Friday 21, 2015 – Shenise Johnson had 16 points and the Indiana Fever beat the Seattle Storm, 75-63.
Third-Quarter Surge Propels Indiana to Historic Win
SEATTLE –The third quarter has become friendly to the Indiana Fever. And deadly to its opponents.
The Fever came back from a 6-point halftime deficit to throttle the Storm 30-9 in the third period en route to a 75-63 victory at Key Arena in Seattle. Indiana established a franchise record with its fourth consecutive road win, eclipsing 11 previous three-game streaks. The Fever won their fifth straight game overall, captured their eighth win in nine games, and their 13th in the past 16 since opening the season 3-6.
More importantly, Indiana kept pace in the Eastern Conference, maintaining sole possession of second place just two games behind front-running New York (18-7) whom the Fever play Sunday in Indianapolis.
It was the second time in three nights and two West Coast cities the Fever trailed at the intermission, only to take the lead after a dominant third quarter. At Los Angeles on Tuesday, the Fever turned a 14-point deficit into a 24-6 third-quarter run and an eventual 25-point turnaround that resulted in an 11-point win, just Indiana’s third ever at Staples Center.
PHOTO GALLERY: Fever 75, Storm 63 »
Friday’s win marked just the Fever’s fourth ever in Seattle, but the seventh time in eight meetings the Fever has beaten the Storm. Indiana swept the series for the second straight season and swept a three-game West Coast trip for the first time in its history.
Indiana opened its overwhelming third period with a 7-0 run capped by Briann January’s 3-pointer that gave the Fever the lead at 44-43. Scoreless in the first half and returning to her home state, January finished with nine points and paced Indiana with seven points in the pivotal quarter, while Tamika Catchings and Lynetta Kizer both pitched in six.
Moments later, Indiana took the lead for good on Kizer’s bucket for a 46-45 lead. Catchings made it a three-point margin and Shenise Johnson made it six with a 3-pointer at the 5:23 mark. Free throws by Catchings pushed the opening run to 16-2 as the Fever opened an 8-point margin. The third period onslaught received exclamation points from Shavonte Zellous and Jeanette Pohlen, each adding 3-pointers in the final minute as the Fever led 67-52 heading to the final frame.
The key to the game-changing surge after intermission? Rebounding and defense. The Storm had enjoyed 68 percent shooting and a 17-9 rebounding edge in the first half, but the Fever harassed the Storm into just 3-of-15 shooting (20 percent) and corralled 12 of 16 caroms.
“As the game progressed, I thought our depth wore [Seattle] down,” said Coach of the Year candidate and Fever coach Stephanie White. “They read and space the floor so well that they got whatever they wanted in the first half. But we turned up the intensity and got some easy buckets, and that led to being more aggressive on offense, too.”
“We attacked more and that got [Seattle] on their heels.”
Johnson led all Indiana scorers with a game-high 16 points, while Catchings and Kizer each finished with 14. Seattle got 15 points from rookie Jewell Loyd, with Sue Bird, Alysha Clark and Ramu Tokashiki each adding nine.
The Fever return to Indianapolis where they hosts an Eastern Conference showdown with the Liberty on Sunday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse (6:00 p.m.).