After starting the season with a loss, Bahamian women’s professional basketball player Jonquel ‘JJ’ Jones and the New York Liberty have reeled off three wins in a row. Their latest victim was the Seattle Storm, Breanna Stewart’s former team. Jones, Stewart and the Liberty dismantled the Storm, 86-70, at the Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle, Washington, on Tuesday.
Jones finished the game with nine points and five rebounds in 18 minutes on the floor as she continues to make her way back from a foot injury. She had a good game on defense coming away tied for a team-high three blocks. Courtney Vandersloot also had three blocked shots for the Liberty. Jones finished 4-for-6 from the field, shooting 66.7 percent. It included making a shot from deep in two attempts.
The center got off to a hot start, scoring seven points in less than a minute and it looked like she was going to have a strong night offensively. The scoring got underway with a layup at 7:24 mark. She then made a jump shot from deep at the 6:59 mark as her team team led 9-6. It was 24 seconds later when the Grand Bahama native made a three-foot layup to cap off her seven-point outburst and give the Liberty an 11-8 lead. Jones also had three rebounds at that point.
Jones finished the quarter with those seven points and three rebounds and the Liberty led 27-21 at thee end of one.
In the second quarter, Jones scored her final two points of the night. That came at the 6:50 mark in the second quarter. The Liberty led 34-29 after that shot. The Storm bounced back to take the lead at 35-34 with 3:56 left in the second quarter. A 12-4 scoring run to end the first half, put the visitors up 46-39 which turned out to be the turning point of the game. They never trailed the rest of the way.
Stewart was brilliant in her return to Seattle, coming away with 25 points and 11 assists. Jewell Lloyd led the Storm with 26 points in the loss.
The Liberty shot the ball well, making 49.1 percent of their shots from the field compared to 38.4 percent for the Storm. They were able to punish the Storm for their turnovers as they scored 13 points from eight turnovers from the Storm.
It has been a slow start for the Bahamian this season as she works her way back from a foot injury. She is averaging 17.6 minutes per game in the four games that she has played in – a far cry from her 25-plus minutes per game in her last three seasons. She is averaging 8.8 points and 4.0 rebounds per game. Jones is shooting 51.7 percent from the field, and has 1.3 blocks per game.
The Liberty sport a 3-1 win/loss record with their only loss coming in their season opener against the Washington Mystics, falling 80-64. They won against the Indiana Fever, 90-73, and Jones’ former team, the Connecticut Sun, 81-65.
The Storm return to action on Friday, taking on the Chicago Sky (3-2) on the road at Wintrust Arena in Chicago, Illinois. That game tips off at 6 p.m.