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Postgame Notes: Atlanta Dream 84, New York Liberty 78

July 31, 2020 - Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) - Atlanta Dream News Release

Atlanta Dream (2-1) at New York Liberty (0-3)

July 31, 2020

Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final Points Rebounds Assists

New York 16 27 13 22 78 Jones - 20 Stokes - 7 Clarendon - 5

Atlanta 22 19 20 23 84 Laney - 30 Billings - 15 Carter - 3

Game highlights: https://youtu.be/2TLVuieOluk

Game recap: https://dreamatl.net/2Dqy1Xy

Key Stats

- It has been 140 days since Breonna Taylor was murdered in her own apartment. The officers responsible for her death have not been arrested.

Atlanta Notes

- Atlanta's record against the New York Liberty improves to 18-27 all-time.

- The Atlanta Dream started Chennedy Carter, Betnijah Laney, Shekinna Stricklen, Monique Billings and Elizabeth Williams.

- Elizabeth Williams...

o Recorded her 1,000th career rebound after her first rebound of the night.

o Finished with her first double-double of the season and 12th of her career (15 points, 10 rebounds).

o Recorded career-highs in free throws made (9) and free throws attempted (12).

- Betnijah Laney...

o Finished with a new career high record of 30 points, her second double-digit effort of the season.

o Set career highs in field goals made (11) and field goals attempted (18)

o Recorded season high records in rebounds (8) and steals (3).

- The last time two different Dream players recorded 30-point games in a season was in 2018, when Angel McCoughtry and Renee Montgomery each had one 30-point game.

- Monique Billings finished with her second double-digit rebounding effort of the season and a season high record (15).

- Rookie Chennedy Carter has started her career with three straight double-digit scoring efforts behind 17 points tonight.

- Courtney Williams, who missed the Dream's first two games of the season, made her first appearance with the team off the bench and scored six points in 16 minutes.

- Glory Johnson also made her first appearance of the season after missing the first two Dream games. She scored two points in eight minutes of action.

- The Dream set a new season high with 43 rebounds against the Liberty.

New York Notes

- Four New York players scored in double figures, Jones (20), Clarendon (16), Willoughby (14), and Ionescu (10).

- Layshia Clarendon fouled out of the game but finished with 16 points, 5 assists and 4 rebounds.

- Ionescu left the game in the second quarter with an ankle sprain. Jones and Nurse have also suffered ankle sprains this season.

- New York's bench contributed 36 points, led by Jazmine Jones' 20-point effort. Jones shot 60% (6-10) from the field.

- Jocelyn Willoughby made her debut as a starter adding 14 points (2-3 3PT), 3 rebounds and 3 steals. Willoughby shot 50% (5-10) from the field and scored 8 of her 14 in the fourth quarter.

Atlanta Quotes

Head Coach Nicki Collen

On what Betnijah Laney did different tonight than she's done in the first two games...

"I mean I think the bigger question is what didn't she do. I think what she did that made a huge difference tonight was some of her offensive rebounds. Not that she hasn't had a couple in our early games, but the late offensive rebound putback she had was huge [and] the late steal on that baseline out of bounds. Just the little plays that were big. She really guards people. She's physical, and when you take her and you take [Layshia Clarendon] it's kind of like bangin' on bangin' back and forth. She just made shots. I mean, we obviously didn't shoot the best. We didn't shoot the ball very well. The New York Liberty didn't do anything we didn't expect them to do. They go under ball screens - under, under, under, and challenge you to make some perimeter shots. We probably settled a little too much, but Betnijah Laney is really good with her pull up [jumper] and she hit her three [point shots] behind the screen. Other than [Shekinna Stricklen], they've really played soft on our ball screens.

On what she learns about [the Atlanta Dream] when she closes out a tough game like tonight's game against the New York Liberty...

"How we battled is tough. I played the starters too many minutes. I learned that. But sometimes you gotta get [them] when you get them. You figure out - you get them off their feet tomorrow. [Our next game will be a] different kind of game. The Indiana Fever is going to play with a ton of pace. I thought we were resilient. I certainly think we started off great. I was really proud of how engaged we were early. I was a little frustrated, but we're going to have to keep figuring things out. I already told them [that] tomorrow is going to be a 5-on-0 day. [Courtney Williams] needs to learn our plays. [Glory Johnson] needs to run our plays, because the play book shrunk when we put them in the game. Once they're up to speed, which is hard to do when you've been to one practice, we're going to hit our stride eventually. I believe that you have to grind night in and night out in this league."

Center Elizabeth Williams (#1)

On her third double-double in the three game period. What were things that her and Monique Billings saw tonight on the boards, especially since [the Atlanta Dream] out rebounded them tonight.

"Rebounding hurt us in our last game against [the Las Vegas Aces] so it is something that we talked about [and] something that we emphasized. A lot of rebounding is just making it happen, so I think about when I did a good job of crashing really early to dictate rebounding."

On how she prepares her body to play a third game in less than a week...

"We rest and recover. That's what a lot of Bubble life is going to be. For the next couple of weeks it is just a matter of hydrating [and] getting our recovery. We'll have access to film. We've had so many games [and] everyone has had so many games. I think it's just a matter of which team is focused and determined."

Guard-Forward Betnijah Laney (#44)

On what's enabling her to be successful and find her footing with [the Atlanta Dream]...

"I've worked really hard in the off-season. [It is] just me having the opportunity, and [head coach Nicki Collen] having the confidence in my offensive abilities and just giving me that freedom has really set me free."

On new ways she worked on her game while she was free in her free time, specifically during quarantine...

"All of the gyms were closed so I did a lot of outside things. Even to get into a basketball gym, I had to travel. I went [to] a few places where I knew someone was able to get me into a gym so that way I could work out and work on my ball handling and work on my shooting. Other than that, it was just a lot of outside workouts. Whether that was running or body weight lifts. So that is pretty much what I did all quarantine."

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