Liberty's Sabrina Ionescu 1st WNBA Player Ever to Record Triple-Double in 3 Quarters

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVJune 12, 2022

BROOKLYN, NY - JUNE 5: Sabrina Ionescu #20 of the New York Liberty looks on/ during the game against the Minnesota Lynx  on June 5, 2022 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE (Photo by Catalina Fragoso/NBAE via Getty Images)
Catalina Fragoso/NBAE via Getty Images

New York Liberty star Sabrina Ionescu filled up the stat sheet in Sunday's 88-86 defeat to the Chicago Sky.

In addition to becoming the fourth player in WNBA history to record multiple triple-doubles, the third-year guard is the first player to post a triple-double through just three quarters.


.<a href="https://twitter.com/sabrina_i20?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@sabrina_i20</a>’s 2nd career triple-double performance 🤩 <a href="https://t.co/T1XuUTF1MM">pic.twitter.com/T1XuUTF1MM</a>

SportsCenter @SportsCenter

🚨 SECOND CAREER TRIPLE-DOUBLE FOR SABRINA IONESCU 🚨 <br><br>She's also the first player in WNBA history to record a triple-double in just 3 quarters 👏 <a href="https://t.co/xQ5irdABBH">pic.twitter.com/xQ5irdABBH</a>

She dropped 27 points, 13 rebounds and 12 assists in the loss.

Ionescu was the most hyped rookie since Breanna Stewart in 2016 when she entered the WNBA in 2020.

An ankle injury limited her to three games in her first season and continued to affect her into the 2021 season as well. As a result, the NCAA all-time leader in triple-doubles wasn't the dynamic presence she had been at Oregon.

Amid a seven-game losing streak that sent the Liberty to the bottom of the WNBA, though, Ionescu began to turn the corner.

Entering Sunday, she was averaging 16.8 points, 5.7 rebounds and 5.1 assists. More importantly, her shooting has taken a big step forward. She shot 37.9 percent overall and 32.5 percent from beyond the arc in 2021, and those numbers are up to 46.1 and 36.7 percent, respectively, in 2022.

Ionescu's development could have significant ramifications for the Liberty.

New York made a run at Stewart in the offseason before the 2018 MVP re-signed with the Seattle Storm. Stewart will be a free agent again in 2023, and one would presume the Liberty will try their best once again to bring the Syracuse native closer to home.

With Ionescu looking like a true franchise cornerstone, the Liberty are bound to be more appealing to Stewart or any other marquee star on the market. That's quite the change from when New York was languishing to close out May.