Breanna Stewart scored 27 points as the New York Liberty defeated the Washington Mystics 90-85 in overtime on Tuesday night. This victory marks the first time in eight years that the Liberty have advanced to the semifinals of the WNBA playoffs.
It had been six years since New York last won a playoff series, which occurred in 2015. The Liberty will face either the third-seeded Connecticut Sun or the sixth-seeded Minnesota Lynx in their next game. The outcome of their best-of-3 series will be determined on Wednesday night. The semifinals will commence on Sunday.
The Liberty had to overcome a blown 11-point halftime lead in order to secure their advancement.
In overtime, New York managed to build an 84-79 lead. However, Washington closed the gap to 86-85 with 38 seconds remaining. The Liberty utilized the shot clock before Jonquel Jones turned the ball over. Brittney Sykes then turned it over on the other end with 14 seconds left.
Stewart made two free throws a few seconds later to extend New York’s lead to 88-85. Ariel Atkins missed a contested 3-pointer with 7 seconds left, and Stewart sealed the victory with two more free throws.
Jones finished the game with 19 points and 14 rebounds for New York.
Washington’s Natasha Cloud had a career-high 33 points.
Both teams had opportunities in the final seconds of regulation. Cloud threw the ball away on the inbounds, and then Courtney Vandersloot returned the favor when she tried to pass the ball to Stewart at the top of the key with 3 seconds left. Washington was unable to get a shot off before the clock ran out.