Jonquel, Liberty advance to WNBA playoff semifinals

As of Wednesday, September 20, 2023




#Tribune Sports Reporter

#WOMEN’S National Basketball Association (WNBA) player Jonquel Jones posted her second straight double double to complete the 2-0 sweep against the Washington Mystics last night.

#The seventh-seeded Eastern Conference team showed why they evened the season series 2-2 as they forced the Liberty to work for the feat in overtime.

#The 90-85 win makes it the first time since 2015 the league’s second best team have advanced out of the first round en route to the semifinals of the WNBA playoffs.

#The Liberty were in control of game two in the opening period after their team ran out to a 21-18 lead at the Barclays Centre.

#After having an off night in their opening playoff game, Associated Player of the Year Breanna Stewart got back into her groove last night.

#At the end of the first period, the league’s second highest scorer was up to 11 points in the game. She ended the night with a dominant double double, posting a team-high 27 points along with 10 rebounds in the narrow win.

#In the second quarter, New York’s formidable women’s team had their highest scoring segment of the game.

#The team outscored the Mystics 25-17 and closed out the period with an 11-point cushion to break for the second half.

#Grand Bahamian Jones was a force to be reckoned with inside the paint once again. She notched her second consecutive double double of the series with 19 points alongside 14 boards and three blocks.

#The former WNBA MVP also shot 6-for-9 from the field and was instrumental down the stretch for the Liberty. The pesky Mystics seemed determined not to go home after the break. Mystics guard Natasha Cloud was valiant in her efforts to thwart the Liberty’s chances of advancing to the semifinals. The floor general poured in a career and game-high of 33 points, 9 dimes, six rebounds and also connected on five shots from behind the arc.

#The seventh-seed outscored the Liberty 21-13 in the third period. In the final quarter of regulation, Washington charged ahead at the 4:55 mark 67-63 in their quest to upset the Liberty’s chances of executing the sweep. With 33 seconds remaining in the win-or-go home elimination game Mystics small forward Brittney Sykes nailed a timely three-point shot to tie the score 74 apiece.

#Cloud iced two free throws with under 30 seconds remaining to put the Mystics up by 2. Ultimately, in true playoff fashion Jones returned the favor, canning her own pair of free throws to give her newest team a chance at the sweep in OT.

#The extra period play saw the Liberty strike first after being on the ropes at the end of regulation. Jones’ team went up 84-79 in Brooklyn, New York. However, the Mystics remained hungry and got the score within one (86-85) following some big free throws from Ariel Atkins. Washington’s team was unable to steal the win after Stewart made the two separate pairs of clutch free throws to help the Liberty to advance to the semifinals.

#The Liberty collected 41 rebounds and shot 85.7 per cent from the charity stripe in the big win.

#The team will now await the winner of the Connecticut Sun versus Minnesota Lynx series tonight at 8pm. The semifinals will get underway for Jones and the Liberty on Sunday.

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