Seattle – Indiana Fever compiled another great third quarter in a come-from-behind 93-82 win in Seattle on Sunday (July 10). Shenise Johnson led the sharpshooting effort as she lit up the three-point line for a team-high 18 points on 5-for-8 from deep. She also tallied four rebounds and four assists in the win.
“The only thing that matters is the win,” Johnson said. “We had the ball really moving and my shots were falling. Whenever we make our extra passes and get good shots, anybody can score for this team.”
Indiana shot a season-high 58.1 percent from the floor while netting a season-high 11 3-point field goals (11-for-23). The team’s shooting percentage was just shy of the club’s franchise record of 58.3 percent against Phoenix in 2010. The Fever outrebounded Seattle 31-23 while winning the battle of the benches, 41-18.
“I was proud of our resilience,” Fever head coach Stephanie White said. “Our defense got better in the second half and we were more fluid on offense. Any time we can dictate with our defense, that’s good.”
The Fever weathered the Storm’s Breanna Stewart in the first half where Stewart registered 25 of her game-high 32 points. She shot 11-for-15 from the floor to go along with 11 rebounds and five assists. Her 32 points matched the most by a Fever opponent this season.
Tamika Catchings scored 15 points in her final trip to Seattle while six Fever players reached double figures. Lynetta Kizer and Devereaux Peters scored 12 points apiece while Indiana got 11 points from Erlana Larkins and Tiffany Mitchell. Larkins grabbed seven boards as well. Erica Wheeler added nine points and five rebounds while fellow guard Briann January added five points, seven assists and five boards.
The strong Indiana defense created an 11-2 lead at the 5:34 mark of the first period due to Seattle shooting just 1-for-7 to start the game. The Storm started rolling in the latter half of the quarter, but Indiana maintained a 25-18 lead thanks to seven first-quarter points from Larkins.
A 9-0 Seattle run following an Indiana score tied things up at 27-all with 6:27 remaining in the half. The run consisted of three-straight triples, including two from Stewart that bookended a three from Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis.
Seattle continued to pour in the offense as they outscored Indiana 32-19 in the second. Stewart scored half of Seattle’s 32 points with 16 in the quarter. A pair of threes from Indiana in the final minute kept the Fever within striking distance, down 50-44.
Stewart led both sides with 18 points, five assists and six rebounds at the half.
Indiana opened the second half much like the beginning of the game. An 11-3 Fever run recaptured a 55-53 lead at the 5:16 mark before Indiana finished the quarter with a 69-66 advantage.
Johnson continued her sharpshooting performance into the fourth as she capped another Fever run with a three, giving Indiana a 10-point lead (78-68) with 7:41 left to play. Both teams went scoreless for the next 2:22 until a Sue Bird jump shot.
Minutes later, a huge three from January pushed the Indiana lead to 12 (86-75) with 3:15 to play. Catchings netted another three with two minutes left to make it 91-75 and secure a Fever win, 93-82.
“The way we have played in our last nine quarters is the way that we want to play,” White added. “We are progressively getting better. This was a good outcome on this trip, winning two games against good teams. Now we have a chance to get back home and continue our momentum.”
The Fever improved to 9-11 on the season while handing Seattle (7-13) its fourth loss in five games. After winning two straight, Indiana is now tied with Washington for fifth place in the WNBA. The Fever return to Indianapolis Wednesday (July 13) for a Noon ET game with Connecticut at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.