Squaring off in their second of three meetings this season, the Indiana Fever hosted the Connecticut Sun Saturday, at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Coming into this game, both teams were sitting at a 7-7 overall record, and looking to grab their second win in a row.
The Fever who have been keen on protecting home court boasted a 5-2 record at home, while the Sun were 4-4 on the road. However, in a back and forth battle, the Sun got the upper hand giving the Fever just their third loss at Bankers Life. The Fever were hurt early on by not having center, Erlana Larkins on the floor due to foul trouble. The second All-time leading rebounder, picked up three early fouls in the first quarter, leaving the Suns’ Jonquel Jones unanswered and dominating in the paint and on the glass. Jones herself picked up two early fouls, but remained on the floor playing a pivotal role in Connecticut’s win. Struggling to get their offense flowing, the Fever finally got going with a balanced scoring effort in the second quarter from Erica Wheeler, Briann January, and Shenise Johnson. To end the half, January hit a big three, putting the Fever only down seven points: Connecticut up 47-40.
The second half would be a whole new ball game, as the Fever would come out strong in the third quarter, led by Shenise Johnson, who kept Indiana alive scoring 10 of her 22 points in the third quarter. Down the stretch the Fever got to the charity stripe and converted 19 of 21 attempts from the line. With just 47.3 seconds left in the game, Jasmine Thomas hit a three-pointer to put the Sun up 88-85. The Fever would miss three shots on the next possession, being forced to foul twice sending Jones to the line to split a pair. Down four (89-85) with 11.4 seconds to go, the Fever made a costly turnover and were forced to foul again with 4.1 seconds left on the clock. The Sun would seal the deal on Thomas’ two free-throws, with a final score of 91-85.
The Sun were led by Jonquel Jones who had a career-high 29 points and 15 rebounds. Jasmine Thomas pitched in 22 points, followed by Alyssa Thomas who added 15 points, 7 rebounds, and 8 assists. Connecticut improves to 8-7.
Shenise Johnson led the Fever finishing with 22 points and 6 rebounds, followed by Erica Wheeler with 16 points and 5 assists. Candice Dupree also added 14 points and 11 rebounds, while Briann January tallied 12 points and 3 assists. This loss puts the Fever at 7-8 overall, one game behind the Sun in the WNBA standings.
Next up for the Fever on July 7, at 7:30 p.m ET, Indiana takes on the Atlanta Dream.