WNBA leading scorer Jewell Loyd sprains ankle, status unclear

M.A. Voepel, ESPN.comJul 8, 2023, 06:13 PM ET

CloseM.A. Voepel covers the WNBA, women’s college basketball, and other college sports for espnW. Voepel began covering women’s basketball in 1984, and has been with ESPN since 1996.

Seattle Storm guard Jewell Loyd, the WNBA’s leading scorer, left Saturday’s 80-76 loss against the host New York Liberty with a left ankle sprain in the fourth quarter.

Her status for games this coming week at Washington and Atlanta, plus the All-Star Game next Saturday in Las Vegas, is unknown.

“It’s too early to determine what the prognosis is,” Seattle coach Noelle Quinn said after the game, adding that Loyd seemed upbeat in the locker room. “But our team continued to rally, even without Jewell in the game.”

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Loyd had the ball when she rolled her ankle and went down on the court. The first player to reach her was New York’s Breanna Stewart, a former teammate of Loyd’s in Seattle.

Loyd was able to walk gingerly to the locker room and returned to the bench. Averaging 24.9 points per game this season, Loyd had a tough afternoon against the Liberty, going 3-of-17 from the field and 7-of-7 from the foul line for 14 points before exiting the game.

The 11th-place Storm (4-14) still pushed the second-place Liberty (13-4) to the end, outscoring them 22-20 in the fourth quarter. Sami Whitcomb led Seattle with 19 points.

“Those moments are tough, obviously,” Whitcomb said of Loyd’s injury. “A lot of times it’s tough to snap back into it just because you’re feeling for your teammate. And when it’s someone like Jewell who carries a big load for us, it was a big blow.

“We need to find ways to score with her off the court, or even when she’s on the court and they give her so much attention. We talked about it in that moment: Our greatest ally was going to ball movement, setting screens, making them work.”

Stewart, who signed with the Liberty this season as a free agent, on Saturday picked Loyd for her All-Star squad, which will face a team selected by the Las Vegas Aces’ A’ja Wilson.

Loyd, the No. 1 draft pick by Seattle in 2015 out of Notre Dame, has won two WNBA championships with the Storm and an Olympic gold medal with the U.S. team in 2021.

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