INDIANAPOLIS – The home team trailed the New York Liberty for most of Wednesday game, losing 76-82. Guard Teaira McCowan hit a new high with 24 points, and center Erica Wheeler set a new record.
The All-Star game MVP in her 100th Fever game, Wheeler broke Tamika Catchings 2005 single-season record 143 assists.
Indiana and New York both have 9-18 records this season. The Fever started the game slowly, while the Liberty capitalized on the situation. In the first quarter, NY outscored Indiana 28-13.
Head coach Pokey Chapman saw the error, and intends to respond, saying “You can’t give up 28 points in [the first] quarter … You give an entire squad that is hunting the same win that you are hunting that momentum.”
Indiana’s mid game did improve, scoring 25 to NY’s 15. Their third quarter was just as strong, bringing the game to a 61 point tie halfway through the final quarter. Natalie Achonwa hit the free throws to tie the game, Achonwa going 11/3/3.
McCowan’s fourth quarter kept the Fever close, ending the game with a season high 24/8/1.
“I just knew I had to come out aggressive McCowan said after the home loss. “I knew my teammates were going to find me and look to get it into me. I knew I had to get the foul, score, or both.”
Indiana snapped a three-game win streak at Bankers Life Fieldhouse and ended a three-game win streak against the Liberty.
Chapman praised McCowan’s night. “Teaira McCowan changes the game. Throw to her, play through her, and play off of her. There’s a reason two of their post players were in foul trouble. There’s a reason Candice [Dupree] got open shots. So, when we get there, don’t have four to six possessions where she doesn’t touch it.”
Indiana will visit the Los Angeles Sparks Thursday, at Staples Center Downtown Los Angeles.