Photo by Brandon Todd

Liberty send message to WNBA with statement win at home

The New York Liberty have been labeled a “superteam” since the beginning of the season, making many teams giving New York their best shot each time they play them. Throughout the season, something of a rivalry has been building between the Atlanta Dream and the Liberty. Dream star player Rhyne Howard tweeted to the world that she had this game circled as this game meant a lot to her and this game was extremely personal.

Nonetheless, the Liberty took this as disrespect and answered the bell by dominating the Dream, 95-84. For the majority of the game, the Liberty made it very difficult for the Dream to get into any kind of rhythm going defensively. Yet, as they began to look into the driver's seat many mistakes began to occur for New York, ultimately allowing the Dream to slowly claw themselves back into the game.  

“Just getting back to our identity,” New York Liberty head coach Sandy Brondello states. “We got back to ourselves towards the end of the game but for a stretch there we couldn’t execute offensively or defensively.”

New York Liberty Standouts 

This should come as no surprise as the leading scorer for the Liberty was superstar forward Breanna Stewart with 33 points, 12 rebounds, and five assists. Although Stewart's efforts should be highlighted, the Liberty ended the game with two players recording double-doubles. Former MVP Jonquel Jones also made her presence felt in the paint by recording 19 points and 13 rebounds. 

“Stewart was aggressive and that’s what we needed her for tonight,” Brondello continues. “It was all about her aggressiveness and it helps she’s a great free throw shooter.”

The bench helped out in key ways accounting for only nine points, however it was the hustle, tenacity, and defensive plays these women manage to execute as the game progressed. In fact, Stewart spoke highly of their efforts and really believes they’re a huge key to their success down the line. 

“Our bench was huge, especially in this stretch,” Stewart explains. “We’re playing every other day, therefore we’re a team that needs to rely on our depth. Just having that next woman-up mentality and coming into the game and playing freely.”