INDIANAPOLIS (AP)—The second half was all the San Antonio Silver Stars needed.
After a strong first half by Indiana, San Antonio picked up its defense and got better transition play to rally for an 88-72 win over the Fever on Thursday night.
“A little bit of grind and more assertiveness in the second half is what helped,” Hammon said. “They came out in the first half red hot and we knew we had to work hard on defense to give ourselves a chance. We knew the offense would come.”
San Antonio came from 18 points down for and finished with the second-largest turnaround (34 points) by a Fever opponent in franchise history. The Charlotte Sting had a 43-point swing in a win against Indiana on Aug. 20, 2003.
“I thought in the second half we started assertively,” San Antonio coach Dan Hughes said. “Defensively we were early in what we wanted to do. We were a step behind in the second half and we were able to play out of our defense. Our bench was very productive. We got 35 points off the bench. It allowed us a kind of consistency at that point.”
Katie Douglas scored 19 points for the Fever (8-6), who made 12 3-pointers. Tamika Catchings, set for her third trip to the Olympics, had 17 points and a season-high 15 rebounds for her 75th career double-double.
After Catchings’ jumper pushed the Fever’s lead to 45-32 with 8:13 remaining in the third, the Silver Stars scored the next eight points to pull within five midway through the period.
Jia Perkins’ 3 capped an 8-2 run that got San Antonio to 54-53 with about 1 1/2 minutes left in the third, and Danielle Adams jumper 20 seconds into the fourth tied the score at 59-all. Young’s layup about a minute later put the Silver Stars ahead and they didn’t trail again.
“Very disapointed with our lack of intensity in the second half,” Fever coach Lin Dunn said. “The way we started the second half let them back in the game. San Antonio is a very good team. We did not match their intensity.”
After Briann January’s two free throws tied the score, Adams’ hit a jumper with 8:03 to go to put San Antonio ahead for good. Perkins hit a jumper and Shenise Johnson made a 3 to cap a 13-2 run that put the Silver Stars ahead 68-61 with 7:20 remaining.
Danielle Robinson’s jumper 4 minutes later made it a double-digit game, and San Antonio scored the last six points in the final 57 seconds as the final score was their largest margin of the game.
“We came out the first 20 minutes and played really well,” Douglas said. “Then we were flat for some reason. Whatever it was in the third quarter, they were knocking down shots. We put our heads down and then we looked a little rattled out there and didn’t hold our composure.”
After going on a 15-2 run in the first quarter to take a 23-11 lead, the Fever pulled away further in the second quarter and did it from behind the arc.
Pohlen, Catchings, and Douglas each hit 3’s on the next three possessions and held the Silver Stars scoreless to take a 32-20 lead midway through the quarter.
January made two 3s and Douglas had one as Indiana scored nine consecutive points to take a 41-23 lead with 3:20 to go in the second quarter. Robinson hit a jumper and Shameka Christon made a free throw to pull San Antonio to 43-28 at halftime.
“Indiana totally dominated us for a half,” Hughes said. “We just didn’t feel like we had any rhythm. We started getting rhythm, especially out of our defensive play, in the second half.”