Game Preview: Fever Close Three-Game Road Stretch on Tuesday at Connecticut

Indiana Fever at Connecticut Sun
Tuesday, May 30, 2023
Mohegan Sun Arena | 7 p.m. ET

Broadcast Information
Indiana Fever Facebook
Pat Boylan (play-by-play), Bria Goss (analyst)

The Indiana Fever will close out its three-game road stretch at the final stop in Connecticut to take on the Sun on Tuesday at 7 p.m. ET at Mohegan Sun Arena. Indiana enters the second matchup this season against Connecticut with momentum stemming from its first win of the 2023 regular season on Sunday against the Dream in Atlanta, 90-87.

During the first Fever/Sun matchup of the year, Indiana dropped the regular season opener, 70-61, on May 19 in Indianapolis. Indiana fell behind Connecticut by as many as 19 points in the third quarter, but were able to reduce the lead to three with less than two minutes remaining in the game. Though outscoring the Sun 18-12 in the fourth quarter, Connecticut’s 8-2 run at the end of the game ultimately kept the Fever from pulling ahead.

For Indiana, veteran guard Kelsey Mitchell and rookie center Aliyah Boston led the comeback charge in the first matchup. In her WNBA debut, Boston neared a double-double with 15 points and 9 rebounds, and Mitchell recorded 20 points, with 11 coming in the second quarter alone. Connecticut’s scoring was led by veteran forward DeWanna Bonner (19) and forward Alyssa Thomas (18), whose 11 rebounds earned herself a double-double.

Last time out for Indiana, NaLyssa Smith’s 23 points were supported by Kelsey Mitchell (15), Aliyah Boston (13), Erica Wheeler (11), Kristy Wallace (10) and Queen Egbo (10). It was Smith’s second consecutive double-double with 13 rebounds. Tuesday will feature the two top rebounders early in the WNBA season with Connecticut’s Thomas averaging 11.3 per game, while Smith leads Indiana at 11.0 rebounds per game. Smith also enters Tuesday night 22 points away from recording 500 career points.

Also for Indiana, Boston has already solidified herself as the most impactful rookie in the WNBA. She ranks second in the league in field goal percentage at 66.7 percent (16-of-24). Boston also leads all rookies in scoring average (14.3 ppg), rebounds (6.7 rpg), and minutes played (26.4 mpg).

The Connecticut Sun started their season off strong with two consecutive wins against the Washington Mystics after defeating Indiana. Most recently, the Sun suffered its first loss of the season at the New York Liberty, 81-65, on Saturday. Despite going into halftime leading, 38-32, the Liberty took the lead back for the remainder of the game with less than four minutes left in the third quarter and never surrendered the advantage.

The Sun were led by Tiffany Hayes’ 16 points, followed by Bonner’s 14 points and Brionna Jones with 12. Noblesville, Indiana native and Heritage Christian alumna Tyasha Harris came off the bench and added eight points, going 3-of-5 from the floor against New York.

Bonner enters Tuesday averaging a team-high 17.3 points per game through four games. Along with leading the league in rebounds, Thomas ranks seventh in the league in assists averaging 4.8 per game.

Indiana is looking to win its first regular season game at Connecticut since June 5, 2016.

Probable Starters

Indiana Fever (1-2)

Center – Aliyah Boston (14.3 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 1.0 bpg)
Forward – NaLyssa Smith (15.0 ppg, 11.0 rpg, 1.3 apg)
Guard – Lexie Hull (1.7 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 0.7 apg)
Guard – Kelsey Mitchell (15.0 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 1.7 spg)
Guard – Erica Wheeler (4.3 ppg, 1.7 rpg, 3.3 apg)

Connecticut Sun (3-1)

Forward – DeWanna Bonner (17.3 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 2.0 apg)
Forward – Alyssa Thomas (14.8 ppg, 11.3 rpg, 4.8 apg)
Forward – Brionna Jones (13.0 ppg, 8.3 rpg, 2.0 spg)
Guard – Natisha Hiedeman (8.5 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 2.5 apg)
Guard – Tiffany Hayes (10.5 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 3.5 apg)

Injury Report

Indiana – No injuries
Connecticut – No injuries