The New York Liberty broke a seven game losing streak Wednesday night after defeating the Indiana Fever 87–74, giving them their 2nd win of the young season.
At 2–7, the team from Barclays Center sits near the bottom of the WNBA standings 9 games into the 36-game season — and head coach Sandy Brondello hailed the win as a much-needed morale boost.
“It’s good for them to get that win because it’s tough losing,” she said.
Brondello noted several aspects of the team’s play that marked improvements from their seven game skid, and pushed her players to continue that work going forward — particularly ball movement, as the squad’s offense had a tendency to stagnate.
“Just make simple passes…keep moving the ball to the other side,” she said. “We’ve got to keep moving the ball.”
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The win, which comes as their only victory since their opening contest on May 7, gives the team a chance to hit the reset button on their rocky season, Brondello noted, as they sit just 2 games out of the playoff picture, despite their porous record.
Led by Sabrina Ionescu’s 23 points, including an explosive 12-point 3rd quarter, the team managed to keep pace with an also-struggling Indiana team.
“Any win is a 10-out-of-10, but we’re going to remember how this feels and we’re going to remember what it feels like to lose,” said Ionescu.
Their 11 three-pointers marked a season-high and showed a potential strategy for the relatively-small team, who could continue to rely on outside shooting to top their opponents.
Natasha Howard and Stefanie Dolson both added 16 points and earned the praise of Ionescu, who highlighted her teammates’ grit and toughness in the victorious effort.
“How hard it takes to get a win in this league, and the sacrifices that we have to make, and how hard we have to play, is something that’s non-negotiable from here on out,” Ionescu said.
The Liberty will look to continue their short success as they take on the Eastern Conference-leading Washington Mystics at 7 p.m. on Friday.