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Career Night For Johannes, Liberty Fall To Mystics, 93-77

September 3, 2019 - Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) - New York Liberty News Release

WHITE PLAINS, NY. - The New York Liberty hosted a short-handed Washington Mystics team in their final matchup of the 2019 season. Washington won, 93-77.

Marine Johannès led the Liberty with a career-high 22 points on 66.7% (8-12) shooting from the field and 57.1% (4-7) shooting from beyond the arc.

Johannès is the first New York rookie since Crystal Robinson (1999) to have consecutive 20-point games.

After opening the game on a 14-4 run, Washington led by as many as 18 in the first quarter. Back-to-back three-point shots by Marine Johannès closed the quarter for New York and cut the Mystics lead to only 12 points. Johannès scored 15 points, perfectly before missing a shot in the first half.

Elena Delle Donne scored 25 first-half points on 69.2% (9-13) from the field and 60% from the three-point line. New York held her to just five points in the second half.

Opening the third quarter on a 6-0 run, the Mystics took its largest lead of the game when the team went up 27 points. Washington maintained at least a 20-point lead throughout the majority of the third quarter and never looked back.

The visiting team went on to defeat the Liberty for the third time this season.

UP NEXT: New York will play its final home game of the 2019 season against Indiana on Friday, September 6 at 7 p.m. ET at Westchester County Center, when the team celebrates in annual fan appreciation night.

LIBERTY NOTES:

* The New York Liberty shot 43.5% from the field and 33.3% from three.

* Marine Johannès led the Liberty with a career-high 22 points on 66.7% (8-12) shooting from the field and 57.1% (4-7) shooting from beyond the arc. She added three assists and three rebounds.

* Johannès is the first rookie since Crystal Robinson (1999) to have consecutive 20-point games.

* Nayo Raincock-Ekunwe tied her career-high with 12 points on 75% (3-4) shooting from the field. She had five rebounds and went 6-7 from the free throw line.

* Tanisha Wright added nine points on 50% (4-8) shooting from the field and three assists.

* Han Xu scored nine points on 57.1% (4-7) from the field. She made one-of-two goals from beyond the arc.

* The Liberty bench contributed 53 points.

MYSTICS NOTES:

* Washington shot 49.3% from the field and 48% from the three-point line.

* Elena Delle Donne scored 30 points in her second 30-point game of the season. She shot 52.4% (11-21) from the field and 57.1% (4-7) from deep and had 10 rebounds.

* Ariel Atkins added a season-high 23 points for Washington on 58.3% (7-12) from the field and 66.7% (4-6) from beyond the arc. She tied her career-high with seven rebounds.

* Emma Messerman and Natasha Cloud added 13 and 12 points, respectively.

New York Liberty Quotes

Smith Katie Smith opening comments

"I thought the first half wasn't great with how we started. The second half, I was pleased. We tied the game in the 3rd quarter. I thought we came back and battled in the second half."

Smith on players making an impact off the bench

"I was pleased with the aggressiveness, both offensively and defensively. Nayo Raincock-Ekunwe had a good game back-to-back. Rebecca Allen was a good big for us with her length, she was able to guard Elena Della Donne at the small forward position. Han did a great job of rebounding. When they are called upon, they are ready to rock and roll."

Katie Smith on team performance

"We had moments when we did a nice job, but we had too many break downs. Too many offensive rebounds and put backs by them. Their team is long, we knew that. You have to team rebound against them."

Smith on team mindset

"This league is so little that it separates who is the top from bottom. We all are talented, it's the matter of who is the most disciplined and consistent."

Smith closing comments

"We have played harder, we have competed- both things we have improved on. When someone's number is called, they are all locked in. I believe they showed up every day ready to compete, and are trying to get better."

Nayo Raincock-Ekunwe on her back-to-back double-digit games

"I'm just trying to step up. It's late in the season, and Katie [Smith] has been resting some of the players who have played a lot of minutes throughout the year, so I'm just trying to take advantage of the opportunity and be more aggressive. Katie has been telling me to be more aggressive and look to score the entire season, and I think it's finally clicking."

Nayo on upcoming game against Indiana

"I think we all just want to win so bad on Friday. It's a very winnable game. We'll rest up tomorrow, and we need to have a good, sharp practice on Thursday. We all want to finish on a high note here at home."

Marine Johannès on her back-to-back 20-point career nights

"I've just been focusing on enjoying the games."

Johannès on finishing out 2019 season

"We have nothing to lose, so we just have to continue to play together as a team and enjoy the game."

Washington Mystics Quotes

Coach Mike Thibault on his team's offense

"This isn't where I would want our team to be offensively because we are hurt, so we've had to play without some people. We are going to have to get some work done. I'm not sure how we're going to go about it just yet, but I thought we were just okay tonight. We had too many turnovers in the second half, and that's crazy for us. We had four turnovers at half and 16 in the second half, so I don't think that's good offense. I'm happy we won on the road because that's hard, but we have a long way to go before we are prepared for a playoff game."

Coach Thibault on moving forward

"We have to play better in the playoffs than how we are playing right now. We are skewed right now with playing short-handed, but we are still not happy with where we are on both ends. We need to have a few days of rest next week and quality practices. Having the double-bye is a lot to us, given the injury situation and preparation time, I feel that it will help us a lot. This gives us total resting days and concentrated days to work on stuff with our practice guys."

Natasha Cloud on her mindset moving forward

"Moving forward, my goal is to staying consistent, being vocal, and trying to find the best ways to get my teammates open. I stay in contact with Toliver to make sure I'm doing my job as a point guard that will best help my team. Having this double-bye will give us the rest and recovery that we need because our bodies have been through so much, so this will be good for us."

Elena Delle Donne on the win

"We're in a great place right now. We've been tested for sure with injuries, people being in and out, others having to step-up into new roles, so it's always great to get tested before the playoffs and to come out with success from that test. I'm excited with where we are, and we still have to finish this thing out the right way. Continuing to improve every day is our goal."

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