INDIANAPOLIS – The Storm was starting to enjoy life on the road, at least until the final five minutes of its game against the Fever.
Indiana scored on five straight possessions late in the fourth quarter Wednesday and pulled away to beat Seattle, 76-68, in Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
The Storm (4-7) scored just seven points the final five minutes after leading by as many as eight points in the fourth quarter. The Fever (5-4) finished the game on an 18-7 run.
“It was a combination of things,” Seattle coach Brian Agler said. “We couldn’t keep them off the free-throw line. We didn’t finish some plays with a blockout. We missed some shots, and we had a couple of turnovers.”
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Seattle was trying to win consecutive road games for the first time this season after winning at Chicago on Tuesday. And the Storm seemed in control to do just that for most of the game.
“We played well for about 30 or 35 minutes,” said Seattle forward Camille Little, who scored a game-high 17 points. “I don’t know if it was fatigue from the back-to-back, but it’s hard to have this loss when you played so hard and do so many things well.”
Indiana made 10 of 14 free throws in the fourth quarter.
Meanwhile, the Storm struggled to find points. Little, Tanisha Wright and Jenna O’Hea each missed open three-pointers in the final four minutes that could have stemmed the Fever’s late-game run.
The Fever were led by Erlana Larkins, the WNBA’s rebounding leader. She tied her career high with 17 points and added 11 rebounds.
The Storm took advantage of the Fever’s aggressive defensive approach in the second half, creating numerous open layup opportunities and scoring 22 points inside.
“They came out with a game plan of trying to pressure the ball, but it gave us open opportunities to attack,” said Wright, who scored 15 points.
In her second game back from an injury, O’Hea scored 10 points and made 4 of 7 shots. She participated in just one full practice before scoring six points against Chicago on Tuesday, Agler said.
“It was a nice little boost to get the production off the bench,” Agler said. “ We just haven’t had a lot of practices this year, so I’m excited to get our team into a rhythm with practice time. I think (O’Hea) — along with a lot of other people — will benefit from that because we’ve made a lot of improvements this year.”
Fever coach Lin Dunn was honored before the game for her upcoming induction into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame on Saturday. Dunn was the first general manager and coach of the Storm in 2000. Dunn has 447 college and 201 pro wins in her career.
“I think her record and tenure sort of speaks for itself,” Agler said. “She is a great ambassador for the game.”