Breanna Stewart scored 24 points and hit the tiebreaking basket early in overtime as the New York Liberty stormed back from a 20-point deficit and hung on for a 95-90 victory over the Connecticut Sun on Thursday in Uncasville, Conn.
The Liberty (26-7) never trailed in overtime, as Stewart sank a 15-footer near the foul line to snap an 82-all tie 29 seconds in. New York built the lead to 91-84 on a layup by Jonquel Jones nearly two minutes later and withstood Connecticut’s comeback try.
The Sun trailed 93-90 with 66 seconds left when Connecticut’s Alyssa Thomas answered Sabrina Ionescu’s jumper with a layup. After Ionescu was called for an offensive foul, Rebecca Allen missed a tying 3-point attempt with 42.5 seconds left.
Ionescu sank two free throws for a 95-90 lead with 11.4 seconds left and secured the defensive rebound after Thomas missed an 11-footer with 4.4 seconds to go.
Stewart scored 13 of her points in the fourth quarter and overtime as the Liberty outscored the Sun 56-31 over the final 20-plus minutes and won for the 16th time in 20 games.
Jones added 21 points and 14 rebounds against her former team, and Stewart grabbed 12 rebounds. Ionescu contributed 18 points, including two free throws to force overtime with 1.4 seconds left. After being fouled by Allen on a 3-point try, Ionescu sank the first two, but the third clanked off the front rim.
DeWanna Bonner led all scorers with 30 points and pulled down 12 boards, but the Sun (23-11) dropped 3 1/2 games behind Liberty in the race for the playoffs’ second seed. Thomas collected 22 points and 12 rebounds for the Sun.
After taking a two-point lead through the opening period, the Sun outscored the Liberty 24-12 in the second quarter for a 48-34 halftime lead. New York held a four-point edge after a basket by Jones, but the Sun ended the half on a 22-4 run over the final 6 1/2 minutes and finished the half when Allen hit a 3-pointer with 5.2 seconds remaining.
The Sun went up 59-39 when Natisha Hiedeman canned a layup with 5:49 left, but Jones scored five consecutive points as the Liberty scored 10 in a row to get within 59-49 with 3:50 remaining. Connecticut settled for a 63-53 advantage entering the fourth quarter.
—Field Level Media
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