Story by Kris Taylor
Indianapolis– Bankers Life Fieldhouse
The final home game for the Fever was also fan appreciate night. While the game wasn’t pretty the team kept their fans on the edge of their seats until the final moments of the game. It was a physical game with very low shooting percentages along with poor rebounding,but the Fever battled against the odds to pull out the win.
The New York Liberty took the tip and the first two points of the game. Swords and Charles dominated on both ends, allowing the Fever few second shots at the goal. Neither team shot well, both under 30%, but the Fever kept working and Maggie Lucas’s last second 3 pointer ended the 1st quarter in a tie.
Quarter 2 saw better ball movement and rebounding for the Fever and a couple of quick 2 pointers by Natalie Achonwa and Shenise Johnson got the team rolling. The Liberty’s Tina Charles ran the underside aided by Carolyn Swords and Sugar Rodgers was hitting well from the outside. The 2nd quarter stayed close with 8 lead changes,over the 10 minutes.But with a last second miss by Marissa Coleman the Fever would go to the locker room down by 2.
The Fever hit the floor ready to play the second half. Tamika Catchings scored the first two points setting the tone for the next ten minutes of play. The Fever stepped up both offensively and defensively, shutting down the inside play of the Liberty. Carolyn Swords took a seat after picking up her fourth foul and lack of height would take it’s toll.
The fourth quarter started out shaky for the home team. Erica Wheeler added speed and agility to the Liberty’s play.With only 55 seconds into the quarter Briann January received a technical foul and the Fever saw themselves down by 7 points.After two minutes into the fourth quarter the Fever countered with a zone that slowed the play, effectively shutting down Erica Wheeler. Eriana Larkins was t’d up with 5:55 left and the Fever went down 64-67. Turning up the heat Shavonte Zellous was on fire hitting 4 for 4 from the floor. With 2:23 left, the game tied at 74, Shenise Johnson was fouled and hit both free throws putting the Fever on top and they never looked back and would go on to defeat the Liberty 81-76. The Liberty have now lost the last 7 games they have played at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
With the victory over the Liberty the Fever clinched the third seed in the Eastern Conference Playoffs. The Fever will begin the semi finals against the number 2 seed Chicago Sky at Chicago Thursday at 8:00 pm EST. The Fever will host game 2 on Saturday September 19th at Bankers Life Fieldhouse at 7:00 pm.