Alyssa Thomas scored 18 points, grabbed 11 rebounds and dished out six assists on Friday as the Connecticut Sun spoiled the WNBA debut of Indiana Fever rookie Aliyah Boston with a season-opening 70-61 win in Indianapolis.
The game was the season opener for both teams.
DeWanna Bonner added 19 points for Connecticut, which won its first game under new coach Stephanie White. Brionna Jones chipped in 13 points and nine rebounds before fouling out with 4:06 left. The Sun overcame 31.8 percent field-goal shooting by canning 24 of 32 foul shots (75 percent).
Kelsey Mitchell scored a game-high 20 points for Indiana and Boston produced 15 points and nine rebounds before fouling out with 48 seconds remaining. Foul trouble limited the No. 1 overall draft pick last month to just 24:17 of playing time.
The Fever trailed by 19 late in the third quarter but made it a game. Boston converted a tip-in with 1:44 left in the contest that pulled Indiana within 62-59. However, Thomas drove for a layup and then hit two free throws on the following possession to seal the verdict.
Indiana shot 33.3 percent from the field and coughed up 19 turnovers, leading to 21 points. The Fever were 11 of 19 (57.9 percent) from the foul line.
Neither team could find the range in a brick-filled first half. Connecticut hit only 11 of 37 attempts from the floor (29.7 percent), and Indiana was even worse at 8 of 32 (25 percent). The Fever doubled down on their misery by sinking just 8 of 14 free throws (57.1 percent) and committing 10 turnovers.
The Sun established a working margin in the game’s first 6:09, taking a 12-1 lead on Rebecca Allen’s 3-pointer. Boston tallied Indiana’s first field goal with 3:29 left in the first quarter, one of her few highlights in a first half that saw her pick up three fouls.
Connecticut led by 15 in the second quarter before the Fever put together a little surge, as 10 unanswered points helped them pull within 35-28 at the break.
–Field Level Media
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