Indianapolis – The Indiana Fever overcame a 17-point deficit only to falter late in the second half, losing 86-64 to the Connecticut Sun on Wednesday (July 13) at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. It was Kids Day at the Fieldhouse where Indiana saw 12,272 fans; its largest regular season crowd since 2003.
“I’m disappointed in our effort,” Fever head coach Stephanie White said. “Connecticut played like a team with their backs against the wall. They played harder than us. They played with more urgency and they deserved to win.”
Connecticut shot 47.7 percent from the field while holding Indiana to just 36.2 percent. Chiney Ogwumike scored a game-high 20 points for the Sun while grabbing eight rebounds.
Lynetta Kizer recorded 18 points on 9-for-11 shooting for Indiana. She was the only Fever player in double figures. Briann January added nine points and five assists while three Fever players tallied eight points.
“We just came out a little flat,” Kizer said. “I think they played harder from the jump ball. They’re a desperate team. Teams like that, you’ve got to put them away once the ball is thrown up and we didn’t do that today.”
The Sun jumped on the Fever early in a 24-12 first quarter. Indiana shot just 22.2 percent compared to Connecticut’s 50 percent in the first period.
The Sun opened the second quarter with a 10-5 run (34-17) but Kizer revived Indiana with 12 points (6-for-6) in the second period and 14 of her 18 at the half. A pair of threes by January and Johnson helped bring Indiana within nine (44-35) by halftime.
The Fever opened the second half with a 9-0 run to tie the game (44-44) for the first time since early in the first quarter. Connecticut reemerged with a 19-5 run to end the quarter and head to the fourth with a 63-49 lead.
Indiana struggled to find any more offense after expending all its energy to come back from 17 down. Connecticut continued to shoot lights out in the fourth quarter to make it an 86-64 final.
Indiana was 100 percent from the free-throw line, but only reached the foul stripe seven times on Wednesday. The Sun got the line 26 times in the contest.
Indiana was outrebounded 42-30 and struggled in the paint as Connecticut won the battle inside, 40-16. The usually-consistent Fever were exceptional for a 10-minute stretch between the second and third quarters, but White expects 40 minutes.
“We’ve talked all year about finding some consistency,” White added. “We’ve been trying to become more consistent, but we took a step backwards today. We had mental and physical letdowns and we can’t afford to keep doing this.”
The Fever fell to 9-12 while Connecticut improved to 6-14 on the season. Indiana will be in action at home again on Friday (July 15) at Bankers Life Fieldhouse with tip scheduled for 7:00 p.m. ET.