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Liberty use record 44-point first quarter to rout Fever

New York Liberty Betnijah Laney - Steven Freeman/NBAE via Getty Images

NEW YORK (AP) — Betnijah Laney scored a season-high 22 points, Jonquel Jones added 18 points and the New York Liberty rode a record hot start to rout the Indiana Fever 101-83 on Sunday.

New York (16-5) made its first nine shots on the way to a 44-point first quarter. That's the most points ever scored in a period in WNBA history surpassing the 42 that Chicago had against the Liberty in 2019.

The Liberty made 15 of 18 from the field in the first, including six 3-pointers to go up by 27 points after the opening 10 minutes.

New York cooled off a bit in the second and led 68-46 at the half — just short of the record for points in an opening 20 minutes.

These two teams met right before the All-Star break and Indiana rallied from a 18-point deficit in the fourth quarter, tying the game at the buzzer on a 3-pointer by Aliyah Boston. The Liberty pulled away in overtime.

There was no such comeback this time as New York finished the game shooting 54% from the field and hit 17 of 34 3s (50%).

The easy win allowed coach Sandy Brondello to get some rest for her starting group. New York enters a tough stretch of its schedule with five games in eight days, although four of them are at home.

While Indiana (6-16) wasn't really ever in Sunday's game after the opening quarter, the Fever have already been more successful than last season when they won five games total.

The Fever saw the return of Lexie Hull, who missed the previous two games after breaking her nose. She sported a clear mask that she said before the game she'll have to wear for the rest of the season. Hull finished with seven points before fouling out in the fourth quarter.

Victoria Vivians led Indiana with 16 points and Erica Wheeler added 15.