Game Preview: Fever vs. Sky (Game 2)

Game Preview: Fever vs. Sky
Indiana Fever vs. Chicago Sky
Eastern Conference Semifinals, Chicago Leads 1-0

Date: Saturday, September 19, 2015
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Site: Bankers Life Fieldhouse (Indianapolis, IN)
Radio: 93.1 FM WIBC
Television: NBATV
Webcast: Live webcast and stats can be accessed via WNBA Live Access on (Webcasts during games televised on FOX Sports Indiana may not be available in local market areas due to blackout restrictions.)

Storylines & Promotion

  • After falling in Game 1 of the series in Chicago Thursday night, the Fever return home Saturday night as they face elimination in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference Semifinals series against the Sky.
  • The Fever have won four of its past six playoff elimination games, winning each of those four games during its 2012 run to the WNBA championship. Overall, Indiana is 11-9 all-time in elimination contests, including an 8-2 record at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
  • Saturday night, Bankers Life Fieldhouse will host its 29th Fever playoff game in the history of the franchise, more WNBA playoff games than any other venue.
  • Indiana is looking to extend its own WNBA record to nine seasons in a row with at least one playoff victory.
  • Tamika Catchings is now only 30 points shy of being the first player in league history to score 1,000 points in the postseason.
  • Erlana Larkins moved ahead of Tina Thompson (100) into eighth place on the WNBA’s career list of playoff offensive rebounds as she pulled in her 101st offensive board in Game 1. Larkins finished with 10 rebounds Thursday in Chicago – her 14th career playoff game with 10 or more rebounds. She ranks fourth all time in WNBA postseason history with a career average of 9.3 rebounds per game.
  • The Fever are seeking their fifth consecutive trip to the East Finals and their eighth in the past 11 years. The Indiana Fever and Los Angeles Sparks are the only WNBA franchises ever to reach the conference finals at least seven times within a 10-year period.
  • With an 11-6 home record at home during the regular season, the Fever have now posted a winning record at home in 13 of the last 14 seasons with 10 or more wins on 12 occasions.
  • Indiana finished the regular season with the top marks in the WNBA in three-point field goal shooting percentage (.360), and three-point field goal defense (.301). Briann January led all WNBA players this season while shooting a career-best 43.1 percent from three-point range.

Probable Starters
Fever – F-Marissa Coleman, F-Tamika Catchings, C-Natalie Achonwa, G-Shenise Johnson, G-Briann January
Sky – F- Elena Delle Donne, F- Jessica Breland, C- Erika de Souza, G- Tamera Young, G- Courtney Vandersloot

Series Recap
(September 17, 2015) Game 1 – Led by Tamika Catchings with 21 points, the Fever clawed their way back after digging an early hole; but trailing 72-75 with under a minute to play, Catchings’ three-pointer to tie fell off the mark while Sky guard Courtney Vandersloot cashed in a pair of free throws as Chicago prevailed, 77-72, in the opening game of the Eastern Conference Semifinals. Indiana managed just 15 points in the opening frame and trailed by nine at the end of the first quarter. The Fever would bounce back in the second to close the gap to 35-36 heading into halftime. But after Chicago took a 52-44 advantage with 1:35 left in the third quarter, Indiana took off on a 14-2 run that gave the Fever their largest lead of the night, 58-54 with 7:37 remaining. The teams exchanged leads four more times with three tied down the stretch; but Indiana would miss its final four field goal attempts in the final two minutes while Chicago cashed in at the line to move the Fever to the brink of elimination. Catchings led the Fever with 21 points. Marissa Coleman chipped in 11 while Shenise Johnson added 11 in her Fever playoff debut. Allie Quigley led the Sky with 22 points and five assists off the bench. Vandersloot added 17 while WNBA MVP finished with 14 points and 11 rebounds.

The Sky swept the Fever during the regular season, winning three of the four matchups by at least 23 points and by a combined average of 20.3 points per game. Before this season, Chicago had never defeated Indiana more than twice in the same regular season in the history of the 10-year series. Indiana and Chicago have met in the playoffs in each of the last two seasons with the lower seeded squad winning each series. In 2014, the fourth-seeded Sky upended the second-seeded Fever in three games during the Eastern Conference Finals.