New York Liberty Have a Historic Night at Home

New York Liberty Have a Historic Night at Home

By John “Woods” Armwood III

The New York Liberty (14-3) continue to perform on an unprecedented run without being at full strength. Despite defeating the Los Angeles Sparks (4-13) on Thursday night, the Liberty found another way to beat them at home just days later, 98-88. Saturday evening, proved to be not only a historic night for Liberty fans but an amazing atmosphere for all in attendance. The Liberty has continued to fill the seats and create numerous sold-out crowds this season, only making for an even more exciting game! 

“I think we're building, you know, every game's important for us and that's why we don't want to miss opportunities to bring our best every single night because especially on our home court, this is about our fans,” Liberty coach Sandy Brondello states. “This is about us wanting to finish in the top two. So every game matters. And like I said when you got great players around and they're committed to that like I said, we're not making any excuses.”



Some of the history shared on this night was Liberty guard Kayla Thornton and star forward Breanna Stewart both recorded career highs. Stewart managed to record her career high in blocks with six on the night, as well as Thornton with six threes made the night. 

“Every time it goes up I know it’s going in,” Brondello said of Thornton. “She’s always going to give us great effort.”

New York Liberty Hot Start

In the game's opening minutes, the Liberty defense began to apply pressure and create costly turnovers leading to easy baskets. Not to mention, the aggressiveness on offense by star guard Sabrina Ionescu. To start the game, Ionescu shot three of four from the field and helped gain early momentum for the Liberty, ultimately forcing the Sparks to take an early timeout. However, despite the Liberty momentum, the adjustments made by the Sparks helped alter the game. The substantial lead by the Liberty, 17-8, was chopped significantly by the Sparks finding success in the low post and interior of the defense. Ultimately, the Sparks momentum built was too much to subside for the Liberty allowing them the lead heading into the second, 25-21. 

“We were letting them off the hook a little bit,” Stewart said.

Turning Points of the Game

That said, the Liberty realized the adjustments that were made and began to come out and exploit their matchups. Heading into the second, it appeared to be an emphasis on feeding former MVP Jonquel Jones and Stewart. Although the Sparks have extremely talented guard play, they lack size. The Liberty noticed that and began using that advantage to their favor, ultimately opening up the spacing and floor for others like Ionescu and Thornton. Once the Liberty began getting in rhythm it seemed they couldn’t miss. At moments when the crowd fed into the momentum, it felt in the arena as if the roof would collapse. 

“Yeah, I think she helps bring this energy to our team Ellie is amazing,” Thornton explains the energy of the crowd.  “And just the energy she brings kind of helps us, helps the fans and the fans give us energy. So I think it's a great combination”

What’s Next for the Liberty?

Monday evening, the Liberty are set to face the Atlanta Dream (6-9) on the road, and then following that game will be played against the Minnesota Lynx at UBS Arena for the Commissioner's Cup. Essentially, three games in four days all on the road. 

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