The Noelle Quinn head coaching era began with a win thanks to a determined Breanna Stewart who scored a game-high 28 points and present Quinn with the game ball after the victory. The victory was not your typical grab the rebound and flyer down the court Storm game. The Fever strategy of slowing down the Storm fast break made for a disjointed slow-paced game.
WIN IS ALL THAT MATTERS
For Quinn the Storms first African American female head coach the mission was to win the game at any cost.
The Fever bolted to a 5-0 lead to start the game before two free throws by Stewart stabilized the Storm. A 7-0 run by the Storm saw them take the lead and finish the quarter with a 25-16 lead. Stewart led the Storm charge with 11 points. The Storm stretched the lead to twelve points in the second quarter on a Stewart bucket to 27-39 with four minutes left before the half. The Fever finished the quarter with an 11-4 run courtesy of six points from Tiffany Mitchell. Despite the cold shooting down the stretch, the Storm went into halftime with a 38-43 lead.
SECOND HALF FREE THROW MARCH
The Storm picked up their defensive intensity in the second half and continued their parade to the free-throw line and marched to a relatively easy win despite the Fever’s attempt to slow the game down. The Storm made 21 of 24 free throws a sizable advantage over the Fever who made 11 of 14 and were unable to muster any offense down the stretch.
- The Storm shot a season-high 50% from 3-point range (11-22), including 5-of-6 in the fourth quarter. Jewell Loyd was 4-of-7 for the game, and Stewart connected on 3-of-6.
- Seattle also enjoyed a solid night at the free throw line, hitting 21-of-24 (87.5%) including its first 15-straight.
- The Storm held its second-consecutive opponent below 40% shooting as Indiana connected on just 39.2% (29-74) from the field. (Minnesota shot 37.3% last Friday.)
- The Storm nearly hit right on their WNBA-best average of 21.8 assists per game with 22. Sue Bird recorded a team-high eight, hitting that mark for the third time this season.
- Seattle also leads the WNBA in fast break points at 16.8 per game, collecting 19 in tonight’s game.
- Mercedes Russell collected a season-high seven rebounds in the first 4:39 of the game and finished with 11 in the contest.
- Breanna Stewart led all scorers with 28 points, hitting 8-of-17 from the field, 3-of-6 from three-point range and 9-of-11 from the free throw line. She added six rebounds, three assists, two steals and two blocks.
- The 16 points scored by Indiana in the first quarter were the least allowed by the. Returning from halftime, the Fever only scored 14 points in the third quarter, matching the previous low allowed vs MIN (5/28).
- With the Storm clinging to a 64-57 lead early in the fourth quarter and Indiana rallying, Bird checked back in and factored into 13 of Seattle’s final 24 points, scoring seven and assisting on a pair of threes. She finished with 12 points and eight assists overall.
- Eight of nine Fever players scored 7+ points, with Teaira McCowan and Jessica Breland scoring 12 each.
- McCowan also added 14 rebounds to finish with a double-double.
- Lindsay Allen had a productive 19½ minutes off the bench with seven points on 3-of-3 shooting and a team-high six assists.