The Indiana Fever now have a record above .500 for the first time this season after defeating the San Antonio Stars, 83-76. Led by Marissa Coleman's career-high 25 points, the Fever won their fourth game in a row and their third straight at home.
Indiana has been on fire throughout this winning streak, and this game was no different. The Fever have shot over 50 percent from the floor in each of the last four games they have won. Indiana shot 51 percent Friday night against the Stars.
"We're a good team when we're moving the ball," Indiana Fever guard Shenise Johnson said. "Sometimes it gets stuck in our hands, and we're not moving it as much, so then we're not getting great, high percentage shots. That's something we wanted to focus on in the second half."
San Antonio dictated the tempo early in this game, but trailed by eight early in the second quarter. The Stars ended the half on a 14-6 run to tie the game at 38 heading into the break. Sophia Young-Malcolm had 17 of her season-high 27 in the first half for San Antonio, keeping the Stars in the game.
It was Indiana's turn to go on a run about three minutes into the third quarter. The 11-1 run broke open the game, and gave the Fever an 11-point lead. Coleman led the way, scoring 12 points in the quarter.
"I thought Coleman was a player they really played through, and we had a difficult time matching her," San Antonio Head Coach Dan Hughes said. "She kind of took our bigs away from the basket, and when we went small, she kind of went to it."
Indiana started the fourth quarter with an eight-point lead, and went up by as many as 13 with about four and a half minutes left in the game. San Antonio would just not go away quietly, as back-to-back buckets by Danielle Robinson cut into the Fever lead. Robinson finished with 12 points.
The Stars made it interested in the final minutes, continuing to cut into the lead. Despite having an off night, Tamika Catchings was always there to slam the door on any potential San Antonio comeback. Catchings scored five of her 11 points in the final quarter, while shooting 3-of-11 from the floor.
"We came out in the second half and really emphasized trying to bring out defensive intensity to another level, hoping that would fuel a little bit of our offense," Indiana Fever Head Coach Stephanie White said.
"We did a better job. It wasn't a pretty game, but it was a good learning experience for us, and I was proud of the way out team gutted it out, and found a way to win."
The Fever may have found something with their current starting lineup of Briann January, Johnson, Natalie Achonwa, Coleman and Catchings. Indiana has used this starting lineup eight times this season, and is now 6-2 in those games.
San Antonio continues to struggle without their two top scorers, Jia Perkins, and Kayla McBride. The Stars have now lost three of their four games, and find themselves just a half-game ahead of last place in the Western Conference.
"We're getting better every game," San Antonio Stars guard Kalana Greene said. "We're trying to fill some holes with injuries. It's a good challenge for us. We learned a lot about ourselves, what we can do in tough situations. I thought we handled the ball well and competed with them. We made it extremely tough, and we actually had a chance to win."