San Antonio –The Indiana Fever used a pair of game-winning free throws from Briann January to edge the San Antonio Stars 71-69 on Tuesday night in San Antonio. There were nine ties and 12 lead changes in a game where neither team led by more than eight points.
“We knew we needed to have an aggressive mindset,” Fever head coach Stephanie White said. “We went out there with the mentality to attack and I was happy to see us get to the line, especially since things weren’t always working for us elsewhere.”
Indiana shot just 38.2 percent from the floor, but an astounding 27-for-30 from the free-throw line. It was Indiana’s first win this season when shooting below 40 percent from the floor. The Fever bench was crucial in the victory, giving Indiana 34 points compared to 18 for San Antonio.
Four Fever players scored in double figures. Lynetta Kizer netted 15 points on 4-for-8 shooting. Shenise Johnson, Marissa Coleman and Briann January each scored 12 points while Coleman led the Fever on the boards with eight rebounds. Johnson has now scored in double figures in seven of the last eight games.
“It wasn’t a pretty one, but at this point in the season we’re always happy with a ‘W,’” Coleman said.
Moriah Jefferson scored a game-high 17 points for San Antonio while Astou Ndour added 15 points and eight rebounds.
Indiana jumped out to a 6-2 lead before San Antonio outscored the Fever 21-10 through the final seven minutes of the first quarter. Trailing 23-16 to start the second, Indiana used a 13-2 run through the first half of the period to regain the lead.
The Fever outscored San Antonio 24-13 in the second stanza en route to a 40-36 halftime advantage. Coleman, January and Johnson had eight apiece for Indiana at the half.
The Fever slowly squandered the lead again in the third after San Antonio outscored Indiana 20-14. But the Fever clawed back once again, retaking the lead at 67-65 with 3:02 to play in the fourth, forcing a San Antonio timeout.
After trading baskets, San Antonio’s Monique Curry took a charge on January to give San Antonio the ball with a tied game, 69-69. A failed three by Curry gave Indiana the ball with 17.8 to play.
On the final play, January took the ball around a double screen at the top of key and got to the basket, drawing a foul on Jazmon Gwathmey with 2.2 to play. She knocked down both before the Stars turned the ball over on the ensuing possession.
The Fever improved to 14-15 on the season while dropping the Stars to 6-23.