Arlington, Texas – The Indiana Fever routed the Dallas Wings, 76-56, Friday to complete a three-game season sweep.
Tiffany Mitchell led Indiana off the bench with 16 points, while Natalie Achonwa scored 13 and Erica Wheeler added 11. It was their largest margin of victory this season and snapped a four-game losing streak.
Fever coach Pokey Chatman said limiting second chance points for Dallas was a focus for the team this week.
“Listen, if you saw our scouting report, if you saw our keys to the game, if you interviewed any player in there, that’s all we talked about,” she said. “And the thing is, there’s no scouting report for second-chance points. We told them they’re gonna jump on top of your head and dunk on you and you’ll be on SportsCenter.”
Arike Ogunbowale and Theresa Plaisance led the Wings with 15 points each, but the team’s offense stagnated in the second quarter and never recovered. Mitchell credited her team’s defensive pressure in the win.
“That’s just kind of our mindset; been the whole season,” she said. “And the games that we haven’t had that mindset are the games that we lost. And we’ve lost a lot of close games because we just…our defensive pressure wasn’t there. So I think this was the first game that we played all four quarters with that type of energy.”
Indiana kept Dallas to their lowest scoring total in four years, since July 2, 2015 when the then-Tulsa Shock lost to the Phoenix Mercury, 86-55. The Wings turned the ball over 12 times which resulted in 19 points for their opponents, which was the difference the game.
Wings coach Brian Agler said the loss was disappointing, but the league and the schedule are not going to wait for them.
“There’s a certain way we have to play to play well, and we started getting a feel for that leading into this game, but tonight we got completely away from it,” he said. “We shot way too many threes and we were not creating the three point shot the way we wanted to create it, the way we should be creating it.”
Dallas found a bit of a rhythm winning four of their last six games coming into the game. They had been able to create their offense through defense and work the ball inside out to get their shots. However, the lack of penetration inside, coupled with settling for the three on a bad shooting night, enabled the Fever to win.
Glory Johnson has returned to the Wings from Eurobasket play, and will be active for Sunday’s game against Chicago. She said she excited to return.
“I just come in where I fit in, I am not trying to force anything; if anything bring a little bit more energy,” the veteran forward said. “Bring positive energy, that’s really the main goal, when you bring that, positive vibes, play defense and rebound, everything else will come.”