BRADENTON, Fla. – Thursday was #NationalLeftHandersDay, and with a 16-point lead reduced to just two with 37.7 seconds remaining, the Indiana Fever called upon a lefty of its own. Out of a timeout, Kelsey Mitchell came around a screen away from the ball on the left side of the court. With three seconds remaining on the shot clock, Mitchell received a pass from Julie Allemand and pulled up from 3-point range to erase the New York Liberty bid for a late comeback as Indiana held on for an 86-79 win on Thursday night.
Mitchell ended her night with 18 points on 7-of-13 shooting, a season-high five rebounds and two assists. Tiffany Mitchell led all Fever scorers with 19 points on a career-best eight made field goals and four rebounds.
Fever forward Candice Dupree entered the night six rebounds shy of reaching 3,000 for her illustrious career. After Liberty guard Kia Nurse’s 3-point heave bounced off the iron with only seconds remaining in the game, Dupree grabbed it as time expired to secure her sixth rebound of the night.
Dupree joins WNBA legends Lisa Leslie, Tina Thompson and Fever VP of Basketball Operations, Tamika Catchings, as the only players in league history to record at least 6,000 points and 3,000 rebounds in their career. Dupree added 11 points, two blocks, one assist and one steal, as the Fever improved to 4-5 this season.
Allemand, who made the pivotal pass to set up Kelsey Mitchell in the fourth quarter, tied a career-high 13 points to go along with a team-high five assists, four rebounds and two steals.
The Liberty were paced by 21 points from Nurse, including an 11-of-12 clip from the free throw line. Layshia Clarendon poured in 20 points, while Jazmine Jones came off the bench to contribute 11 points.
Sabrina Ionescu, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 WNBA Draft, was held out due to a sprained left ankle.
The second meeting of the 2020 regular season between the only two teams led by first-year head coaches will be on Thursday, September 10 at 7 p.m.
The Fever will look to avenge last week’s loss against the Los Angeles Sparks on Saturday at 2 p.m. on ESPN. Saturday’s game will not be streamed on FeverBasketball.com, the Indiana Fever’s Facebook page, or via the Fever app.