There were four lead changes in tonight's game, which pitted the Connecticut Sun against the home team Indiana Fever. Once, when Alyssa Thomas of the Sun made 1 of 2 free throws; the second, when Natalie Achonwa made a layup; the third, when Kelsey Bone made a four-foot shot, with 8:30 left in the first quarter. The fourth?
Well, that didn't come until 6:31 left in the game, when Briann January hit a shot from behind the arc to put the Fever up, once and for all, at 63-61. A tight game then turned into a late rout, as the Sun missed shot after shot and the Fever found another gear. When the dust settled, the final score was 83-70.
The Sun missed out on their chance to take the lead fourth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference over Indiana. Instead, they are now one and a half games back of the Fever. They are 9-9 now, 5-4 away from home, while the Fever are 11-8 and 7-4 at home. The Fever won for the eighth time in ten games.
The most disappointing aspect of this game was how Connecticut went downhill after a stellar first quarter. They scored 25 points to Indiana's 14, and Kelsey Bone was the biggest reason. She had 14 points in the first half, and generally made everyone defending her look overmatched.
However, her decline mirrored that of her team. She had only six points during the second half, and was routinely outworked by Erlana Larkins, who scored 10 points and grabbed 13 rebounds on 2-4 shooting and 6-8 from the charity stripe. As a result, Connecticut was outscored in the next three-quarters, with each quarter being worse than the last, before being outscored by 15 in the final period.
Shenise Johnson had a quiet first half and an explosive second half for the Fever, and along with Larkins was the biggest factor in the Indiana comeback. She scored 16 points on 6-10 shooting, including 2-3 from beyond the arc. She was also 2-2 on free throws, contributing to a 28-30 team number, a 93% make percentage. The Sun, by contrast, shot 17-27, a 63% make percentage.
The Connecticut Sun play the San Antonio Stars at 7 pm on August 4th, while the Indiana Fever travel to Chicago to take on the Sky at 8 pm on August 4th.