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Liberty star Sabrina Ionescu flirts with WNBA history after dropping 16 dimes vs. Mercury

Sabrina Ionescu, New York Liberty, WNBA

The New York Liberty earned a big win over the Phoenix Mercury on Sunday, largely due to the sensational and historic outing from Sabrina Ionescu. The star guard was electric on Sunday, scoring 10 points and dropping a stunning 16 assists in the victory. The 16 dimes tied her for the second most ever in a WNBA game, putting her on par with Courtney Vandersloot and Ticha Penicheiro, and was two assists shy of Vandersloot’s all-time single-game record of 18.

Ionescu nearly recorded a triple-double in the win, registering 10 points, 16 assists, and 8 rebounds. With the ball in her hands, Ionescu was nearly unstoppable. The former Oregon Ducks superstar was setting up teammates left and right, giving the Liberty excellent looks at the basket throughout the game as they pulled away with a 20-point victory.

The 16 assists were the most Ionescu has ever recorded in her career, surpassing her previous high of 12, and it’s the fifth time a player has registered as many assists in a single game. Vandersloot owns two of those games, including her 18-assist outing from 2020 that stands as the WNBA record, while the other two 16-assist games are both in the possession of Penicheiro. Vandersloot has also recorded 15 assists in a game five separate times.

While the Liberty haven’t had too much to celebrate this season, Sabrina Ionescu has been one of the lone bright spots on the roster. This year, the former No. 1 overall pick is averaging 17.1 points, 6.2 assists, and 7.1 rebounds per game, having made her first All-Star Game. After a disappointing 2021 season, Ionescu has bounced back in a big way in 2022, improving across the board statistically as she develops into the star she was heralded as.