Story by Dylan St Clair
It wasn’t a pretty win for the Indiana Fever. While the scoreboard showed to Banker’s Life Fieldhouse fans an 84-72 win over the New York Liberty, the Liberty took the lead multiple times in the third. Multiple defensive letdowns frustrated Head Coach Stephanie White from the sideline. But she remained proud of the way the team played as the buzzer sounded.
“I can’t say enough about this group,” White opened about her team. “The toughness they showed, the competitive spirit and fire they showed to be able to come back off of this road trip, a back-to-back under the circumstances that we had, really shows the character of the team.”
And with that group effort, the Fever outperformed the Liberty on all fronts. They handled the ball with more poise and committed less turnovers (13 assists to 21 turnovers for New York, 16 to 17 for Indiana). They outrebounded the No. 1 rebounding team in the entire WNBA, 32-27. Fastbreak, second-chance and points in general all swung in the favor of the Fever.
But while it wasn’t the best looking of wins, it’s better to have the 1 in the wins column as opposed to the loss column. Going into the All-Star Break, they had dropped back-to-back road games at Washington (68-50) and San Antonio (80-62), so the team felt relieved to see that change.
“Everybody was disappointed in the way we headed into All-Star Break,” Briann January said. “We were able to let it go, refocus and come back refreshed. Steph really talked about attention to detail, not settling and holding each other accountable on those little things. I think we’ve come back and responded really well.”
Led by Shenise Johnson with 19 points, the Fever saw a team effort in scoring. January added 12 points along with a game-high eight assists. Tamika Catchings threw in 11, as did Shavonte Zellous off the bench.
The Fever move into the weekend still playing at Banker’s Life Fieldhouse on Sunday, August 2 at 6:00 p.m. against the Connecticut Sun, who they have beaten both times this season.