SAN ANTONIO — San Antonio did not shoot like a team searching for only its third win just days before the WNBA’s midseason All-Star Break. The Stars shot a season-high 60 percent from the floor while limiting visiting Indiana to only 35 percent shooting en route to claiming an 85-61 victory at AT&T Center.
San Antonio snapped a two-game losing streak since beating the Fever on July 12. Indiana lost for the sixth time in seven games while absorbing a road loss just 24 hours after defeating Phoenix on the road Wednesday. Trailing by 32 points with 3:44 remaining, the Fever scored 10 of the game’s final 12 points to avoid their worst margin of defeat this season (27 at Dallas).
“I didn’t like our defensive energy from the beginning,” said Fever coach Pokey Chatman. “We missed shots early, and that’s part of basketball, but I didn’t like our long shots and we never played with any confidence on the defensive end.”
Second-year center Isabelle Harrison had game highs of 18 points and nine rebounds for the Stars. She hit 8-of-10 shots to help the Stars collect their third victory against 18 losses, beating Indiana for the second time in a week. Rookie guard Kelsey Plum added 16, and point guard Moriah Jefferson pitched in 11 points with eight assists.
Tiffany Mitchell paced Indiana with 13 points. Six-time All-Star forward Candice Dupree, who scored the Fever’s first six points, finished with nine. Dupree finished with a team-high six rebounds to move past Michelle Snow into eighth place on the WNBA’s career rebounding chart.
The Stars led wire-to-wire and Indiana rarely challenged but for a 12-4 third-quarter run to pull within 15 points late in the period. San Antonio responded with 11 unanswered points and carried a 29-point lead into the fourth, then the Fever’s largest deficit of the season.
San Antonio outscored the Fever 17-6 to begin the contest, and never looked back. The Stars raced to a 25-12 advantage after one period, hitting 10-of-15 shots compared to just 4-of-15 by the Fever.
The Stars scored 48 points inside the paint, compared to just 20 for Indiana. San Antonio claimed a 36-24 rebounding edge, and Indiana failed to make ground with just five 3-point field goals on 21 attempts (0-of-6 in the first quarter).
Chatman added, “This league is tough. We’ll come back and practice twice beginning Sunday, and play a young, hungry, athletic team at Dallas. We need to play with heart and toughness. We need to reset individually and collectively.”
Indiana breaks for the WNBA All-Star Game on Saturday, prior to resuming its schedule and concluding a four-game road swing, against Dallas next Tuesday.
Indiana Fever at San Antonio Stars
Tiffany Mitchell led Indiana with 13 points and four steals.