Storm Moves Past Fever In Fourth Quarter
SEATTLE-- In a game in which neither team led by more than four points through three quarters, and which included 13 lead changes and 10 ties, two 3-pointers by Indianapolis native Katie Gearlds sparked an 11-2 fourth quarter run as the Seattle Storm upended the Indiana Fever, 75-64, in the final preseason game for both teams.
The Storm and Fever were tied 33-33 at halftime, and later knotted at 50 when Indiana's LaToya Bond scored a driving layup to tie the score with 9:20 left in the contest. Gearlds' deep 3-pointer staked the Storm to a three-point lead with 8:57 to go, and the Fever never saw another lead. Alison Bales matched Gearlds with a short basket on the ensuing possession, and Indiana had a chance for the lead, but a steal by Ashley Robinson produced another Gearlds' 3-pointer for a four-point margin. Another Fever turnover resulted in a fastbreak layup and three-point play by Daphanie Kennedy with 7:19 to play. Following a three-seconds violation against Indiana, Robinson's short jumper staked the Storm to a nine-point lead with 6:44 remaining.
Indiana, playing without any starters and just three returning players from its team that reached the 2007 Eastern Conference Finals, was plagued by turnovers for the second game in-a-row. Twenty-three Fever miscues resulted in 28 points for the Storm -- including eight of the 11 points in the Storm's separating run.
Indiana guard Tan White led all scorers with 21 points, 13 of which came in the second half when she hit 3-of-4 3-point attempts. She scored a 3-pointer and a pair of free throws to cut the Storm's lead to four, 63-59, with 4:07 remaining, but another pair of Fever turnovers helped push the lead back to nine, 69-60, with under a minute to play.
For Indiana, the game meant a final chance to evaluate a large cast of rookies and free agents, while playing against three former Olympians in the Storm lineup. Fever coach Lin Dunn termed the game as the best preseason game her team had played, while also stating, "we're looking forward to having some of our prime-timers back."
Yolanda Griffith paced the Storm with 14 points and nine rebounds, while Tanisha Wright scored 13 and Swin Cash added 12. Gearlds had 11 off the bench. Kasha Terry added 10 points for Indiana. Alison Bales contributed eight points and seven rebounds, and in her Fever debut, veteran free agent Allison Feaster finished with eight points on 3-of-6 shooting, including two 3-pointers.
The Fever and Storm will conduct a controlled scrimmage on Sunday. The Fever returns to Indianapolis on Monday.