Liberty Fall Short in Indiana

The Indiana Fever raced out to a 20-3 advantage late in the first quarter, putting the Liberty behind the eight-ball and creating a deficit New York simply could not overcome on Thursday night, as the Liberty fell 74-59 at the Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.

New York was unable to find its range from the start of the game, as the Liberty missed their first seven field-goal attempts and committed three turnovers, allowing Indiana to march out to a 12-0 run.

Lisa Willis finally put the Liberty on the board 5:29 into the game, but New York still struggled to find its offensive rhythm, as the home team rattled off eight straight points. With 1:15 left, Cathrine Kraayeveld sank her team’s only other field goal of the quarter, a 24-foot three pointer that ignited a 7-0 run that also saw her and Erlana Larkins convert two free throws each from the line.

At the end of one quarter, Indiana led 20-10, which was an ominous sign for the Liberty because they entered the game just 2-8 when failing to score 20 points in an opening quarter.

New York found its legs in the second quarter, led by a solid inside-out game with Jessica Davenport in the middle and a barrage of three-pointers from behind the arc. In fact, the Liberty nailed their first six three-point attempts of the quarter, which helped them creep back on Indiana, trailing by only six points, 32-26, with 2:23 left in the second. Unfortunately, Indiana remained hot as well, maintaining a 38-27 lead at halftime.

The Liberty were unable to sustain any momentum once the third quarter began, as Indiana reclaimed a strong double-digit lead throughout most of the half. Despite holding Katie Douglass to a mere five points, the Libs couldn’t contain Tammy Sutton-Brown, Tan White and Tamika Catchings, who scored 15, 13 and 10 points respectively to lead Indiana to its 11th straight home victory over the Liberty. New York has not won at the Conseco Fieldhouse since July 19, 2002.

Playing once again without Janel McCarville and Tiffany Jackson, the Liberty were dominated on the glass, especially on the offensive end -- where the Fever held a 13-7 rebounding advantage. The second-chance points proved to be a key difference in the final result as they recorded five offensive boards during the pivotal first quarter.

The highlight for the Liberty once again was the play of a resurgent Davenport, who has returned to form after battling back from injury. The powerful, 6-foot-5 center was the only player on the team to score in double figures, recording 12 points to go along with six boards and one steal.

The playoff-bound Liberty can rebound immediately, as they travel to Chicago to face off against the Sky on Friday night. New York then returns home to play the Detroit Shock for Fan Appreciation Day on Sunday in the team’s regular-season finale.