Howard leads Liberty to 77-65 win over Mystics

Jun 16, 2022, 5:57 AM | Updated: 7:04 pm

NEW YORK (AP) — The Liberty were struggling scoring on the outside, so the team focused on getting points inside.

It worked thanks to a strong effort from Natasha Howard, who scored a season-high 27 points to help New York beat the Washington Mystics 77-65 on Thursday night.

New York outscored Washington 44-24 in the paint with Han Xu scoring 12 points to join Howard’s big game.

“Finishing inside was big for us,” Liberty coach Sandy Brondello said. “Tasha was amazing for us. Han just keeps getting better and better. She’s grasping things quite well and she has such a soft touch.”

New York missed 25 of its 31 3-point attempts.

“We had a lot of wide-open looks, we just missed them,” Brondello said. “We’re going to have nights like that. I like that we are taking a lot of 3s. Defense tonight won the game.”

Howard added nine rebounds and was 13 for 17 from the field for the Liberty (6-9). Sabrina Ionescu had 10 points, nine assists and seven rebounds.

The Mystics (10-7) were missing star Elena Delle Donne, who has been taking games off to rest her back which caused her to miss all of last season. Washington played in Minnesota on Tuesday and play again on Sunday at home.

“We have three games this week and we try to have her only play two right now,” Washington coach Mike Thibault said.

Washington led 24-20 after one quarter despite Howard scoring 12 points for New York in the opening period. The Liberty outscored the Mystics 20-11 in the second quarter to take a 40-35 advantage into the half.

New York extended the lead in the third quarter to 10 behind Howard, who had nine points in the period. The Mystics got within eight in the fourth quarter, but could get no closer.

Natasha Cloud scored 17 points to lead the Mystics.


Despite being listed as probable for the game, DiDi Richards missed her 14th game of the season because of a right hamstring injury. She went through warmups but wasn’t ready to go.

“It’s been a long process, they decided to see how she was going to warm up and they decided to give her a few more days,” Brondello said.

New York was also still missing Rebecca Allen (non-COVID illness); Betnijah Laney (right knee) and Jocelyn Willoughby (left knee).


Mystics: host Connecticut on Sunday.

Liberty: host Seattle on Sunday.


More AP women’s basketball: and

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Associated Press

Ex-Packer Guion gets 1 year for domestic violence assault

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Former Green Bay Packers defensive tackle Letroy Guion was sentenced to one year in jail after pleading no contest in a domestic violence assault at his home last fall. Brown County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Walsh also ordered Guion on Tuesday to serve three years’ probation and complete a domestic […]
1 month ago
Joe Jarzynka...
Associated Press

Durant eager for Suns debut vs. Hornets after knee injury

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Kevin Durant has been through quite a bit during his 15-year NBA career — but joining a new team midway through the season is a new one for the 13-time All-Star. The 34-year-old Durant doesn’t seem all that worried. Durant makes his highly anticipated Phoenix Suns debut on Wednesday night against […]
1 month ago
FILE - Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores stands on the sideline during the second half of an N...
Associated Press

Judge: NFL coach can press discrimination claims in court

NEW YORK (AP) — NFL Coach Brian Flores can pursue some of his discrimination claims against the league and its teams in court rather than through arbitration, a judge ruled Wednesday. The written decision by Judge Valerie Caproni in Manhattan was issued months after lawyers for the league tried to get the lawsuit moved to […]
1 month ago
Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Alex Stalock cools off in the first period during an NHL hockey game ...
Associated Press

Kane trade reinforces hard reality of Blackhawks rebuild

CHICAGO (AP) — After days of speculation, the harsh reality of the Chicago Blackhawks’ situation was reinforced by one move in a flurry of transactions ahead of the NHL trade deadline. Showtime is over, at least in Chicago, and a seemingly bright future is, well, way off in the distance. The reverberations of Chicago’s decision […]
1 month ago
FILE -  Yves Jean-Bart, president of the Haitian Football Federation, wearing a protective face mas...
Associated Press

Disgraced ex-Haitian soccer president announces he’s back

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Haiti’s former soccer federation president whose lifetime ban from sport over sexual abuse allegations was overturned last month announced Wednesday that he is reclaiming his position. Yves Jean-Bart’s defiant announcement could lead to a standoff with FIFA, which already has appointed an emergency management committee to lead the Haitian Football Association […]
1 month ago
FILE - Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers walks off the field after an NFL football game against the ...
Associated Press

Rodgers says decision on future will come ‘soon enough’

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Aaron Rodgers says he will make a decision on his future “soon enough” as the four-time MVP quarterback ponders whether to play next season and if his future remains with the Green Bay Packers. Rodgers, 39, discussed his future while speaking on an episode of the “Aubrey Marcus Podcast” that […]
1 month ago
Howard leads Liberty to 77-65 win over Mystics