The New York Liberty opened the 25th anniversary season at their new home, Barclays Center, with a win over the Indiana Fever, 90-87. Tonight’s victory is the team’s first opening night win since 2017 (Washington Mystics 87-76).
Liberty guard Sabrina Ionescu tied the game with two free made free throws with 21.8 seconds remaining in the contest. After Indiana guard Kelsey Mitchell was called for a traveling violation with 5.8 seconds remaining, Ionescu hit a game winning three with less than one second left to lead New York to its first victory of the season.
The WNBA’s 2020 Most-Improved Player, Betnijah Laney scored a game-high 30 points on 11-18 shooting from the field in her debut in seafoam.
New York shot 47.0% from the field and 50.0% from beyond the arc. The team also shot 83.3% from the charity stripe.
The Liberty had 28 rebounds, 20 assists, 5 steals and 2 blocks.
Three Liberty players scored double figures: Michaela Onyenwere (18), Sabrina Ionescu (25), and Betnijah Laney (30).
The Liberty got out to a 6-0 run to begin the contest, with two three-point shots from Sami Whitcomb and Michaela Onyenwere.
Despite New York taking a lead of as many as 11 in the first half, there were 8 ties and 7 lead changes.
New York and Indiana each scored 47 first-half points.
With less than one second left in the fourth quarter, tied at 87-87, Sabrina Ionescu converted on a game winning three to seal the Liberty’s first win of the season.
1495 Sports is proud to bring the following New York Liberty Post Game Press Conference from 5/14. This was after the team’s 90-87 victory over the Indiana Fever in the first game of the 2021 WNBA Season. Featured in the video are thoughts from Head Coach Walt Hopkins along with stars Betnijah Laney and Sabrina Ionescu
Up Next: The New York Liberty will take on Indiana Fever again on Sunday, May 16 at 2 pm ET.
Betnijah Laney scored a team-and game-high 30 points in her Liberty debut.
Sabrina Ionescu recorded her first career double-double with 25 points and 11 assists. She was only 4 rebounds away from a triple-double, with 6.
Michaela Onyenwere began her career in New York with the best rookie debut in Liberty history, scoring a franchise-high 18 points and 5 rebounds. Before tonight, Kia Nurse held the Liberty rookie debut scoring record with 17 (5/20/2018 at Chicago).
Kelsey Mitchell recorded a team-high 23 points to lead the way in scoring for the Fever, while Teaira McCowan finished with 22 points and 16 rebounds.
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