Indiana Fever at New York Liberty
Sunday, May 21, 2023
Barclays Center | 2 p.m. ET
Indiana Fever Facebook
Pat Boylan (play-by-play), Bria Goss (analyst)
The Indiana Fever look to record its first win of the season when they take on the New York Liberty at 2 p.m. ET on Sunday at Barclays Center. The Fever opened up 2023 with a 70-61 loss to the Connecticut Sun on Friday. Despite strong comeback efforts and impressive performances by rookie center Aliyah Boston and guard Kelsey Mitchell, it was an 8-2 run for the Sun in the end of the fourth quarter that kept the Fever from starting off the year with a win.
Mitchell is on track to return as a force this season as she added a team-high 20 points to her career point total on Friday. With 2,448 points in her Fever career, Mitchell trails Katie Douglas (2,564) by only 116 points to move into second all-time in franchise history. On Friday, Mitchell finished with 11 of her 20 total points while shooting 4-of-7 from the field in the second quarter alone.
This year’s No. 1 overall draft pick Boston neared a double-double on Friday in her regular-season debut as she recorded 15 points and nine rebounds. Second-year forward NaLyssa Smith, who averaged 13.5 points and 7.9 rebounds in the 2022 season, also added nine rebounds against Connecticut to start the year.
The New York Liberty head into the 2023 season with a new identity after going 16-20 in the 2022 regular season before bowing out in the first round of the playoffs.
New York is also entering Sunday’s matchup 0-1 on the season after falling to the Washington Mystics, 80-64, on Friday. Sabrina Ionescu was the leading scorer for the Liberty as she contributed 18 points along with eight rebounds. On May 15, the Liberty announced that the team and Ionescu agreed to a multi-year extension through the 2025 season after she led the Liberty to the 2022 playoffs. The WNBA All-Star has averaged 14.9 points and 6.9 rebounds in her 69 WNBA game appearances.
The debuts from the newest Liberty frontcourt additions were also spoiled in Friday night’s loss. Breanna Stewart opened the regular season with a 12-point, 12-rebound double-double, while Jonquel Jones finished with only five points, five rebounds and three assists.
Veteran guard Betnijah Laney pitched in 10 points.
Projected Starters (2022 Statistics)
Center – Aliyah Boston (15.0 ppg, 9.0 rpg, 1.0 bpg)
Forward – NaLyssa Smith (6.0 ppg, 9.0 rpg, 1.0 apg)
Guard – Victoria Vivians (3.0 ppg, 1.0 rpg, 3.0 spg)
Guard – Kelsey Mitchell (20.0 ppg, 4.0 apg, 2.0 rpg)
Guard – Erica Wheeler (0.0 ppg, 5.0 apg, 3.0 rpg)
New York Liberty
Guard – Courtney Vandersloot (8.0 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 6.0 apg)
Guard – Sabrina Ionescu (18.0 ppg, 8.0 rpg, 2.0 apg)
Guard/Forward – Betnijah Laney (10.0 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 2.0 apg)
Forward – Breanna Stewart (12.0 ppg, 12.0 rpg, 3.0 apg)
Center – Jonquel Jones (5.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 3.0 apg)
Indiana: No injuries
New York: Nyara Sabally – OUT (Right Knee), Marine Johannès – NWT (Overseas Commitment)