Game Preview: Fever vs Liberty
Date: Tuesday, July 23
Time: 7:00 p.m. ET
Site: Bankers Life Fieldhouse (Indianapolis, Ind.)
Television - ESPN2
Radio - None
Webcast - Live webcast and stats can be accessed via ESPN3.com
Storylines & Promotions
• The Indiana Fever meets the New York Liberty for the second time in four games, hoping to continue its recent surge and take sole possession of third place in the WNBA Eastern Conference.
• Friday’s contest is the second of four straight Indiana games against two East teams immediately ahead of the Fever in the East standings. The Fever (5-8) downed fourth-place New York (6-9) last Saturday. Indiana meets third-place Washington (8-7) both Friday and Sunday before then hosting the Liberty next Tuesday.
• Tuesday’s contest is the last of four straight Indiana games against two East teams virtually tied with the Fever in the East standings. The Fever (7-8) downed fifth-place New York (6-10) on Saturday, July 13. Indiana beat third-place Washington (8-9) twice last weekend before hosting the Liberty.
• With three straight wins – all against New York and Washington – the Fever has pulled within percentage points of third place in the East.
• A Fever win over the Liberty would be Indiana’s seventh in eight games, remarkable considering the streak came immediately after losing 7 of 8 to begin the season. A win would move the Fever into sole possession of third place and give Indiana a 2-1 advantage in the season series. A win also would put the Fever at .500 for the first time since a win and loss in the season’s first two games. A loss would send Indiana to its ninth loss in 16 games.
• Tuesday’s game is the third in a stretch of four games in seven days prior to WNBA All-Star activities. Beginning with wins over the Mystics last Friday and Sunday, the Fever continues play every other day through the week: Tuesday vs. New York (23rd); Thursday at Tulsa (25th). The WNBA All-Star Game is Saturday, July 27 at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. (3:30 p.m., ABC-TV).
• Three weeks ago, Indiana had slipped to 1-7 with a rash of injuries. It was the worst 8-game start in franchise history. Indiana got healthy though, during a four-game homestand in which it beat Tulsa, Seattle and Connecticut in succession. Indiana currently finds itself with the chance to climb as high as third place in the East before teams break for the All-Star Game.
• The Fever has had eight different players miss action through the season’s first 15 games.
• Briann January (975) needs 25 points to reach 1,000 points in her career, all with the Fever. She will become the eighth player to score 1,000 points in a Fever uniform.
• Tamika Catchings has been named the WNBA’s Eastern Conference Player of the Week, marking the 19th time in her career that she has earned a player of the week award. She is tied with Seattle’s Lauren Jackson with the most POW awards ever. Catchings averaged 15.5 points, 8.5 rebounds and 4.0 assists in the Fever’s two games last week, a 77-70 win over Washington at home on July 19, and a 65-52 road victory against the Mystics two days later. For the week, she ranked second in the East in points and assists per game and fourth in rebounding.
Fever: F - Tamika Catchings, C - Erlana Larkins, G - Karima Christmas, G - Shavonte Zellous, G - Briann January
Liberty: F - Toni Young, F - Plenette Pierson, C - Kara Braxton, G - Katie Smith, G - Cappie Pondexter
The Indiana Fever defeated the New York Liberty on July 13, 74-53. The game was back in forth in the first half; however, the Fever had an explosive 3rd quarter in which it outscored the Liberty 31-6. Leading the way for the Fever was Erlana Larkins with a season-high 15 points followed closely behind Shavonte Zellous with 13 and Erin Phillips with 12. The Liberty had 22 turnovers to the Fever’s seven. Plenette Pierson scored 12 points to lead the Liberty, who couldn't get within 20 points in the fourth quarter.
Fever vs. Liberty: After a back-and-forth first half, the Fever blew the game open in the third quarter, outscoring the Liberty 31-6 en route to the 74-53 victory on July 13. The win was the fourth in the past five games for the Fever, who climbed within a half-game of New York for fourth place in the Eastern Conference. Indiana, which dropped seven of its first eight games, forced New York into 22 turnovers and only had seven. Larkins led a balanced offense, scoring a season-high 15 points. Shavonte Zellous added 13 and Erin Phillips had 12 for the Fever. Phillips was playing her second game since missing the first 11 while recovering from a torn right meniscus. Plenette Pierson scored 12 points to lead the Liberty, who couldn't get within 20 in the fourth quarter.
Mystics vs. Stars: Crystal Langhorne had 13 points and nine rebounds, and the Mystics held San Antonio without a point for more than nine minutes in the second half to complete a two-game sweep of the Silver Stars with an 86-64 victory on July 16. Washington, a winner of four of five games since dropping five straight in June, held San Antonio scoreless for a 9-minute, 26-second span of the second half. The Silver Stars missed 14 straight shots in that stretch. The teams combined to make their first eight attempts from the field and both shot at least 59 percent from the field in the first quarter. Washington led 28-22 after the opening period and by as many as 11 during the sloppier second quarter. Nine of the 10 Mystics that played during the first half scored, including Langhorne, who had seven points and seven rebounds.
Indiana boasts a 30-19 series lead over the Liberty including a 74-53 win at Prudential Center on July 13. Including a 3-1 mark in 2012, the Fever has won four of the past five meetings. Indiana has won the season series with New York in every season since 2003, except for 2010 and 2011 when the clubs split 2-2 in both seasons. After losing 8 of 9 bouts from 2000-02 in the Fever’s infancy, Indiana is 29-11 since 2003. Indiana is 17-6 against the Liberty at Bankers Life Fieldhouse including three straight wins.