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Dana Evans, Rebekah Gardner help Sky roll over Liberty

May 9, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; A general view of the game ball during the preseason WNBA game between the New York Liberty and the China National Team at Barclays Center.  Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Rebekah Gardner scored 14 points in her WNBA debut for the Chicago Sky, who never trailed and cruised to a dominating 83-50 rout of the visiting New York Liberty on Wednesday night.

Gardner made 6 of 9 shots in 27:21 after being activated by the Sky, who signed the former UCLA product in February after a lengthy international career that included stops in Israel, Turkey, Romania, Spain.

Dana Evans led the Sky with 15 points as Chicago (1-1) shot 45.6 percent, hit 10 3-pointers and beat the Liberty (1-1) for the ninth time in the past 11 meetings.

Candace Parker added 11 and six rebounds, while Emma Meesseman contributed 10 and six boards for the defending champions, which led by as many as 36 points.

The Liberty shot a dreadful 33.3 percent and missed 13 of 15 3-point attempts.

Han Xu paced the Liberty with 10 points and Jocelyn Willoughby added nine. Natasha Howard and Betnijah Laney were held to eight points apiece and former No. 1 pick Sabrina Ionescu finished with two points on 0-of-5 from the field.

Chicago scored the game’s first seven points, held New York to 3-of-17 from the field and took a 16-9 lead after the first 10 minutes. After Laney’s layup got New York within 21-13 with 6:18 left in the second quarter, the Sky outscored the Liberty 15-4 and scored the final seven points of the half for a 36-17 lead.

The Sky opened a 49-21 lead on a jumper by Parker with 4:55 left in the third period, a 52-25 edge on a 3-pointer by Evans less than a minute later, and held a 55-32 lead into the fourth.

New York briefly narrowed the lead to less than 20 points when Howard hit a jumper with 7:27 left but the Sky scored the next 13 points for a 72-40 lead on a 3-pointer by Evans with 3:53 to go.

–Field Level Media