Storm’s Record Stands at 2-4
INDIANAPOLIS – Back on the road after a three-game homestand, the Seattle Storm fell 85-75 to the Indiana Fever on Wednesday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. The Storm drops to 2-4 on the season, while Indiana (3-3) jumps ahead of Seattle in the WNBA standings by snapping its two-game losing streak.
Rookie forward Breanna Stewart paced the Storm with a game-high 22 points, including 16 in the second half. Stewart passed 100 career points late in the fourth quarter and has now scored 20 or more in three of her six games. Fellow first-year player Tiffany Mitchell recorded 19 for the Fever, and reserve Lynetta Kizer led Indiana with 20 points on 8-of-13 shooting.
Seattle was without starting forward Alysha Clark, who made the trip but was inactive with a right knee bruise. Jenna O’Hea made her first start of the season, scoring six points in 25 minutes.
Indiana built its lead on Wednesday through a dominant first half. The Storm scored the first seven points of the game, but Indiana responded by draining a couple of three-pointers during an 18-7 run that led to a four-point lead at the end of the first quarter. Seattle shot efficiently from the field throughout the first half, but eight turnovers in the opening quarter and four giveaways in the second caused the Storm to fall behind.
The Storm finished 53.8 percent from the field for the night, but 20 total turnovers compared to 14 for Indiana made the difference.
Despite six first-half assists by Sue Bird, Indiana was ahead 51-38 at halftime behind 13 points from Mitchell. The Fever finished the half on an 11-1 run after Seattle had cut the lead to three at 40-37 at the 2:45 mark.
In the first half, Seattle converted just two of its eight three-point attempts, while Indiana sank a trio of shots from beyond the arc on just four attempts. The Storm ended with a three-point percentage of 27.8 (5-for-18) on Wednesday, while Indiana finished 6-of-13 from long distance.
The Storm committed turnovers on each of its first three possessions of the second half, allowing Indiana to increase its lead to as many as 22 in the third quarter. Seattle gradually cut into the deficit in the final period behind a late surge from Stewart, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the Fever on the road.
Bird added 14 points and six assists on Wednesday, while Jewell Loyd notched 11 points and four rebounds. Rookie guard Blake Dietrick made her WNBA debut, checking in late in the fourth quarter and recording four minutes of action.
Seattle has a pair of home games still to come this week, starting on Friday against the Phoenix Mercury at 7 p.m. PT. On Sunday at 4 p.m. PT, the Storm hosts the New York Liberty.