Sabrina Ionescu etched her breakthrough third season at the top of the WNBA record books on Saturday during Liberty’s road race against the Mercury.
After registering an assist within 30 seconds of the tip, Ionescu, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 draft, became the first player in WNBA history to score at least 500 points, 200 rebounds and 200 assists in a single season. The 24-year-old star’s historic dime came on a wide open Crystal Dangerfield three to give New York an early 3-2 lead.
The Liberty would eventually fall to the Mercury, 76-62, to slide to 13-19 during the season.
While the 2022 campaign has been tough for New York as a whole, Ionescu thrived in a way reminiscent of her storied Oregon collegiate career. With his career best averages of 17.5 PPG, 7.1 RPG and 6.4 APG, the 5’11” guard came in on Saturday as the only player in the top 15 in all three categories.
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Ionescu has shown her well-rounded skills all season long on her way to earning her first All-Star nod. She 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 the month of July by becoming the fourth WNBA player to record 16 assists, setting a Liberty franchise record.
Earlier this month, Ionescu recorded the highest-scoring triple-double in league history with an effort of 31 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists in Liberty’s win over Wilson and the Aces. The feat also tied Ionescu with Candace Parker’s league record of three triple-doubles; she has two triple-doubles to her name this season after registering the first in Liberty history and then league tenth during the ’21 season.
Ionescu’s standout season is a great starting point for the former AP Player of the Year after a frustrating start to her WNBA career. She was limited to three games in her rookie year due to a left ankle injury, and struggled in her return last season, averaging 11.7 PPG on .375/.329/.911 splits in 30 games played.
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