Fever fall to Liberty in home opener

It was a busy evening in Indianapolis as 17,274 fans gathered at Gainbridge Fieldhouse to watch Caitlin Clark start her WNBA home debut and the Indiana Fever start their 25th season at home against the New York Liberty. Following a recent defeat against the Connecticut Sun, the Fever aimed to regain momentum, but the Liberty had different plans.

From the beginning, the Liberty established control of the game by playing strategically and aggressively, while the Indiana Fever struggled with basic tasks such as layups and ball movement. The Liberty built a significant lead over the Fever, ending the first half with a score of 23-15.

In the second half, the Fever were determined to turn the game around, but the Liberty maintained their lead until the end. The Fever faced challenges, committing 16 turnovers resulting in 21 points, compared to New York’s 9 turnovers resulting in 8 points. 

Late in the third quarter, the Fever started to gel. They turned up the defense and were able to force some New York misses, cutting the Liberty lead to 9 points but the New York squad were quick to nip that in the bud in the fourth quarter. 

Led by reigning MVP Brenna Stewart’s impressive performance of 31 points and 10 rebounds, achieving a double-double, the Liberty extended their lead to 37 points in the fourth quarter, with a final score of 102-66.

Following the loss to the Liberty, the Fever will regroup and strive to level the playing field when they travel to New York to take on the Liberty on Saturday afternoon. With Caitlin Clark only scoring 9 points, there is room for improvement. Progress takes time, and the Fever will continue to work towards success.

-Tim Stepp

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