New York Liberty
Image courtesy of Tony Maddox

New York Liberty sets tone in Home Opener

On Saturday afternoon, the New York Liberty (3-0) defended their home court against Indiana Fever (0-3), led by rookie phenom Caitlin Clark. Despite the tough loss at home last year in the WNBA Finals, the Liberty picked up where they left off by having a sold-out crowd in a dominant performance in their home opener, 91-80

The support for Liberty continues to grow, making for an even more exciting product moving forward. Not to mention, the hype around Clark and the Fever made this game that much more intriguing. Ultimately, the friendly and healthy rivalry continues among Clark and recognized superstars around the league, which will only increase viewership and competition. 

“This arena is amazing. It’ll be fun for me to go around to all the new WNBA arenas and kind of check off the box,” Clark said. “This is certainly one that’s up there. I know the crowd will be incredible tonight, so just enjoy it.”

The Liberty Establish Their Identity 

At the start of the game, it was evident that the Liberty wanted to attack and begin with the lead, rather than playing from behind. Last season, the Liberty was so immensely talented that it overshadowed their slow starts. That said, they understood the magnitude of who they were playing and how quickly things could get out of hand if Clark weren’t contained or outscored throughout the game. 

This game took a team effort. However, Liberty managed to be aggressive offensively, scoring seven out of nine three-pointers in the opening quarter and defensively. New York Liberty star forward Breanna Stewart led the Liberty with 24 points on 7-of-14 shooting from the field, with five rebounds, four steals, and three blocks. Stewart also shot a perfect 8-of-8 from the free-throw line in the win. 

“We were close last year but we're even closer this year and just really appreciating that and enjoying it,” Stewart states. “Last year things got a little bit crazy for everyone coming here that was new and now we're settled and we know what we're trying to do on and off the court.”

Former WNBA MVP Jonquel Jones played aggressively and had a point to prove playing against a very talented but inexperienced Aliyah Boston. Jonquel Jones posted a double-double for the second consecutive game with 14 points and 12 rebounds. Jones also tied her Liberty career-high with five assists and shot 5-of-6 from the field while making both of her three-point attempts against Indiana. Boston was neutralized by physicality and pure skill. Jones displayed her versatility and how dominant of a player she can be. That dominance opened up several of her teammates' offensive games and helped establish more rhythm in the offense

What’s Next for the New York Liberty

The Liberty is set to take on the Seattle Storm (1-2) back at Barclays Center on Monday night. 

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