The Indiana Fever and the Dallas Wings kicked off their 2016 regular season tonight in Indianapolis, Indiana. Dallas came prepared for the heat, clinching its first win of the season, despite a fantastic debut by Indiana's Tiffany Mitchell, 90-79.
Both teams started off the first quarter with a turnover, but Indiana took control right away as Tamika Catchings scored the first two points of the game on two free-throw shots. With six minutes left in the first quarter, Catchings was leading the Fever with four of the team's eight points.
From there, the Fever couldn't be stopped as they went on a 6-0 run and gave Dallas their sixth turnover. The Wings were shooting under 41% in the first quarter, and the Fever took full advantage going on an 18-7 run. Dallas was able to bounce back with a 10-0 run cutting Indiana's 13-point lead down to three.
The Fever started the second quarter by ending Dallas's 10-0 run with a baseline shot. Indiana handled Dallas' aggressive defensive unit very well, as the Fever continued to hold the lead over the Wings. An unconventional four-point play and two free throw shots by the Wings, cut Indiana's lead to one before evening out the score at 26.
Dallas then took back the lead for the first time since the beginning of the game and went 12 minutes without a turnover. But a fantastic debut by Indiana's rookie, Tiffany Mitchell, as she closed out the first half going 6-for-7 with 16 points giving the Fever a 47-44 lead.
There was a lot of momentum for Indiana in the third quarter, and Mitchell continued to shine with her performance. A flashy move by Mitchell gave her a game high of 18 points in 23 minutes and tying the game for the Fever, who was on a 7-0 run. However, a flagrant foul by Indiana's Devereaux Peters, gave Dallas a three-point possession and four-point lead, stealing the momentum and securing the lead as they headed into the fourth, 72-68.
The game was full of runs by both teams continued to keep the game close throughout. Catchings went down early in the fourth after being fouled, but made her return several minutes later.
The Wings took their largest lead of nine points with 2:40 left in the game, but Indiana said no more and sank a three-pointer to close the gap to six. Dallas finished the contest on a 15-7 run, as Indiana fell in their season opener to the Wings.
Mitchell finished her impressive WNBA debut with 18 points, having 16 of them in the first half. Dallas' Plenette Pierson, led the way for the Wings with 17 points and five rebounds.