Brooklyn Boro

Ionescu looking for wins, not records

Says, 'We have a lot more to prove' following loss to Chicago

June 14, 2022 John Torenli, Sports Editor
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It was an historic performance for Liberty point guard Sabrina Ionescu Sunday at Downtown’s Barclays Center.

But it didn’t come with the desired result.

“I don’t care about triple-doubles, we lost, I’m really bummed about that,” Ionescu said after putting up 27 points, 13 rebounds and 12 assists in New York’s heartbreaking 88-86 loss to visiting Chicago in front of 4,810 fans on the corner of Atlantic and Flatbush.

The defeat came after the Liberty (5-9) had won two straight and four of their previous five games to overcome a dismal 1-7 start to the campaign.

Ionescu certainly did her best to give New York its first three-game winning streak of the year, becoming just the fourth player in WNBA history with two career triple-doubles.

She went 9-of-16 from the floor, 6-of-6 at the line and drained a trio of 3-pointers, saving her best for last with 13 fourth-quarter points.

None of it was enough as the Sky (9-4) got a clutch 3-pointer from Courtney Vandersloot with under a second remaining in regulation.

The Liberty never got a shot off on their ensuing trip, turning another heartening victory into a soul-searching defeat in the opener of a three-game homestand.

“We still need to get better finishing plays with rebounds,” said Liberty center Stefanie Dolson. “Tonight that was our demise in a way, their offensive rebounds on us.”

Courtney Vandersloot hit the winning shot with under a second left Sunday as the Chicago Sky stunned the Liberty in Downtown Brooklyn. AP Photo by Ted S. Warren

Dolson finished with 12 points, Crystal Dangerfield had 11 and Han Xu added 10 for New York, which will host the Washington Mystics here on Thursday night.

Vandersloot and Emma Meeseman scored 20 points apiece for the defending WNBA champion Sky, who have won five of their last six contests.

Ionescu didn’t want to hear much about her record-tying triple-double afterward, but did acknowledge the feat, which earned her the league’s Eastern Conference Player of the Week honor.

“In retrospect, thankful for my teammates to put me in position to achieve that,” she noted. “We have a lot more to prove and I’m excited for the next game.”

Liberty head coach Sandy Brondello hopes her team can rebound Thursday vs. Washington at Barclays Center. AP Photo by Rick Scuteri

GIVE ME LIBERTY: The Player of the Week award is the second of Ionescu’s career. She led New York to a 2-1 record, averaging 22.0 points, 9.0 rebounds and 9.0 assists in 33.0 minutes per game while shooting 62.1 percent from the field, 53.3 percent from 3-point range and 100 percent (8-of-8) from the line. Ionescu also became the first-ever WNBA player to record a triple-double within three quarters. … After hosting the Mystics on Thursday, the Liberty will welcome Seattle to Barclays on Sunday afternoon. New York will hit the road for the opener of a two-game trip next Wednesday in Connecticut before playing the opener of a home-and-home set in Atlanta on June 24.

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