INDIANAPOLIS, IN - With the score tied up at one game apiece, Minnesota heads to Bankers Life Fieldhouse tonight to face a Fever team trying to get a win at home to lead the series. In order to get that series lead, Indiana head coach Stephanie White says her squad is going to have to play head and shoulders above their previous performance.
"Our defense has to be much better," said White. "Our defense was pretty poor in game two...we have to rebound the ball better. And really if you just go to two simple areas, it's rebounding and turnovers. We've got to take care of the ball."
In what the Mayor of Indianapolis Greg Ballard has declared "Fever Friday," tonight's game is expected to sell out. Players from both the Colts and Pacers, along with former Fever head coach Lin Dunn, have bought tickets for the fans. Lucky for Minnesota, head coach Cheryl Reeve has players that have experienced this type of environment before.
"The key to winning on the road in a hostile environment is not letting up big runs," said Reeve. "You have to handle the heightened energy we're going to get...sometimes that's easier said than done."
Coaches say you want to play your best basketball in the postseason. The Fever have four starters averaging double figures in this series, and a veteran in Tamika Catchings who wants nothing more than to win for her team.
"I've had fun teams before," said Catchings. "But I feel how close we are all together...I just want it for them. And I know they want it for me. But I want it for them."
One player that has been pleasantly surprising for Indiana is Briann January. The guard leads the team in this WNBA Finals series, averaging 18 points per game.
"She's been playing with a great pace," said White. "She's been playing very confident, she's understanding what we're trying to get on offense. All the while, she's guarding one of the premier players in the league in Seimone Augustus. So she's doing a great job managing both."
Nothing is better than a game three with the series tied. Whoever wins tonight gets the momentum for the rest of the WNBA finals.