Indiana Fever at Connecticut Sun
Friday, September 8, 2023
Mohegan Sun Arena | 7 p.m. ET
Brendan Glasheen, Ashley Battle, Terrika Foster-Brasby
The Indiana Fever hit the road for the final time this season to take on the Connecticut Sun at Mohegan Sun Arena on Friday at 7 p.m. ET.
Indiana will look to earn its first win against Connecticut since 2021 to snap a seven game losing skid against the Sun. In the most recent matchup between the two teams, the Sun defeated Indiana, 88-72, on August 4 at Gainbridge Fieldhouse with the help of six Connecticut players scoring in double figures. After giving up 56 points to the Sun in the first half, Indiana held Connecticut to only 32 points in the final two quarters.
The Fever had four of its own players contribute double figures against Connecticut, highlighted by Aliyah Boston’s 19 points on 6-of-11 shooting from the floor to go along with eight rebounds, four assists and three steals.
Friday’s game will be Boston’s first time taking to the court after being named the WNBA Rookie of the Month for August. After earning the recognition in May, June and August, she became the eighth rookie in league history to win the award at least three times in a season. Throughout the month, Boston averaged 14.6 points and 9.4 rebounds per contest while shooting 57.7 percent (60-of-104) from the floor.
Kelsey Mitchell is ending the season strong as she has averaged 23.8 points per game through Indiana’s most recent six games, which includes her two 30-point games this season against Seattle and Dallas. The All-Star guard ranks 10th in the league in scoring average (18.1 ppg) and 11th in 3-point field goal percentage averaging 39.9 percent (97-of-243) from beyond the arc this season. Second-year forward NaLyssa Smith is also ending the season on a high note after averaging 18.8 points per contest through the Fever’s most recent six games while ranking fourth in the league in rebounds averaging 9.2 rebounds per game.
With guards Lexie Hull and Kristy Wallace absent for injury, Victoria Vivians and Grace Berger have pitched in averaging 5.3 points and 4.1 points respectively this season. Maya Caldwell has also earned increased minutes off the bench and contributed six points in the Fever’s most recent game on Tuesday against Chicago.
The Sun are led by DeWanna Bonner’s 17.9 points and 5.6 rebounds per game. Alyssa Thomas, who recorded her sixth triple-double of the season on Tuesday with 27 points, 12 rebounds and 14 assists, is averaging 15.9 points to go along with a team-leading 9.9 rebounds and 1.9 steals. Tiffany Hayes joins the three other Connecticut players who average double figures with 12.1 points per contest.
Connecticut ranks second in the league in steals, highlighted by Thomas’ 1.9 steals per game. The Sun also rank third in assists per game averaging 20.7 assists per game with the help of Thomas’ 8.0 assists per contest.
Indiana Fever (12-26)
Guard – Kelsey Mitchell (18.1 ppg, 1.6 rpg, 3.2 apg)
Guard – Erica Wheeler (9.7 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 5.1 apg)
Forward – Victoria Vivians (5.3 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 1.2 apg)
Forward – NaLyssa Smith (15.5 ppg, 9.2 rpg, 1.4 apg)
Center – Aliyah Boston (14.5 ppg, 8.3 rpg, 1.3 bpg)
Connecticut Sun (26-12)
Guard – Natisha Hiedeman (8.3 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 2.7 apg)
Guard – Tiffany Hayes (12.1 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 2.7 apg)
Guard – Rebecca Allen (6.3 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 1.3 bpg)
Forward – DeWanna Bonner (17.9 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 2.1 apg)
Forward – Alyssa Thomas (15.9 ppg, 9.9 rpg, 8.0 apg)
Game Status Report
Indiana: Lexie Hull – out (right shoulder), Kristy Wallace – out (right knee)