The Indiana Fever scored three times as many points in its five-minute overtime than it did during a record-setting fourth quarter which produced a franchise-low four points.
One franchise record wasn’t enough for Indiana though, as Erlana Larkins pulled down 22 rebounds to break her own club mark set on the same floor last September. Larkins’ 22 boards and 16 points by Briann January helped the Fever get past the Atlanta Dream, 81-77, to earn Indiana’s first win of the season.
Indiana made six 3-pointers and got 27 points off 21 Atlanta turnovers to help offset 38 percent shooting. In fact, Indiana went nearly 10 minutes without a field goal as Atlanta assumed a 68-66 lead in the final minutes of regulation.
Since a three-point play by Karima Christmas lifted Indiana to a 63-58 lead with 1:12 left in the third, the Fever scored just three free throws before January’s reverse layup knotted the score at 68, with 1:58 remaining in regulation. Neither team scored again in regulation to set up a second overtime battle between the teams.
Commenting on Larkins, Fever coach Lin Dunn said, “I wish I had two or three more of her. She’s a warrior.”
On winning despite its 4-point fourth quarter, she added, “The good thing is, when you’re stuck in the mud you better make sure the other team is too.” Atlanta only scored eight in the period.
The Fever win came eight days after the Dream beat won a double-overtime thriller in Indiana.
Sydney Carter scored a career-high 14 points for Indiana off the bench, contributing a pair of 3-pointers, and Larkins added 13 points to her rebounding barrage. Rookie Natasha Howard scored 12.
Angel McCoughtry led the Dream with 19 points while Jasmine Thomas had 17. Sancho Lyttle added 15 and Erika de Souza pitched in 14.
Trailing 23-19 after a bucket by de Souza to open the second quarter, Indiana got scoring from five different players during a 9-0 spurt that staked Indiana to a 28-23 advantage. The Fever led 39-35 at intermission and weathered a see-saw second half to claim the win.
Indiana resumes its schedule while welcoming the Connecticut Sun with Indianapolis natives Alex Bentley and Katie Douglas on Thursday, May 29.