INDIANAPOLIS – In the first game of the season playing at Hinkle Fieldhouse, the Indiana Fever fell short against the Dallas Wings in a 96-86 loss on Sunday afternoon. With this loss, Indiana is now 5-25, while Dallas remains in postseason contention at 12-15.
Fever guard Kelsey Mitchell ended the game with a season-high 34 points, six assists, and five rebounds. She now has scored at least 20 points in 17 games this season, which leads the WNBA. Mitchell shot 13-of-23 from the field to tie a career-best for the most field goals made in a game. Rookie forward NaLyssa Smith scored 16 points to go along with five rebounds, while fellow rookie center Queen Egbo added 14 points and five rebounds as well.
Mitchell led an aggressive first quarter for Indiana with nine of her 34 points, while the Fever hit 10 of its first 18 shot attempts. Wings guard Arike Ogunbowale was also held scoreless in the first quarter for just the seventh time this season as her team went 8-of-22 from the field.
Dallas bounced back in the second quarter, going 12-of-20 from the floor and took a 45-39 lead at halftime. Dallas began to enforce its interior presence owning the 34-18 advantage in the paint through the first 20 minutes.
The third quarter was another positive offensive display for Dallas as the Wings made 12 of 18 shot attempts in the quarter. Mitchell scored 10 of Indiana’s 22 points in the quarter, but the deficit increased to 17 going into the fourth quarter.
Down 78-61, the Fever began to battle back by starting the quarter off on a 23-11 run. After cutting the Wings’ lead to only five with 1:35 remaining, Ogunbowale scored five straight points to halt the late Fever comeback.
Ogunbowale ended the game with 22 points and five assists. Center Teaira McCowan finished with 17 points, guard Allisha Gray had 16 points, and forward Kayla Thorton scored 11 points for the Wings. Dallas remained committed to its interior game by outscoring Indiana 62-34 in the point, which was the most paint points scored by a Fever opponent this season.
The Fever welcome the Las Vegas Aces for a pair of home games at Hinkle Fieldhouse beginning Friday at 7 p.m. ET.
Friday’s game will be streamed on the official Indiana Fever Facebook page throughout Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio.