NEWARK, NJ - The New York Liberty, fresh off a two game road sweep came home for their first regular season game in Newark's Prudential Center. There was excitement, notables in the crowd and enthusiasm. The only thing missing was the result.
The Indiana Fever put together a solid fourth quarter to defeat the Liberty 86-80.
The game came one night after the Liberty edged the Fever on their home floor. Entering the final quarter the Liberty enjoyed a 70-62 edge and seemed to be in the driver's seat. Two key factors entered as the Fever put together a strong 24-10 run over the final ten minutes to earn the victory.
Number one: Defense. Or lack of as the Liberty did not get stops at the times they dearly needed them. Indiana capitalized.
Number two: Rotation. Even Coach John Whisenant admitted he could have "used the rookies a bit more and rested the veterans so they had fresh legs." Regardless, he refused to utilize the fatigue as an excuse. "Indiana played last night (against the Liberty) just as we did."
Essence Carson of the Liberty paced all scorers with 23 points. Tamika Catchings led Indiana with 19 points while Katie Douglas added 17. Jeanette Pohlen, the rookie out of Stanford, was a key factor for the Fever with 14 points including a crucial trey in the waning seconds.
More analysis tomorrow.