Indiana at Connecticut
Date: Tuesday, June 17, 2014
Time: 7:00 p.m. (ET)
Site: Mohegan Sun Arena (Uncasville, Conn.)
Television - None
Radio - FM 107.5/AM 1070 The Fan
Webcast - Live webcast and stats can be accessed via WNBA Live Access.
Storylines & Promotions
• Indiana (5-4) travels to Connecticut (6-6) for the second time in 10 days. The Sun handed the Fever its largest defeat of the season, 88-71, when the teams last met on June 7.
• In what is the Fever’s 15th anniversary season, Indiana makes its final trip to Mohegan Sun Arena this season, while continuing a six-game stretch featuring five games on the road. The Connecticut game begins a three-game road trip to conclude the string. Indiana begins the road trip 2-1 in the current six-game stretch.
• Indiana enters the game hoping to move two games above .500 for the first time this season. The Fever has won five of six as it travels to Connecticut. The Sun, meanwhile, has won four straight games beginning with the win over Indiana ten days ago.
• Just one game separates 2nd through 5th place in the Eastern Conference standings, with the Fever currently sitting in the No. 2 position behind 7-3 Atlanta. Connecticut is 1/2-game behind, tied for third.
• A win over the Sun would be the Fever’s sixth win in seven games, following three defeats to open the 2014 campaign. A win would keep the Fever in second place in the East standings. A loss would drop Indiana to a third-place tie in the East, while Connecticut would move into second place.
• Tuesday’s contest features a pair of renowned and very familiar coaches in Anne Donovan and Lin Dunn, currently 4th and 7th on the WNBA’s list for career coaching victories. Dunn, seventh in WNBA career coaching victories (157) and a June 14 inductee into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame, is the winningest coach in Fever history. She was the first general manager and head coach of the Seattle Storm, prior to Donovan’s hiring in Seattle in 2003. Donovan owns 183 WNBA victories, including the 2000 campaign with Indiana. Donovan won a WNBA title with the Storm in 2004, Dunn won with Indiana in 2012.
• Last Wednesday, Indiana downed Seattle 74-68 behind 17 points and 11 rebounds from Erlana Larkins. Natasha Howard and Shavonte Zellous each added 13, and Marissa Coleman scored 12, as the Fever overcame a nine-point, second-quarter deficit, taking the lead at 63-61 on Coleman’s 3-pointer from the left corner with four minutes to play.
• Ten days ago, Indiana fell 88-71 at Connecticut in a game which the Fever really never challenged. Connecticut led 32-21 in the second quarter and Indiana never got closer than six points the rest of the way. Indianapolis native Alex Bentley paced the Sun with a career-high 21 points. For Indiana, Natasha Howard scored 14 points while Lynetta Kizer came off the bench for a season-high 12. Shavonte Zellous added 10, and Erlana Larkins had nine points and seven rebounds.
• Connecticut owns a 33-22 series advantage over the Fever and has won 16 of 22 regular season meetings at Mohegan Sun Arena. Connecticut won three of five meetings in 2013, and has won eight of the past 12 dates. Indiana earned a 79-65 decision on May 29 in Indianapolis, but lost on the road on June 7.
• Announced prior to the season, this will be Lin Dunn’s final season in coaching. Inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame on June 14, she intends to continue consulting and mentoring with pro and college coaches, and will remain an advisor with the Fever in 2015. A star pupil who she once recruited to Purdue, Stephanie White will take over the coaching reigns next year as part of Indiana’s succession plan.
• Erlana Larkins is currently second among WNBA rebounders (11.0 per game) in 2014. So far this season, she has set a new scoring high (17 vs. Atlanta), a new rebounding high (22 at Atlanta), a new high in assists (6 at Connecticut) and matched her career-best in steals (six at Atlanta). She owns four double-double performances in 2014, matching the four in her career prior to 2014. Remarkably, in 2010 and 2011, she was waived in WNBA training camps.
• The Sun features three Indianapolis natives in Alex Bentley, Katie Douglas and Kelly Faris. Douglas, a graduate of Purdue and Perry Meridian High School, was an All-Star with the Fever from 2008-13, prior to signing a free agent deal with the Sun last winter. Bentley, a member of the WNBA’s All-Rookie Team with Atlanta in 2013 and a local product from Ben Davis High School, was a video intern with the Fever in 2012 prior to her senior year at Penn State. A local star who led Heritage Christian High School to four straight state titles, Faris was drafted by the Sun last season after a stellar college career at UConn.
Fever: F- Marissa Coleman, F- Natasha Howard, C- Erlana Larkins, G- Shavonte Zellous, G- Briann January
Sun: F- Alyssa Thomas, F- Kelsey Griffin, C- Chiney Ogwumike, G- Allison Hightower, G- Katie Douglas
(June 7, 2014): Bentley scored 21 points and Connecticut took advantage of 26 Indiana turnovers Saturday as the Sun dispatched the Fever, 88-71, at Mohegan Sun Arena just 10 days ago. The win was Connecticut’s second in three games, and ended the Fever’s four-game win streak. Bentley shot 9-of-13 from the floor and was perfect on three 3-point attempts. She scored the Sun’s first six points and led five Connecticut players in double figures. Another Indianapolis native and former Fever star, Katie Douglas, finished with 15 points. Chiney Ogwumike scored 12 and Allison Hightower and Alyssa Thomas each added 11. Indiana, playing its second game in two nights, shot a season-best 53 percent from the floor that was largely overshadowed by a season-high 26 turnovers. Indiana also was whistled for 30 fouls and finished with as many turnovers and fouls as field goals (26). The Sun shot 46 percent from the field and turned those turnovers into 26 points. Rookie Natasha Howard scored 14 points for Indiana before fouling out in the fourth quarter. Lynetta Kizer scored a season-high 12 points and Shavonte Zellous added 10. Erlana Larkins contributed nine points and seven rebounds while matching a career high with six assists. Connecticut used 8-2 and 7-0 runs in the first half to build an 11-point lead at 32-21. The Fever got within 53-47 on a putback by Howard with 4:28 in the third, but never got closer.
Fever: Erlana Larkins scored 17 points and Natasha Howard and Shavonte Zellous each added 13 to help the Indiana Fever beat the Seattle Storm 76-68 last Wednesday night. The Fever (5-4) overcame a nine-point, second-quarter deficit, taking the lead at 63-61 on Marissa Coleman's 3-pointer from the left corner with 4 minutes to play. Coleman finished with 12 points. Larkins also had 11 rebounds for her fourth double-double of the season. Camille Little led Seattle with 17 points, Tanisha added 15, and scoring leader Crystal Langhorne was held to eight. Seattle used a 13-4 run late in the second quarter to build its nine-point lead.
Sun: Kelsey Griffin scored 12 points and added nine rebounds to help Connecticut win its fourth straight game, sweeping a home-and-home set from the New York Liberty with a 76-72 victory on Sunday. All five starters scored in double figures for the Sun. Katie Douglas had 14 points and rookie Alyssa Thomas added 13. Alex Bentley had 12 points, snapping a streak of three-straight games she had scored 20 or more points. Connecticut last won four straight in the 2012 season. Cappie Pondexter had 21 points and five assists for the Liberty (3-8) and former Sun center Tina Charles added 15 points and five assists. Connecticut trailed 27-19 with more than five minutes left in the first half when it pulled ahead. Reserve Danielle McCray scored all eight of her points during that time to help the Sun take a 38-37 halftime lead. Renee Montgomery had a layup and Douglas a three-point play to push the Sun ahead, 62-53, to start the third quarter. New York kept cutting its deficit to four points the fourth quarter, but couldn't close any further. It missed its final three shots in the game's last 56.5 seconds.
Connecticut owns a 33-22 series advantage over the Fever and has won 16 of 22 regular season meetings at Mohegan Sun Arena. Connecticut won 3 of 5 meetings in 2013, and has won eight of the past 12 dates. Indiana earned a 79-65 decision on May 29 in Indianapolis, but lost on the road on June 7.
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