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Sabrina Ionescu Becomes 4th WNBA Player with 16 Assists in Game; Sets Liberty Record

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVJuly 31, 2022

Steven Freeman/NBAE via Getty Images

Sabrina Ionescu had a game to remember in the New York Liberty's 89-69 victory over the Phoenix Mercury on Sunday.

Ionescu finished with 10 points, eight rebounds and a franchise-record 16 assists.

WNBA @WNBA

Sabrina Ionescu (<a href="https://twitter.com/sabrina_i20?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@sabrina_i20</a>) becomes the 4th player in WNBA history to have at least 16 assists in a single game - joining Courtney Vandersloot, Sue Bird, &amp; Ticha Penicheiro πŸ‘ <a href="https://t.co/himtetlLAY">pic.twitter.com/himtetlLAY</a>

The Liberty playmaker was two dimes away from tying the WNBA's single-game record. Courtney Vandersloot and Ticha Penicheiro are the only other players to dish out 16 assists in the regular season, and Sue Bird hit that mark in a 2020 WNBA Finals game.

Liberty star Natasha Howard told reporters after the game Ionescu's distribution "adds a lot" to the team.

"Any game we play, they're gonna try to trap Sabrina and get the ball out of her hand," she said. "With us moving without the ball, it's good. I'm proud that she got 16 assists off the players she got the ball off to."

With the win, New York improved to 11-18 and now sits 1.5 games back of the Los Angeles Sparks for the final playoff berth. Head coach Sandy Brondello will need Ionescu to continue leading the way in order for the team to climb into a postseason position.

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