Sabrina Ionescu kicked off the WNBA’s 25th season with a bang, hitting the game-winning in the New York Liberty’s 90-87 win over Indiana.
Sabrina Ionescu made a legendary Barclays Center debut, sinking a game-winning three-pointer with 0.4 seconds to go in a 90-87 triumph over the Indiana Fever. The Liberty (1-0) own a winning record for the first time since September 2017.
Michaela Onyenwere hits the 3 for the first basket of the season!
— CBS Sports WNBA (@CBSSportsWNBA) May 14, 2021
3rd Star: Michaela Onyenwere
18 points (6-12 FG), 5 rebounds
Onyenwere set a team rookie record by scoring 18 points in her first WNBA contest. She also didn’t hesitate to throw her body around in the paint, gaining five rebounds including one of only three on the offensive glass. Her first basket, a deep triple just over a minute in, opened scoring for the 2021 WNBA season as a whole, kickstarting her historic evening.
. @BetnijahLaney dropped a 30 piece in her Liberty debut! ?
30 pts/5 reb pic.twitter.com/pk7KjX826p
— New York Liberty (@nyliberty) May 15, 2021
2nd Star: Betnijah Laney
30 points (11-18 FG, 4-5 3-pt. FG), 5 rebounds
If she keeps things going at this torrid pace, the Most Improved Player from the WNBA’s Floridian endeavor might change that I to a V. Laney, perhaps inspired by battling a Fever team that cut her shortly before the bubbled season began (though she mostly denied such a notion), got things going early with 16 first-half points, having apparently brought her newfound sharpshooting abilities back from Florida with her.
SABRINA FOR THE WIN. ICE COLD ?? pic.twitter.com/XEHFXemqGv
— ESPN (@espn) May 15, 2021
1st Star: Sabrina Ionescu
25 points (7-18 FG, 4-8 3-pt. FG), 11 assists, 6 rebounds
Sabrina Ionescu sinking the game-winning basket in the Liberty’s first game in Brooklyn while kicking off the WNBA’s 25th anniversary season? A Hollywood studio would kick you to the curb for the lack of subtlety and nuance. But Ionescu reintroduced herself to the basketball world in downright magical fashion, sinking the game-winning triple with 0.4 seconds remaining on the clock. Ionescu got off to a slow start, being held scoreless in the first quarter and hit only one of her first six attempts. But she more than made up for it with a stellar second half, scoring 18 points including a triple that will go down as the early best moment of the Walt Hopkins era to date.
The Liberty return to action on Sunday afternoon, finishing off a home-and-home with Indiana at Bankers Life Fieldhouse (2 p.m. ET, CBSSN).
Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags