The Indiana Fever made their return to Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Wednesday night looking to bounce back from two consecutive losses on the road. The Hoosier squad set themselves up for second half success, taking a commanding 51-38 lead into the intermission before coasting to an 85-75 victory.
The Fever got off to a slow start, conceding the first seven points of the game, but quickly bounced back and led the rest of the way after the opening period. Indiana led by as many as 22 points before relinquishing part of the lead during the final minutes of the fourth quarter. Both teams demonstrated an impressive shooting touch, combining to shoot over 50 percent from the field.
Fever star point guard Briann January made her much anticipated return to the hardwood after recovering from offseason knee surgery. The seven year veteran came off of the bench with 5:03 remaining in the first quarter, receiving a standing ovation from the home crowd. January would play 13 energetic minutes and chip-in with four points and three assists.
After the game Coach White commented on having Briann back on the court. “It was nice. It’s always great having Bri back. I think one of the things that she does is she is calming factor for our team. She comes on the floor and everybody sort of feels a little more at ease because she understands what we’re trying to get on the offense.”
Lynetta Kizer came off of the bench to have herself a night to remember, leading all scorers with a career-high 20 points. “Just being aggressive, that’s something I wanted to focus on this week in practice for the couple days we had, really being aggressive with the guards. And it paid off today,” stated Kizer postgame.
Tiffany Mitchell continued her impressive rookie crusade, scoring a career-high 19.
Seattle’s stellar rookie, Breanna Stewart, had another big game with a game-highs of 22 points and eight boards. WNBA legend Sue Bird did her best to keep Seattle in the game with her 14 points and six assists, but it was not nearly enough to overcome a feisty defensive effort by the Fever which forced 20 Storm turnovers on the night.
Seattle was held to only one offensive rebound and zero second-chance points on the night, tying franchise records for the Indiana Fever.
The Fever were once again without backcourt starter Shenise Johnson who missed her third game, abiding by the league’s concussion protocol. Just prior to the game, the team announced that they will be without the services of Maggie Lucas for the remainder of the 2016 season due to the knee injury she suffered in Minnesota.
Both teams came into this ‘hump day’ game with identical records of 2-3, with its conclusion bringing the Indiana Fever back to .500 on the season.
The Fever will head back on the road again as they prepare to take on the New York Liberty on Friday, June 3, followed by a Sunday matchup in Connecticut.