Tanisha’s tenacity and nimble Nayo brought points off the bench
Since Amanda Zhaui B left for Eurobasket on June 20th, New York has had difficulty scoring off the bench. While shifts to the starting five and an injury are behind this, against the Seattle, New York put up 18 points on the heels of homecoming hero Tanisha Wright and Nayo-Raincock Ekunwe.
Before tipoff, Wright was honored as a member of the Seattle’s 20th season anniversary team, but her return was bittersweet. The veteran guard saw the floor for over 24 minutes and assisted her current team in outscoring her first team whenever she was on the court.
Both Wright and Nayo Raincock-Ekunwe were instrumental when New York trailed Seattle. Down 9-14 early in the first, Raincock-Ekunwe finished under the rim on a bounce pass from Wright. And at the very end of the quarter, the Canadian extended her long spider-like arms for a third chance putback, two of her eight total, which ended up tying the score until the buzzer beat.
In the second quarter, the Liberty went on a 7-0 run where Wright had three assists and made a shot from beyond the arc. But her grit came on full display in the fourth when the Liberty mounted a 10-0 run on the Storm and battled back after being down by ten. With 7:56 on the clock, Wright drove the ball down into the paint, had her shot blocked by Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, lost the ball and proceeded to bat the ball away from Lewis and took the open reverse layup, narrowing the score to a 3-point Storm lead.
“Her defense is something that just amps up everybody,” Katie Smith said about Wright against the Aces on June 9th. “What she demands of herself and what she brings ultimately brings out more out of everybody else and she’s a great communicator that challenges people to do better and to start doing stuff. Again, proud of her for just staying ready. [She] will always make an impact in the game because she’s going to compete on every possession.”