Storm Open Road Trip with 71-63 Loss to Fever

June 30, 2013

Shekinna Stricklen came off the bench to score 11 points, but only one other Seattle player got into double figures on Sunday as the Storm opened a four-game road trip with a 71-63 loss to defending WNBA champion Indiana.

The Fever put together a 10-2 scoring surge at the outset of the fourth quarter to snap a 50-50 tie and move in front for good.

Seattle (4-6) was hit with their third straight loss, while Indiana (3-7) won its second in a row after halting a seven-game losing streak.

Camille Little was the only Seattle starter in double figures, finishing with10 points. She also had eight rebounds. Leading scorer Tina Thompson, who came averaging 13.1 points per game, added nine..

Tamika Catchings pumped in 18 points for the Fever, and Shavonte Zellous added 14. Jessica Breland registered a double-double of 10 points and 10 rebounds. She got six of those points on putback opportunities in the second half as Indiana out-rebounded Seattle, 34-22.

The Storm had a 50-47 lead in the final seconds of the third quarter, but Fever guard Zellous drained 3-pointer from 23 feet straight in front of the hoop with 0.5 seconds left to forge a 50-50 deadlock heading into the final 10 minutes.

Indiana stretched its lead to 60-52 with 6:43 left. The Storm got as close as four points twice, the last time at 65-61 on a pair of Camille Little free throws with 2:04 to go.

But Indiana put the next six points on the board, the last of which came off a 10-footer from straight in front by Breland with 22.8 seconds left, giving her the double-double and putting the Fever up by 10.

Seattle continues its four-game, 13-day trip on Tuesday at Chicago, tipping off 5 p.m. PDT.

The Storm fell into an early 13-point hole as Indiana put together 8-0 and 7-0 runs on the way to a 17-4 lead in the first 5:03 of the game. That included a four-point play by Briann January, who flung up a 3-pointer from 23 feet away, and watched it go in as she was knocked to the floor by Thompson. January sank the ensuing free throw.

But Seattle found its stride and strung together the last 10 points of the first quarter, getting within 17-14. A lay-in by Stricklen on the opening play of the second brought the Storm within one at 17-16, the closest the had been since a 2-2 tie in the opening moments.

The Storm finally took their first lead at 27-26 on a pair of Little free throws with 2:09 left in the half. The teams traded the lead twice more, and Seattle had a 30-29 edge at the break on two Tina Thompson free throws. That capped a 12-4 run, wiping out a 25-18 Indiana lead.

The lead changed hands nine times in the game, six of those in the third quarter. It was tied seven times, the last of those at 50-50 on Zellous’ trey to end the third.

After shooting just 33.8 percent in Friday’s 67-62 homecourt loss to New York, the Storm improved considerably on Sunday, finishing at 42 percent (22 of 52). Indiana shot 40 percent (23 of 57). Both teams had trouble hanging onto the ball, as the Fever committed 22turnovers, and the Storm had 20.

Indiana has won the last four games against Seattle.

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