Date: Saturday, June 8, 2013
Time: 3:30 p.m.
Site: Bankers Life Fieldhouse (Indianapolis, Ind.)
Television - ABC-TV
Radio - The Fan 1070 AM / 107.5 FM
Webcast - Live webcast on ESPN3.com
Storylines & Promotions
• The Phoenix Mercury visits Indianapolis for its lone trip to Bankers Life Fieldhouse this season. Accompanying franchise veteran Diana Taurasi is the biggest new name in the WNBA, Brittney Griner, the top overall pick in the WNBA Draft last April.
• Griner makes her first visit to Bankers Life Fieldhouse, narrowly missing a 2011 opportunity when her Baylor Bears were upset by Texas A&M in the NCAA Regionals during her junior season. The Aggies eventually won the NCAA title in Indianapolis.
• Saturday’s nationally televised bout on ABC-TV is the first of four national TV dates for the defending WNBA champs in 2013. It is also the first of two-in-a-row, counting next Wednesday’s battle with the Connecticut Sun on ESPN2.
• Saturday’s contest pits a pair of teams hoping to improve upon less than .500 records. Indiana lost its second straight game on Wednesday afternoon at New York, falling 75-68 in overtime after leading by double-digits in the first and second half. Phoenix, predicted by many as the WNBA’s top team in 2013, has begun the year 0-3 after falling at Minnesota on Thursday.
• Saturday is Hoosier Lottery Night with the first 2,000 fans 18 and older receiving a complimentary Hoosier Lottery ticket. Saturday’s game also features a postgame Power & Praise Concert featuring Christian artists New Life Worship Center, Praise with a Purpose, Judah Band, Patrick Dopson and Mali Music.
• Saturday’s game is the season’s first Lucas Oil Family Night presented by IndyStar.com [Tickets]. Ticket packages begin as low as $19 per person. Fans receive four tickets to the game; four vouchers for free hot dogs, chips, drink and four free t-shirts.
• The game is preceded by a pregame Chalk Talk session, presented by Old National Bank, in the Locker Room Restaurant beginning at 2:30 p.m. Fever radio/TV voice Chris Denari moderates a short conversation between season ticket holders and a special guest to discuss the upcoming game and events around the WNBA. Saturday’s guest is injured Fever star Erin Phillips.
• Ten-Year WNBA veteran Erin Thorn was signed to the Fever roster Thursday as a replacement player, helping to replenish a roster which played Wednesday with just eight healthy players. Thorn was waived in training camp earlier this season by the Phoenix Mercury. She played the 2012 season with the Minnesota Lynx, the team Indiana beat in the WNBA Finals.
• The Fever’s 2013 season roster has been more short-handed than anticipated. Most recently, Katie Douglas was unexpectedly absent from Wednesday’s game. Douglas woke up with a sore back and has since been diagnosed with a bulging disc in her lower back. She will miss Saturday’s game and will be listed as day-to-day thereafter.
Fever: F - Tamika Catchings, C - Erlana Larkins, G - Katie Douglas, G - Shavonte Zellous, G - Briann January
Mercury: F - DeWanna Bonner, F - Candice Dupree, C - Brittney Griner, G - Charde Houston, G - Diana Taurasi
The Fever beat the Phoenix Mercury 89-83 on their last outing on September 9, 2012 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. This game marked Lin Dunn’s 100th win as Indiana coach. Katie Douglas had a season-high 30 points and became the 10th player in WNBA history with 5,000 career points. Tamika Catchings had 19 points and five rebounds.
Fever vs Liberty: The Fever commanded a big lead early on the strength of 47 percent shooting in the opening period of Wednesday’s matinee game at New York. The Fever lost to the Liberty 75-68 in overtime. Tamika Catching had 12 points in the opening quarter and Shavonte Zellous had 10. Indiana led by as many as 16 points before the Liberty cut the gap to six, 36-30, at intermission. Indiana made just 3 of 16 shots in the fourth quarter, however, as New York rallied from an 11-point third quarter deficit. Catchings paced Indiana with 21 points and eight rebounds. Zellous added 15 points and January, who played nearly 44 minutes in the contest, finished with 13 points and five assists.
Mercury vs Lynx: The Mercury had a slow first half against the Minnesota Lynx on Thursday evening and it resulted in a 99-79 loss. Minnesota scored 60 points and led by 27 at the half. The Mercury actually out-scored the Lynx in the third and fourth quarters, but the halftime deficit was too much to overcome. Diana Taurasi tallied 21 points on the night while DeWanna Bonner added 18 points and seven rebounds.
Indiana boasts a 16-7 series lead over the Mercury, including three straight wins. The Fever swept the 2012 series with Phoenix, winning 85-72 on the road and later winning 89-93 in Indy. The Fever also captured a 91-86 home win in 2011 to split that season’s series. The Fever is 9-3 against Phoenix at home, winning in three straight seasons and 4 of 5 since 2008.