Whitcomb scores 26 to lead Liberty past Wings 99-96

Jul 5, 2021, 6:08 AM | Updated: 7:08 pm

NEW YORK (AP) — Sami Whitcomb scored 26 points and Betnijah Laney added 18 to help the New York Liberty beat the Dallas Wings 99-96 in a rare Monday night game.

The WNBA tends to avoid playing on Monday with most teams playing games on Saturday or Sunday.

Liberty coach Walt Hopkins credited the play of Whitcomb on both ends of the court.

“Sami’s combination of defense, passing getting us into stuff, she did everything,” he said. “She played great defense to boot. When Sami’s locked in like that, it helps everybody. From the outset she was really, really locked in.”

Jazmine Jones scored 16 points and Sabrina Ionescu added 13 points and 12 assists for the Liberty (10-9), who made a franchise-record 15 3-pointers on 31 attempts.

“On a night we didn’t shoot the ball as well as we did, we’re going to be pretty frustrated,” Hopkins said.

Isabelle Harrison had 16 of her 23 points in the fourth quarter to lead Dallas (9-10), which couldn’t survive a rare off scoring night from Arike Ogunbowale, who became the third fastest player in WNBA history to reach 1,500 points when she scored her fifth point in the first quarter.

The only players to do it faster were Seimone Augustus and Cynthia Cooper. Later in the period, Ogunbowale reached double digits in points for the 56th consecutive game. Only five other players have done that in league history.

But Ogunbowale didn’t score again until the fourth quarter. She missed all six of her shots in the second and third, finally ending her scoring drought when she tied the game at 83 with over four minutes left. That was her only points after the opening period, and she finished with 12 for the game.

“Sometimes it’s nights like that,” said Dallas coach Vickie Johnson, who starred as a player for New York when the WNBA was just beginning in 1997. “Sometimes the ball goes in the basket.”

New York answered with 3-pointers by Jones, Whitcomb and Laney to build a 92-87 lead with 2:32 left. Dallas cut the deficit to 94-91 with just over a minute left, but Whitcomb hit her sixth 3-pointer of the game to seal it.

Whitcomb had 15 of her points in the first half when New York built a 51-47 lead. The Liberty extended the advantage to 10 in the third quarter before Dallas rallied within 74-69 heading into the final period.

DOUBLE TROUBLE

The only players with longer double-digit scoring streaks than Ogunbowale in WNBA history were Cooper (92), Augustus (88), Lauren Jackson (84), Sylvia Fowles (83) and Maya Moore (57).

WELCOME BACK

After leaving the Liberty’s game on Saturday with a neck injury, Didi Richards returned to play Monday night. She played four minutes. Richards had a scary spinal cord injury while she was at Baylor last year in a freakish accidental collision with a teammate.

UP NEXT

Wings: At Minnesota on Wednesday.

Liberty: At Indiana on Friday.

___

More AP women’s basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/womens-basketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE - Cleveland Browns' Chris Hubbard speaks at an NFL football press conference Thursday, March 1...
Associated Press

NFL players working to ease stigma around mental health help

The pressures of the NFL were getting to Marcus Smith II. He hadn’t lived up to the expectations of being Philadelphia’s first-round pick, which led to anxiety, depression, panic attacks, being released by the Eagles — and a move across the country to Seattle. Smith didn’t talk about his mental health because he didn’t want […]
1 day ago
FILE - Los Angeles Galaxy's Landon Donovan acknowledges fans after the team's MLS soccer match agai...
Associated Press

Donovan, Dempsey to broadcast World Cup in US for Fox

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Landon Donovan is teaming with Clint Dempsey again at a World Cup. The pair, who share the American record of 57 international goals, will work for Fox at this year’s tournament in Qatar. Donovan is paired with Ian Darke on one of five play-by-play teams. He joins Dempsey, hired last spring […]
1 day ago
United States Captain Zach Johnson attends a press conference on the occasion of The Year to Go eve...
Associated Press

US captain Johnson: Woods will have role with Ryder Cup team

ROME (AP) — Whether Tiger Woods makes it to Italy or not for next year’s Ryder Cup, he’ll be an integral member of the U.S. team, captain Zach Johnson said Tuesday at the year-to-go ceremonies. “Given who he is and what he’s all about, I can tell you right now, I don’t know if he’ll […]
1 day ago
A middle school football team practices Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2022, in Oklahoma City. Oklahoma has a...
Associated Press

Oklahoma sports ‘biological sex affidavit’ raises questions

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — J.D. Runnels and his son, James, share a love for football. Runnels played for the University of Oklahoma and in the National Football League, and he coached in the United States Football League this past season. His son plays center for Southridge Middle School’s eighth-grade team in Moore, an Oklahoma City […]
1 day ago
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett (8) celebrates beside teammates after scoring a touch...
Associated Press

Kenny Pickett will be Steelers’ starting QB vs. Bills

PITTSBURGH (AP) — The Kenny Pickett Era is officially underway in Pittsburgh. The rookie quarterback will make his first career start Sunday when the Steelers visit Buffalo. Pickett, the 20th overall pick in the draft, made his regular season debut in the second half of a 24-20 loss to the New York Jets. He ran […]
1 day ago
Naomi Osaka of Japan returns a shot against Daria Saville of Australia during a singles match in th...
Associated Press

Naomi Osaka to publish picture book ‘The Way Champs Play’

NEW YORK (AP) — Naomi Osaka has some life lessons she’d like to share. The tennis superstar has a deal with HarperCollins Publishers for a children’s picture book, “The Way Champs Play,” scheduled to come out Dec. 6. Illustrated by Kamala Nair, the book was arranged through Osaka’s new media company, Hana Kuma. The story […]
1 day ago
Whitcomb scores 26 to lead Liberty past Wings 99-96