October 2, 2023 

Locked on Women’s Basketball: New York Liberty WNBA Finals-bound

Alyssa Thomas, Connecticut Sun deserve respect

On today’s episode of Locked on Women’s Basketball, host Howard Megdal unwraps a ton of goodies out of his reporting live from Mohegan Sun Arena following a New York Liberty 87-84 win over the Connecticut Sun, lifting the Liberty into the 2023 WNBA Finals. Everything from Betnijah Laney‘s latest star turn to Jonquel Jones‘ seizing the moment, along with proper homage to Alyssa Thomas, Rebecca Allen, Tiffany Hayes and a Connecticut Sun team that accomplished so much — all gets discussed.

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First, Howard shouts out to Alyssa Thomas’ incredible, MVP-caliber season for the Sun. He discusses how, despite not garnering the league MVP honors, Thomas got deserved recognition this season when she made history as a triple-double getter.

“In my view, there was a lot of attention on Alyssa Thomas [this season], and rightly so,” Howard said. “When you get the most triple-doubles anywhere in the history of the league — and the overwhelming majority of them came this year, as [Maryland head coach] Brenda Frese pointed out on the program last week. That said, Alyssa Thomas wasn’t a McDonald’s All American, she was not a number one overall pick in the WNBA draft; and you go back and look at the numbers and it’s silly that she hasn’t been a regular with USA Basketball. So Alyssa Thomas maybe is getting the reputation level that she deserves.”

In his recap of the Liberty’s semifinals performance, Howard elevated the critical role that Betnijah Laney played in clinching New York’s first Finals appearance since 2002.

“Betnijah Laney has a Laney game [for the Liberty] — 21 points, seven rebounds, five assists, played great defense all night, one turnover….they don’t win this game without Betnijah having the game she did —they just don’t. And that really is the part that no WNBA team can deal with,” Howard said.

The New York Liberty now face off against the Las Vegas Aces in a best-of-five series which opens Sunday at Las Vegas’ Michelob Ultra Arena (3 p.m. ET, ABC/ESPN App). 

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