help the offense run, the team had been gelling with the  No. 1 overall selection in the 2020 WNBA Draft, Sabrina Ionescu on the court. Sadly in the game against the dream she left the game in the second quarter after suffering an ankle sprain. A timeline for her return has not yet been determined by physicians.

Rookie  guard Jazmine Jones stepped up and helped lead the offense in the game against Atlanta . Jones, in her second career game, finished with a team-high 20 points off the bench. Continuing to make a great offensive impression on the team has been Layshia Clarendon totaled 16 points on the night, which marks the third-consecutive game in double-digit scoring figures.

Other newcomers contributing to the team’s success includes the play of Jocelyn Willoughby who continues to show a fine sharpshooting touch, converting on 2-3 attempts and totaling a career-high 14 points in her first WNBA start.

The Phoenix Mercury enter Sunday’s matchup after securing their first win of the season over the Las Vegas Aces, 102-95. Leading the way in that victory was Skylar Diggins-Smith and Diana Taurasi, who both finished with 22 points on the night, along with a great game from Brittney Griner, who followed with 18 points.

These two teams have  a long history against each other as during the 2019 season the Mercury edged the Liberty in the head-to-head season series, 2-1.  New York has held the series edge over Phoenix as since 1997 the ladies have held a 27-24 mark against the Mercury who are one of the original franchises of the WNBA.

Liberty Milestones to Watch For

Amanda Zahui B – Approaching 100 WNBA career blocks, she currently has 98. Zahui also has 777 career points and 465 rebounds.
Kia Nurse – Currently sits at 779 total career points.
Kiah Stokes- Has 167 career blocks and is the franchise leader and single-game leader in blocks (8, vs. Connecticut 07/16/15)

The Liberty played very well overall in the loss to the Dream so it’ll be interesting to see if they continue to improve. It’ll also be interesting to see who will shine brightest and help lead the team against Phoenix. The tip between these two great teams is set for 1:00 p.m. with the game airing on the ESPN Network.

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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