Marina Mabrey, Sky hand Liberty first loss of season

Marina Mabrey scored 21 points as the visiting Chicago Sky pulled away down the stretch and recorded a 90-81 victory over the previously unbeaten New York Liberty on Thursday night.

After shooting 11-of-33 in Chicago’s two-game series at Dallas, Mabrey made 8 of 13 shots in 36 minutes. The guard also handed out seven assists and grabbed six rebounds as Chicago led for virtually the entire second half to give first-year coach Teresa Weatherspoon a win in her return to New York. Weatherspoon played most of her WNBA career for the Liberty.

Rookie Angel Reese added 13 points and nine rebounds and Michaela Onyenwere also finished with 13 for the Sky (2-1). Dana Evans and reserve Chennedy Carter contributed 12 points apiece as Chicago shot 46.7 percent and led by as many as 14 in the fourth.

Sabrina Ionsecu scored 19 points but missed six of eight 3s as the Liberty (4-1) were unable to win their fifth straight. Breanna Stewart added 18 and 10 rebounds as the Liberty shot 43.5 percent and finished at 36.4 percent (8-of-22) from behind the arc.

A competitive opening quarter where neither team led by more than four points ended in a 21-21 tie when New York’s Ivana Dojkic sank a 3-pointer with 19 seconds left.

Onyenwere’s 3-pointer right before the shot clock expired pushed Chicago’s lead to 31-24 with 6:24 left in the second, and Mabrey sank a 3 nearly two minutes later for a 35-26 lead before Chicago held a 40-32 halftime edge.

Elizabeth Williams split two free throws to give Chicago a 45-34 lead less than two minutes into the third. New York scored the next 11 points and forged a 45-45 tie on a free throw by Stewart with 5:24 left.

After Stewart’s 3 evened the game at 56-all with 1:55 left, the Sky took a 63-59 lead into the fourth. New York regained the lead when Ionescu found Jonquel Jones for a layup that made it 68-67 with 7:46 to go, but the Sky scored the next six points, including a free throw and a bucket by Reese.

Mabrey hit a 3 and a jumper on consecutive trips for an 80-71 lead with about 4 1/2 minutes left. Mabrey then finished it off with an 18-footer to put Chicago up 86-73 with 2:47 to play.

–Field Level Media