INDIANAPOLIS — The New York Liberty outlasted a thinned out Indiana Fever squad, 71-50, at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Wednesday night. An injury-plagued Indiana roster didn’t go quietly, but the trends continued in opposite directions for each squad. The Liberty improved to 18-12 behind their sixth straight win, while Indiana fell to 9-22 and their fifth consecutive loss.
“A team scoring 71 points should be enough to give you an opportunity,” Fever head coach Pokey Chatman said. “We had some nice looks. We didn’t knock them down. We turned the basketball over way too much.”
Indiana committed 18 turnovers leading to 24 Liberty points.
Candice Dupree led the charge for Indiana with 12 points and six rebounds. Erica Wheeler and Jeanette Pohlen-Mavunga added 10 points apiece while Wheeler added five assists and three boards.
“I thought Jeanette was solid,” Chatman added. “She was in attack mode. She’s been playing the two guard her whole life and she was playing the backup point guard because that’s what we needed. She’s a pro’s pro.”
Sugar Rodgers led all scorers with 16 points on 6-for-10 shooting. Tina Charles added 13 points and nine rebounds while Bria Hartley tallied 12 points for New York.
New York won the first quarter 19-10 after holding Indiana scoreless through the game’s opening 4:30. Sugar Rodgers scored 13 straight points and went on a personal 13-4 scoring run. Rodgers netted all 16 of her points in the first half as the Liberty held a 39-28 lead at the break.
New York was 5-for-8 from 3-point range at half while Indiana had yet to connect from deep.
A bit of offense from Dupree kept Indiana within striking distance early in the third, but only 11 Fever points in the stanza gave way to a 54-39 New York lead. Dupree scored eight of her 12 points in the quarter.
A quick 6-2 run from Indiana narrowed the gap to 11 early in the fourth quarter, but Tina Charles scored six of her 13 points in the game’s final period as New York coasted down the stretch.
“I think the effort was there at times,” Dupree said. “We hurt ourselves on the defensive end, just not being aggressive enough and turning the ball over. There are definitely some good things to take away.”
The Liberty were more efficient than Indiana inside and out on Wednesday night. The Fever connected on just one 3-pointer in the game while New York shot 9-for-15 (60 percent) from beyond the arc and held a 26-10 advantage in the paint.
After losing numerous key contributors to injury in the second half of the season, the Fever have now lost 10 of their last 11. Wednesday was their first game since being eliminated from playoff contention. They’ll travel to Atlanta for a matchup with the Dream on Saturday at 6:00 p.m.