INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Fever started a stretch of home games with a loss against the Los Vegas Aces Wednesday afternoon. Despite a strong, 26-point third quarter and four players in double digits, The Fever fell in the final minutes of the game.
With a 70-point tie and 33 seconds to play, the Aces took their final time out. Vegas’ A’ja Wilson went to the glass for a two-point lead. With 15 seconds left, Wilson fouls Indy’s Candice Dupree, who at that point in the game was three points shy of becoming the sixth leading scorer in the WNBA.
Dupree made her first shot from the free throw line but not the second, Wilson got the rebound right before being fouled by Tiffany Mitchell. Wilson shot 2/2.
Down three, Indiana made a play calling error, sending Kelsey Mitchell into the circle to shoot for two instead of three.
“If you look at the stats, that tells one story. But what I told my team is ‘5 and a half minutes … we gave up 12 points. We turned the basketball over three times. We didn’t step up to the occasion. As the stakes rose up, we didn’t turn our awareness on what’s needed,” Fever head coach Pokey Chatman said after the game.
The Fever have one six of their 16 games so far, matching last season’s six win total for last place in the league.
“We’re not taking advantage of things. That’s a very good basketball team over there,” Chatman said regarding Las Vegas. “There are no moral victories in the pros, it’s about Ws and Ls, and we took this one on the chin.”
Rookie Teaira McCowan recorded another double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds. Since June 19, McCowan is the only player averaging a double-double.
The opening minutes of play favored the home team, as the Fever led 8-0. From there, Indiana lost five turnovers and got behind Las Vegas 12-9. The rest of the game would mirror Indiana’s inconsistencies.
The second and third quarters Indiana making 47.% and 50% of its shots respectively for 23 and 26 points. In the fourth quarter, the team went 4-17, 23.5%.
“We have to focus forward, we have a hungry LA team coming off a loss here Friday.”