Liberty (Photo by Shaquan Woody - JSN)
(Photo by Shaquan Woody - JSN)

NY Liberty Fall to Minnesota Lynx in Commissioners Cup

On Tuesday, the Minnesota Lynx and New York Liberty faced off in the Commissioner’s Cup game at UBS Arena in Elmont, New York. The game was held at UBS Arena because the NBA Draft occurred at Barclays Center on Wednesday night. Despite the venue change, Liberty fans showed up Liberty Loud to support their team and welcome back Courtney Vandersloot after her mom's death. 

With Vandersloot and Betnijah Laney-Hamilton back in the lineup, they helped carry the Liberty to a 50-47 halftime lead. Breanna Stewart finished the night with 24 points and 11 rebounds, and Sabrina Ionescu finished with 23 points and 10 rebounds, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the Lynx, who made adjustments in the second half. 

The third quarter has typically been rough for the Liberty, and Tuesday night was no exception. New York started the second half sluggish and sloppy, while the Lynx came out with a much more aggressive game plan on defense. New York continued to turn the ball over well into the fourth quarter and ended the night with twenty-one turnovers. The turnovers eventually became too much to overcome, especially with the Lynx continuing to apply pressure on defense. 

“I think they executed better than us, and really, that’s it. Twenty-one turnovers is never going to win the game,” said Stewart in her post-game press conference. Minnesota Lynx Head Coach Cheryl Reeve told the media, “You have to talk about us now,” after she told her team to just “win, and people will start talking about the Lynx as real title contenders” before the game. 

People are certainly talking about the Lynx after they were overlooked by superteams like New York and the Las Vegas Aces. Reeve also said that her team’s “belief in one another” helped propel them to victory. 

New York and Minnesota will face each other again at Barclays Center on Tuesday, July 2, with a tip time of 7 PM. 

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Nikki Gist

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