Liberty guard Sabrina Ionescu reacts after scoring a three-point basket...

Liberty guard Sabrina Ionescu reacts after scoring a three-point basket against the Washington Mystics in the first half of a WNBA basketball game at Barclays Center on Friday, May 31, 2024. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

UNCASVILLE, Conn. — Sabrina Ionescu scored 24 points, Jonquel Jones added 22 and the New York Liberty handed the Connecticut Sun their first loss of the season 82-75 on Saturday.

The Liberty fell behind by five early in the fourth quarter but tied they on a layup by Betnijah Laney-Hamilton and a 3-pointer by Jones. Later in the quarter, Ionescu made her first field goal since the first quarter, giving the Liberty a two-point lead, and Breanna Stewart hit a 3-pointer to make it 69-64 with 5 1/2 minutes to go.

With 93 seconds left, Tyasha Harris hit a 3-pointer to get the Sun within 76-75. Jones answered with a 3, and Ionescu scored in the paint to give the Liberty an 81-75 lead with 43 seconds left.

Stewart finished with 13 points and Laney-Hamilton had 10 for the Liberty (10-2). Laney-Hamilton had six assists and Ionescu, Jones and Stewart had five each as the Liberty had 27 assists on 31 made shots.

Six Connecticut players scored in double figures, led by DeWanna Bonner with 16 points. Brionna Jones scored 13, DiJonai Carrington 12, Tiffany Mitchell 12 and Tyasha Harris 11. Alyssa Thomas had 10 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists.

The six double-figure scorers accounted for all but one of Connecticut's points and six players combined to score all of New York's points.

Led by Ionescu, who scored 10 points on 4-for-4 shooting with two 3-pointers, the Liberty shot 69% in the first quarter and led 28-18 heading to the second.

After trading baskets to open the second quarter, the Sun went on a 10-0 run to tie it at 30, the last three points coming on a layup and free throw from Mitchell.

The score was tied at 39 at halftime.

A 10-footer by Carrington gave the Sun a 46-45 lead three minutes into the second half. Connecticut went on to build a 54-47 lead but the Liberty kept it close and trailed 60-57 heading to the fourth quarter.



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