Wednesday, June 1 – 4 p.m. PT
Bankers Life Fieldhouse | Indianapolis, IN
WNBA League Pass
Both at 2-3 on the season, the Storm and Fever are tied for sixth in the league’s overall standings. Indiana is on a two-game losing streak – it lost on the road to Minnesota and Atlanta – while the Storm is coming off its first home win of the season, a 93-81 victory over Connecticut.
Indiana leads the all-time series 16-14, including a current four-game winning streak that matches its longest ever against the Storm. Seattle hasn’t won on the road against the Fever since 2008.
Wednesday’s game marks the 22nd meeting between Sue Bird and Tamika Catchings, who represent the longest tenures among current players with the teams that drafted them. Catchings was drafted third overall out of Tennessee in 2001, while the Storm selected Bird first overall in 2002. Bird is 9-12 in meetings with Catchings, averaging 12.1 points and 5.0 assists in those games. Among the league’s all-time leaders, Catchings is second in points (7,005) and Bird is second in assists (2,239).
In 2015, 23.8 percent of the shots Seattle took were three-pointers, one of the highest marks in the WNBA. That percentage was even higher during the previous five seasons, when the Storm was always either first or second in the category. Through five games of the 2016 season, 90 of Seattle’s 307 (29.3 percent) shot attempts have been three-pointers. The Storm ranks fourth in the league with 18.0 attempted per game, and fourth with a 32.2 percent conversion rate. The Fever, meanwhile, is second-to-last in three-point shooting at 28.9 percent.
Before teaming up at the Olympics later this summer, Catchings and No. 1 draft pick Breanna Stewart will do battle three times in WNBA action. Catchings has quite the résumé: five-time Defensive Player of the Year (league record), 2011 MVP, 2012 champion and 2012 Finals MVP. She will be the oldest player to ever represent the United States in the Olympics, while Stewart is just the fourth WNBA rookie ever to be part of a USA Olympic team. When Stewart won Gatorade National Player of the Year in high school, Catchings was the one to present her the trophy.
- The last time Storm rookie Breanna Stewart played at the Fever’s Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, she won her fourth consecutive national title and Most Outstanding Player award at the 2016 NCAA Final Four. Stewart notched 24 points, 10 rebounds and six assists as her UConn Huskies took down Syracuse 82-51 in the national championship game.
- As announced last week, Indiana coach Stephanie White will become the head coach of the Vanderbilt women’s basketball team following the conclusion of the WNBA season. Last year, White became the first rookie coach in league history to lead a team to the WNBA Finals.