Sabrina Ionescu set her third WNBA record season on Saturday during the Liberty’s road game against the Mercury.
After scoring an assist within 30 seconds of tip-off, Ionescu, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 draft, became the first player in WNBA history to record at least 500 points, 200 rebounds and 200 assists in a single game season. The 24-year-old star’s historic dime came on a wide-open 3-pointer by Crystal Dangerfield to give New York an early 3-2 lead.
The Liberty would eventually fall to the Mercury, 76–62, to fall to 13–19 on the season.
Although the 2022 campaign struggled for New York as a whole, Ionescu flourished in a way reminiscent of her storied collegiate career at Oregon. With career-best averages of 17.5 PPG, 7.1 RPG and 6.4 APG, the 5’11” guard entered Saturday as the only player in the league ranked in the top 15 in all three categories.
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Ionescu has displayed her complete skill set all season en route to earning her first All-Star nod. Recorded 19 points, six boards and six assists as a starter alongside captain A’ja Wilson in Team Wilson’s 134–112 win over Team Stewart. She finished July by becoming the fourth WNBA player to record 16 assists, setting a Liberty franchise record in the process.
Earlier in the month, Ionescu recorded the most scoring triple-double in league history with 31 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists in the Liberty’s win over Wilson and the Aces. The performance also tied Ionescu with Candace Parker’s league record of three triple-doubles. He has a record two triple-doubles this season, after recording the first in Liberty history, and then the league’s 10th, during the ’21 season.
Ionescu’s outstanding season serves as a fitting starting point for the former AP Player of the Year after a disappointing start to her WNBA career. She was limited to three games her rookie year due to a left ankle injury and struggled in her comeback last season, averaging 11.7 PPG on a .375/.329/.911 split in 30 games played.
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