Jun 1, 2024; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Indiana Fever guard Caitlin Clark (22) drives to the basket against the Chicago Sky during a game at Grainbridge Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Michelle Pemberton/INDIANAPOLIS STAR-USA TODAY Sports
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WNBA: Fever defeats Sky at home to win their first game

On Saturday afternoon in Indianapolis, the Indiana Fever defeated the Chicago Sky 71-70 behind 18 points from Kelsey Mitchell, giving them their second win and first at home under Caitlin Clark. Angel Reese and Clark, collegiate rivals, were meeting for the first time on the professional scene. In 37 minutes, Clark finished with 11 points, 8 rebounds, and 6 assists. Before missing her final seven attempts, she made her first two 3-pointers. Reese led Chicago in scoring with eight points on two of nine shots while grabbing thirteen rebounds. NaLyssa Smith contributed 17 points and nine rebounds to the Fever (2-8) victory in their season’s opening Commissioner’s Cup contest. Aliyah Boston finished with 10 points and 8 rebounds after making a critical three-pointer late in the game.

For Chicago (3-4), Chennedy Carter scored a game-high 19 points and six assists off the bench. With 6.6 seconds remaining, Marina Mabrey had an opportunity to tie the game but missed the first of her two free throws. She finished with 15 points and nine rebounds. The Fever played keep-away after Mabrey made the second, and Clark threw the ball into the air to eat up the last second.

Dana Evans scored 12 points for the Sky, while Kamilla Cardoso, the third overall draft choice, made her WNBA debut with 11 points on 5 of 7 shooting and six rebounds. Cardoso’s shoulder ailment kept him out of the Sky’s first six games. In the fourth quarter, Indiana led 64–57 after Clark grabbed a defensive rebound and threw the ball to Erica Wheeler, who then passed it to Mitchell for the basket and a foul. With 3:36 remaining, Clark scored a basket and went one-on-one in the post to increase the margin to 68-59. In response, the Sky scored eight points in a row. Carter stole a pass from Clark and raced to the hoop for a layup. Carter passed to Cardoso for a layup on Chicago’s subsequent possession to trim it to 68–67.

Before the final sequence, Boston defeated Cardoso, her former South Carolina teammate, down low for a critical hoop and foul, bringing the score to 71-67 in favor of the Fever.

Halfway through the opening quarter, the Fever led 16–10 thanks to Clark’s second 3-pointer. After arriving late in the quarter, Cardoso scored her first points of the game with a basket in the closing seconds, cutting Indiana’s advantage to 17–14. After the Sky had taken a 31-26 lead, Mitchell scored her first five points of the game on a fast-break layup and a 3-pointer to level the game. Indiana went on a 9-0 run after that, but Reese’s basket in the closing seconds made the Fever’s advantage only 35-33 at the half. Smith scored the most at the half, with eleven.

Written by schooleiwa

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