Going into Wednesday night’s game, the Indiana Fever were undefeated on their home floor. Their first loss in Bankers Life Fieldhouse was aided by a Career performance by Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner who scored 38 points on 19 shots.
Griner struggled in the first quarter only scoring five points, while teammate Diana Taurasi also couldn’t put the ball in the hole. The Fever’s defensive effort caused both Mercury stars to struggle early. Erica Wheeler scored a quarter high to give the Fever a 21-14 lead.
The Fever seemed to allow Griner to get more touches in the paint and she took advantage. Griner exploded in the second period scoring 18 points in 10 minutes with Taurasi scoring an additional 6 points giving the Mercury a 40-33 halftime lead.
Candice Dupree and Erica Wheeler tried pulling the Fever closer in the third and got the Mercury lead down to 3 points at one instance. Down 5 at the End of the third it seemed that the Fever still had a chance for a comeback.
In the fourth, the Fever went full speed ahead and began to attack the paint and get to the free throw line. The Mercury’s 5 point lead was quickly erased and the Fever had tied the game up. The back-and-forth action in the final quarter was rapid and intense with six players attempting free throws over the final quarter.
Four quarters was not enough for this basketball game with the score being tied at 78 after four quarters an overtime session was needed to settle the game. In the overtime period, The Brittney Griner show commenced with her scoring 8 of the Mercury’s 20 overtime points. Griner’s size was too much for the Fever to handle.
The OT period was not as closely contested as the rest of the game with the Fever being down at least 6 points for about half of the extra quarter. Erica Wheeler’s 24 bench points were not enough to keep the Fever undefeated at home as they fell 98-90 in overtime.
Brittney Griner and Diana Taurasi combined for 55 of Phoenix’s 98 points and gave the Mercury the boost they needed to take the win. The Fever have no time to sulk with the Seattle Storm coming to Bankers Life Friday night looking to improve on their second place Western Conference position.