INDIANAPOLIS, IND. – SEPT. 1, 2016 – The New York Liberty fell to the Indiana Fever 98-77 on Thursday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Tina Charles led the way for the Liberty, notching her 16th double-double of the season, finishing with a team-high 21 points, to go along with 11 rebounds and six assists.
The Liberty were without Tanisha Wright (knee), Kiah Stokes (hip), and Shoni Schimmel (concussion). For Wright, it was her first game not in the starting lineup since she joined New York prior to the 2015 season; she had started the previous 61 games for the Liberty.
The Fever jumped out to a big first quarter lead thanks to a blazing hot shooting start. Indiana hit its first five 3-point attempts and was shooting 11-of-16 from the field (.688). The Fever pulled ahead 31-14 on a Shenise Johnson trey, and the advantage hit 40-18 at the end of the opening period.
The 40 first quarter points tied a WNBA regular season record for most points in any period, and marked the end of an offensive drought the Fever had been suffering through since the season restart, averaging just 67.0 ppg in their last two games.
The hot shooting continued into the 2nd quarter as Indiana expanded its lead to 55-31 on a Tamika Catchings triple, which made it 9-of-11 from beyond the arc to open the game for the Fever.
After falling behind 78-46 midway through the third, New York finished with a flourish, closing out the period on a 15-3 run to make it an 81-61 game heading into the final 10 minutes. Epiphanny Prince capped the spurt, sinking a pull-up 10-footer with just 0.3 on the clock.
New York would pull within 15 late in the fourth but ultimately the big early deficit was too much to overcome. After facing that 22-point disadvantage through the 1st quarter, the Liberty outscored Indiana 59-58 the rest of the way.
Making her first start since the second game of the season, Brittany Boyd also finished in double figures with 10 points, a career-high 8 rebounds, and 6 assists. Rebecca Allen made her first-career start and scored 7 points for New York.
Shenise Johnson came off the bench to lead Indiana with a season-high 21 points on 3-of-5 shooting from long distance.
The Liberty returns home on Saturday, Sept. 3, when it hosts the Phoenix Mercury at Madison Square Garden. Tipoff is scheduled for 6 p.m.
• The Liberty were without Tanisha Wright (knee), Kiah Stokes (hip), and Shoni Schimmel (concussion). Schimmel missed her 2nd straight game.
• Tanisha Wright had started every game for New York since signing prior to the start of the 2015 season, 61 in a row prior to Thursday night.
• Rebecca Allen made her 1st career start and finished with 7 points.
• The Fever tied a WNBA record for points in a quarter with 40 in the first quarter, the fourth team to do so.
• The season series between New York and Indiana is tied 2-2. Indiana is the only team New York will play four times this season.