Indianapolis, Ind., – Eager and hungry for a win, both the Las Vegas Aces and the Indiana Fever came ready to compete in their first meeting of the season.
Battling from jump, the Fever and the Aces kept things close in the first half trading bucket for bucket. Center Natalie Achonwa got off to a strong start making back to back shots to get Indiana going. However, the Aces were there to answer with their No. 1 draft pick in A’ja Wilson who posted 10 points to end the first quarter.
Trailing at the half 46-37 but unbothered, Indiana would respond as Achonwa again had her way on the floor scoring 12 points in the third quarter alone giving her team an offensive boost. As the Aces held a slim 66-60 lead entering the final period, Indiana made a solid push in the fourth as Kelsey Mitchell opened the quarter with a three-pointer. Tiffany Mitchell would join in on the three-point action as she completed the four point play after being fouled on the shot. Las Vegas refused to go away though leaning on Wilson who made a driving layup to give the Aces an 83-76 advantage with 2:59 remaining.
Down to the wire, Indiana’s Erica Wheeler made some key defensive stops that led to easy transition offense to keep the Fever going. Down two, with 37.3 seconds left on the clock, veteran Candice Dupree nailed the fadeaway jumper to tie the game at 84-all. The Aces would have time to answer, but failed to convert on three different attempts sending it to overtime.
The momentum in favor of Indiana, the Aces quickly killed all thunder scoring the first eight points of the extra period to extend their lead before outscoring Indiana 17-8 in OT for the 101-92 victory.
Natalie Achonwa would finish with career-highs in points and rebounds leading Indiana with 26 points and 15 boards. Tiffany and Kelsey Mitchell would each add 17 points followed by Dupree’s 16 point outing, while Erica Wheeler tallied 12 points, eight assists, and seven rebounds.
The Aces (2-7) were led by A’ja Wilson with 35 points and 13 rebounds. She became just the second rookie to do so. Kayla McBride also added 18 points, while Tamera Young and Dearica Hamby each finished with 11.
Indiana falls to 0-9 on the season as they prepare for the Atlanta Dream on Thursday.