Thu, 29 Sep 2022

Liberty roar back to beat Wings, remain in playoff hunt

Field Level Media
11 Aug 2022, 12:40 GMT+10

Sami Whitcomb scored 15 points and Sabrina Ionescu added 13, all after halftime, as the visiting New York Liberty shrugged off a ragged start and waltzed to a 91-73 win over the Dallas Wings on Wednesday in a game with playoff implications in Arlington, Texas.

The Liberty (14-20) kept their postseason hopes alive, snapping a two-game losing streak with dominant second and third quarters in which they outscored Dallas 49-26 and turned a 13-point deficit into a 10-point lead heading into the final period.

New York poured it on in the fourth period, cruising to the win after leading by as many as 19 points. The Liberty are tied with Atlanta for eighth place and the final playoff spot.

The loss was Dallas' first after five straight victories. The Wings (17-17) can clinch sixth place in the league standings and a playoff matchup against the third-seeded team with a victory in either of their two remaining games.

Dallas can still end up with its first winning campaign since the franchise moved to the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex from Tulsa following the 2015 season.

Marine Johannes also had 13 points and Betnijah Laney scored 11 for New York.

Marina Mabrey led Dallas with 19 points. Teaira McCowan added 17 points and 13 rebounds, Veronica Burton scored 15 points and Allisha Gray had 11 for the Wings.

Dallas played without leading scorer Arike Ogunbowale, who will be sidelined for the rest of the regular season and the first round of the playoffs with an abdominal injury.

The Wings had already clinched a playoff spot before Wednesday's game but showed no complacency, running out to a 31-18 lead after the first period.

The Liberty clawed back to within four points over the first four minutes of the second period and then tied the game at 36-36 on Johannes' running layup at the 2:57 mark of the quarter. Burton's 3-pointer with 2:42 to play in the half pushed Dallas back to a 39-38 lead at the break.

Johannes led the Liberty with 11 points by halftime while Ionescu missed all four of her shots and was scoreless in the first half.

Gray, McCowan and Burton scored nine points each to pace the Wings, who scored just eight points in the second quarter.

The Liberty took charge in the third quarter, roaring to a 67-57 lead after Ionescu's buzzer-beating layup that capped her 11 points in the period.

--Field Level Media

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