INDIANAPOLIS — A’ja Wilson scored 17 of her 35 points in the fourth quarter and overtime, helping the Las Vegas Aces beat the winless Indiana Fever 101-92 on Tuesday night.
Las Vegas opened the extra session on an 8-0 run after Indiana closed regulation by scoring eight straight points. The Fever didn’t make their first field goal of overtime until 55.4 seconds remained.
Erica Wheeler’s steal and fast-break layup pulled Indiana to 84-80 with 1:31 left in the fourth. After another Las Vegas turnover, Wheeler made a pull-up jumper in the lane for a two-point deficit and then she drew an offensive foul on Kelsey Plum. Candice Dupree tied it at 84 with 25.9 left and Kayla McBride missed three shots on Las Vegas’ final possession.
McBride scored 18 points for Las Vegas (2-7). Wilson was 16 of 24 from the field and also grabbed 13 rebounds.
Natalie Achonwa had career-highs of 26 points and 15 rebounds for Indiana (0-9), which has lost nine straight games to begin the season for the first time in franchise history. Achonwa’s former coach, Muffet McGraw, at Notre Dame sat courtside. Tiffany Mitchell added 17 points for the Fever, reaching double figures for the eighth time in nine games.
Aces (2-7) vs. Liberty (3-4)
Who: Aces vs. Liberty
When: 4 p.m. Wednesday
Where: Westchester County Arena, White Plains, N.Y.
How To Watch: ESPN3
About the Aces: Rookie A’ja Wilson’s career night propelled the Aces to their first win in almost two weeks. They’ll muster up whatever energy they have on the second night of a back to back against the Liberty.
Interestingly enough, the Aces’ first victory was on the second night of a back to back in which Wilson turned in a dominant 26-point, 12-rebound effort.
Las Vegas coach Bill Laimbeer often has said that Wilson will need to carry the team to victories.
About the Liberty: Laimbeer’s old club is adjusting to new coach Katie Smith, who was on his coaching staff for four years in New York.
Center Tina Charles is one of the WNBA’s top players, averaging 22.3 points and 8.1 rebounds.
Kia Nurse is one of the league’s top rookies, averaging 14.6 points on 43.5 percent shooting, and Shavonte Zellous is good for 10 points per game for the Liberty.
New York averages the fewest possessions per game in the WNBA with 78.1. Laimbeer wants to play fast in Las Vegas and is averaging a league-high 84.7 possessions.
Sam Gordon Review-Journal