June 7, 2019 – Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA)Indiana Fever News Release

KEY STAT:

Achonwa scored 17 points and pulled down 11 rebounds, both season highs. She finished the game 6-of-10 from the field and knocked down all five of her free throw attempts.

Indiana outrebounded Dallas 39-32 and grabbed a season-high 29 defensive rebounds. It was the first time this season the Fever outrebounded their opponent.

The Fever went 20-of-21 at the free throw line, tying their season-high for made free throws. It was the team’s highest free throw percentage in a game since going 11-of-11 against Seattle on Aug. 7, 2018.

The Fever assisted on 20 of their 28 made field goals in the win. Erica Wheeler, second in the WNBA in assists entering the game, led all players with nine assists to match her season high.

KEY RUN:

After leading 8-6 early on, Indiana scored 14 of the final 20 points in the first quarter to take a 22-12 advantage into the second period. Four different Fever players scored at least four points in the opening 10 minutes.

The Fever opened the second half on an 11-5 run to build a 20-point lead midway through the third quarter.

Dallas reeled off nine straight points as part of a 14-1 spurt to end the third quarter. The Wings cut a 22-point deficit down to seven early in the fourth quarter.

INDIANA NOTES:

Candice Dupree passed the 1,000-point mark as a member of the Fever with a jump shot in the second quarter. Dupree is the 13th Fever player ever to reach the plateau and the second player in WNBA history to score 1,000 points for three different teams (Phoenix, Chicago, Indiana).

Natalie Achonwa set a new career-high with five assists against the Wings. Achonwa also recorded the seventh double-double of her career with 17 points and 11 rebounds. Her previous six double-doubles all came in 2018.

Candice Dupree notched the 67th double-double of her career with a 14-point, 11-rebound performance.

Natalie Achonwa and Candice Dupree are the first Fever teammates to register double-doubles in the same game since they did so on May 20, 2018, at Washington. Every Indiana double-double since 2016 has been by Achonwa or Dupree.

Indiana shot 41.2 percent from the field while holding Dallas to 35.2 percent shooting. The Fever have shot a higher percentage than their opponent in all four of their games this season – compared to just five times in 34 games last season.

Indiana is 3-1 to start a season for the first time since winning four straight games to open the 2012 season. The Fever finished 2012 with a 22-12 record en route to winning the WNBA championship.

DALLAS NOTES:

Brooke McCarty-Williams made the first start of her WNBA career. McCarty-Williams played 29 minutes and dished a team-high four assists.

Isabelle Harrison scored a season-high 18 points on 7-of-12 shooting. She was the only Wings player in double-figures and the game’s leading scorer.

Harrison and Glory Johnson tied for the team lead with seven rebounds. No other Wings player collected more than four.

INDIANA QUOTES:

Head Coach Pokey Chatman

“It’s obviously nice to pick up another win, and it’s nice being led by Candice [Dupree] and Nat [Achonwa], our two vets. And Wheeler stayed solid. We communicated well and stayed really connected throughout the game. That’s a tribute to our veterans and everyone trusting each other. Overall, I’m happy.”

(on improved defense and a fast start)

“I’ve said this before, it really stems back to the difficult times we had last year and all those players taking their saltiness abroad. They applied themselves, they improved themselves, they’re hungry and they brought it back here. Whether you are a rookie or a 14-year veteran, you can impact the game. They get that and they’re all doing that.”

(On play from Natalie Achonwa)

“It’s just tremendous from a confidence level that she keeps getting better, and from the standpoint that she is such a leader overall. She knows SOOOO much, and you see her sharing things with all her teammates in so many ways – whether it’s teaching verbally or just doing. She does so many things well and she’s so smart. When her confidence grows, it’s great for our whole team.”

Candice Dupree

(On her double double)

“I thought we played like a team, and I think as long as we play team ball on both ends of the floor, the sky’s the limit. I think we did a great job of sharing the ball. Kind of had a little bit of lapse in third quarter, but we were able to stop the bleeding and correct it and jump back on them in the fourth.”

(On Isabelle Harrison’s 2nd half)

“She did a great job for them. She was getting a lot of touches in the paint, finishing and one’s. We did a good job of limiting other people’s touches and shot attempts.”

Natalie Achonwa

(On her double double)

“My game particularly, [Erica] Wheeler got on me for having zero rebounds the other day. So that was a big focus of mine to make sure that going and picking up some boards. So that was my approach and my energy today. And then as a team, we were really gritty. We were up by 20 and then they came back in that third quarter, but then we didn’t give up, we didn’t let up. We continued to adjust to the flow of the game and come back and punch back.”

DALLAS QUOTES:

Head Coach Brian Agler

“We had some bad stretches early in the game, especially the first half, early in the third quarter. But we had a group of people come in there and fought back, got back in the game and just could never get over the hump.”

(On Isabelle Harrison)

“She was very energized. You know, her parents were here tonight. Drove up from Nashville to watch her play. What you saw tonight was one of the reasons we wanted her in this trade from Las Vegas, because that’s what we saw in play when she was in San Antonio. So we’re going to keep building on that.”

Isabelle Harrison

“I know we’re better than what we’re showing right now, and it starts in practice. We do a good job in practice but we’re having lapses and I think that comes with having a young team. Coach just said he’s not going to give up on us and we just have to continue to believe in us, believe in our system and buy in.”

(On the first and second half)

“I think we started off kind of lax in the first half, especially on the defensive end. They were getting things that I believe were too easy. We know better how to guard that. But I think in the second half we came out with more of a purpose and started to find more than one or two people to come together and play. And we realized the defensive end was what was important, and I think that’s how we started to bring it down eight.”

Kayla Thornton

(On the first and second half)

“The first half we just kind of relaxed., kind of let them do what they wanted. They didn’t feel us. The second half we had more of a sense of urgency. We were down so we were like, ‘we gotta cut the lead before we get to the fourth quarter’, and so it was just having that sense of urgency. But it started off in the first quarter.”

(On having a young team)

“Yeah, we’re young, but that not an excuse. We have talent in here, but we just gotta keep working each and every day to bring it out. We have great, great, great talent on this team. We just gotta find it, put it together and keep moving forward. And I think we’re on the direction with that.”

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