Whitcomb scores 26 in Liberty victory

NEW YORK (AP) — Sami Whitcomb scored 26 points and Betnijah Laney added 18 to help the New York Liberty beat the Dallas Wings 99-96 in a rare Monday night game.

The WNBA tends to avoid playing on Monday with most teams playing games on Saturday or Sunday.

Liberty coach Walt Hopkins credited the play of Whitcomb on both ends of the court.

“Sami’s combination of defense, passing getting us into stuff, she did everything,” he said. “She played great defense to boot. When Sami’s locked in like that, it helps everybody. From the outset she was really, really locked in.”

Jazmine Jones scored 16 points and Sabrina Ionescu added 13 points and 12 assists for the Liberty (10-9), who made a franchise-record 15 3-pointers on 31 attempts.

“On a night we didn’t shoot the ball as well as we did, we’re going to be pretty frustrated,” Hopkins said.

Isabelle Harrison had 16 of her 23 points in the fourth quarter to lead Dallas (9-10), which couldn’t survive a rare off scoring night from Arike Ogunbowale, who became the third fastest player in WNBA history to reach 1,500 points when she scored her fifth point in the first quarter.

The only players to do it faster were Seimone Augustus and Cynthia Cooper. Later in the period, Ogunbowale reached double digits in points for the 56th consecutive game. Only five other players have done that in league history.

By Paul Wager