Indianapolis – The Indiana Fever climbed out of a double-digit deficit to snap a five-game home losing streak with a win over the Atlanta Dream, 78-72, on Friday night (July 15) at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Lynetta Kizer scored 18 points for the second-straight game for Indiana. It was her fourth-consecutive game in double figures.
“I’m just getting comfortable,” Kizer said. “Everybody is doing a great job. They’re believing in me. [Larkins] is drawing so much attention, it’s really freeing me up to flash, especially off of the switches. I’m just getting to the spot and knocking the shots down.”
Indiana was led by Tamika Catchings (7-for-9) and Kizer (9-for-16) with 18 points apiece. Catchings added five rebounds and three assists while Kizer swiped a career-high five steals. Erlana Larkins finished with 10 points, 11 rebounds and a season-high five assists in her sixth double-double of the season. Shenise Johnson added 10 points, including 6-for-7 from the free-throw line, and five rebounds.
Atlanta’s Carla Cortijo scored a career-high 20 points on an 8-for-10 shooting night after opening the game a perfect 6-for-6. Angel McCoughtry carded 10 points and six assists before fouling out halfway through the fourth quarter. Elizabeth Williams added nine points and eight boards for the Dream.
Kizer carried over her scoring efforts from last game to provide the first six points for Indiana. She was the only Fever player to score in the first eight minutes of the game until Shenise Johnson added a free throw and a layup by quarter’s end. The Fever trailed 20-9 after one period.
Tiffany Mitchell opened the second quarter with a 3-pointer before Kizer and Larkins went to work in the paint. Catchings scored on back-to-back possessions in the midst of a 13-4 second-quarter run. The Fever outscored Atlanta 23-14 in the second stanza and went to halftime trailing, 34-32.
“I think we just took ownership as a team,” Catchings said. “We did a much better job in the second quarter and then in the second half.”
Catchings got red hot in the third quarter, scoring 10 of her 18 points, and lifting Indiana to a 50-42 lead before Atlanta responded. The Fever took a 57-55 advantage into the fourth quarter where Briann January scored all six of her points. Indiana quickly led 64-57 with 7:57 left and never looked back.
McCoughtry fouled out with 4:54 remaining and the Fever coasted to a 78-72 win. Indiana finished 51.7 percent from the field after shooting just 28.6 percent in the first quarter. They shot 58.6 percent over the final three quarters.
“I was really happy with how we played the second, third and fourth quarter,” Fever head coach Stephanie White said. “Our energy was higher. When we play with great energy on the defensive end, it’s usually a good formula for us.”
The Fever improved to 10-12 while the Dream drop to an even .500 at 11-11. Indiana will be in action again next Tuesday (July 19) as they play host to Los Angeles at 8:00 p.m. ET in their last home game before the Olympic break.