FSM Essential Recap: Aces vs Liberty – Game 24 – 2022

Franchise Sports Media

Las Vegas Aces (17-7)  |  New York Liberty (9-14)

 

 

The Las Vegas Aces’ defeated the New York Liberty 108-74, earning back-to-back wins for the first time since June. The beatdown gave Vegas the season series over New York. Check out the recap below for three big takeaways.

 

Aces vs. Liberty
Photo Credit: WNBA

1. OFFENSE

For the third consecutive game, the Las Vegas Aces showed how tantalizing their offensive attack is. Coach Hammon‘s squad recorded 108 points on an overwhelmed New York Liberty defense, the most points the Liberty have allowed in their franchise’s history. Of course, this Tuesday’s and last Wednesday’s 107 points that Vegas put on the board weren’t far off from the record, but now the Aces officially own a spot in New York Liberty history. And quite honestly, the bar could have been set much higher.

Behind A’ja Wilson‘s 20, Kelsey Plum‘s 17, and Chelsea Gray‘s 16 first-half points, the Aces put together a WNBA record for points in a first half, a record-setting performance that led them to a more-than-comfortable 35-point cushion. Before the third quarter’s end, the above-30-point lead remained, and Coach Hammon eventually called off the dogs. Were the contest closer, Vegas‘ starters would have stayed on the court, presumably continuing to torch the helpless New York defenders. Instead, the end-of-bench players got some extended run, thus resulting in just a 37-point second half.

2. DEFENSE

As the offense appeared, so did the defense (finally). Las Vegas had allowed 116 and 101 points to the Liberty in the two prior meetings, so holding them to 74 points must have been the best part of the victory. The Aces started again with a strong opening 20 minutes, limiting New York to only 36 points on 42.4 percent shooting. But as we saw just days ago in the June home game against Chicago, there’s no lead too big in the WNBA. Except, this time, it was.

Instead of rapidly giving away a nearly 30-point lead, the Aces applied pressure. The 35-point halftime lead grew to as many as 39 points as the road team ran away with a second consecutive win, the first for the Aces in nearly a month.

The 74 points allowed were the fewest the Aces had allowed in seven games.

3. INJURIES

Aces vs. Liberty
Photo Credit: Las Vegas Aces

The only thing that stood in the way of this being a perfect day for Las Vegas was that a couple of players took some knocks. Rookie forward Iliana Rupert rolled her ankle in the second half and did not return to the game, while reserve guard Sydney Colson appeared to come up gimpy late in the game. Colson did return, but it’s something to monitor going forward.

 

TOP PERFORMERS:

A’ja Wilson (Aces) – 25 PTS, 4 REBS, 1 AST, 3 STLS, 2 BLKS

Jackie Young (Aces) – 23 PTS, 5 REBS, 7 ASTS, 3 STLS

Kelsey Plum (Aces) – 21 PTS, 3 REBS, 5 ASTS, 4/7 3PT

Marine Johannes (Liberty) – 10 PTS, 4 ASTS, 1/3 3PT

Michaela Onyenwere (Liberty) – 14 PTS, 4 REBS, 1 STL, 1 BLK

Natasha Howard (Liberty) – 19 PTS, 9 REBS, 1/1 3PT

 

 

The Las Vegas Aces will finish up their three-game road trip on Sunday, July 17th, when they go into Mohegan Sun Arena and face reigning league MVP Jonquel Jones and the Connecticut Sun. The game will tip at 10 am PST on ABC, where you can follow the action live. Be sure to return here, following the game, for a recap.

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-Cole Huff– Franchise Sports Media

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