Empowering Communities, Celebrating Minnesota Locally

Carleton and Collier lead Minnesota to Commissioner’s Cup title with 94-89 win over New York Liberty

NEW YORK CITY – Napheesa Collier and the Minnesota Lynx sent a clear message to the WNBA: they are contenders for the championship title. Bridget Carleton’s 23 points combined with Collier’s 21 led the Lynx to their first Commissioner’s Cup victory, a hard-fought 94-89 win over the New York Liberty on Tuesday night.

This win marked the Lynx as the fourth team in as many years to claim the Cup, breaking the trend of the host team losing. New York, last year’s champions, aimed to repeat but fell short despite a strong effort.

The game was deadlocked at 60 late in the third quarter when Carleton and Cecilia Zandalasini nailed back-to-back 3-pointers, sparking a decisive 10-0 run. Although Breanna Stewart’s nine consecutive points brought the Liberty within reach at 70-69, Minnesota stayed in control. Courtney Williams and Carleton combined for the next five points, solidifying the Lynx’s lead.

Collier, who contributed six rebounds and three assists, was awarded MVP for her pivotal role in the Lynx’s victory. Stewart led the Liberty with 24 points, backed by Sabrina Ionescu’s 23-point performance.

Despite the change of venue from Barclays Center to UBS Arena due to scheduling conflicts, New York fans turned out in force, rallying behind their team. The Liberty led 50-47 at halftime with Ionescu scoring 18 points and Kayla Thornton adding 14.

Courtney Vandersloot made an emotional return for the Liberty after a hiatus since early June to be with family. She scored four points. Betnijah-Laney Hamilton also returned from injury, contributing 13 points from the starting lineup.

In addition to the sporting accolades, teams split a $500,000 prize pool, with players from Minnesota earning up to $30,000 each and New York players receiving $10,000, plus $5,000 in cryptocurrency for all participants. Charitable contributions included $15,000 raised by New York for Women Creating Change and $13,500 by Minnesota for Gender Justice, with an additional $10,000 for the Lynx’s charity and $5,000 for the Liberty’s charity due to their respective placements.