|STAR OF THE GAME
On a night when not much went right for the Fever, Bevilaqua played some pesky defense to come up with three steals in addition to her team-high nine points.
Ngoyisa came off the bench to contribute eight points and four rebounds to help play damage control for the Fever.
“Connecticut played extremely well tonight. They looked like a well oiled machine. This game reminded me of the game we played there when we whipped their butts. We can either get better or we could fold our tents. Everyone gets whipped during the season at some point and we got our's tonight...This is the worst defensive effort I have seen. Our backs are against the wall but we have complete control over our destiny.”
Learning from the loss:
“We learned no one can do it by themselves. We have to do it as a team. Defense definitely has to be a staple. Unless you’re able to defend, you aren’t going to win. We have to go back to defense to start winning again.”
Points in the paint:
Fever 34, Sun 38
Fever 14, Sun 9
Fever 7, Sun 7
Points off turnovers:
Fever 12, Sun 16
Fever 40, Sun 46
Fever 18, Sun 38
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Tamika Whitmore scored 15 points and the Connecticut Sun raced out to a big early lead in an 84-58 victory over the Indiana Fever on Thursday night, marking the WNBA's return following an Olympics break.
Asjha Jones added 14 points and Kerri Gardin and Sandrine Gruda each had 11 for the Eastern Conference-leading Sun (17-10). Their margin of victory was the largest ever against Indiana, surpassing an 84-59 win over the Fever on Aug. 4, 2007.
Tully Bevilaqua and Tammy Sutton-Brown each scored nine points to lead Indiana (12-15), which lost for the fourth time in five games.
Connecticut shot 66 percent from the field in the first half, compared to 30 percent for the Fever. The Sun took control with a big second quarter, extending a nine-point lead to 54-25 on Gruda's layup and outscoring Indiana 30-10 in that period alone.
The lead was 54-25 at halftime and Gardin's basket early in the third quarter gave Connecticut its biggest lead at 62-27.
With her one blocked shot tonight, Tammy Sutton-Brown has blocked 49 shots in 2008, tying the Fever single season record set by Kara Wolters in the team's first season (2000).
Tonight's game represents the Fever's first this season in which no player scored in double figures. The last time the Fever went an entire game with a player scoring at least 10 points was in an 82-51 loss at Los Angeles, July 19, 2004.
After committing four turnovers in each of the first two periods, the Fever had just five in the second half and had one fewer turnover for the game (14-13) than the Sun. Indiana is now 9-7 this season when having fewer turnovers than its opponent.
With a team-high three steals and no turnovers tonight, Tully Bevilaqua has had seven steals and two turnovers in her last three appearances for the Fever. For the season, she has a steals-to-turnover ratio of 1.41-to-1.
In her first appearance in a Fever uniform, Doneeka Lewis had four points and was one of four Indiana players with multiple steals with her two.
As a unit, the Fever had 11 steals its fourth of 10+ thefts in the last six games and its 15th game with double-digit steals in 2008.
The 26-point loss is the largest ever for the Fever at Conseco Fieldhouse and it is Indiana largest ever at the hands of the Connecticut Sun.
The Fever has now lost four straight at home, tying its second longest home losing streak ever. The only losing streak that was longer was an eight-game streak in the team's inaugural season of 2000. The Fever has had three four-game losing streaks in its history since that eight-game skein in 2000.