Cheryl Reeve watched her players exit several holes Tuesday night. Unfortunately, the Lynx eventually found themselves in too much of a hole, and Reeve and company are still on the hunt for their first win this season.
Minnesota came back from a deficit of 11 points at halftime, and again with a seven-point margin to start the fourth quarter, only to see Indiana Fever overcome the stretch on the way to an 82-76 win at Gainbridge Fieldhouse.
“Exactly that,” said Reeve, whose team fell 0-3. “We do good stuff, then we give it back. We get down a little bit and we just don’t have the ability to do the kind of stunts at the moment that run and hold that back.
“When we go down a little bit, we go down further.”
It seemed to be the pattern against fever. After Indiana took a 48–39 halftime lead, Reeve changed the lineup. Rachel Banham, who started the first two games but came off the bench on Tuesday, provided her team with a lift – hitting three third-quarter 3-pointers to help the Lynx tie the score at 54.
“I’m just trying to use every minute,” said Banham, who finished with 14 points and four assists. “I want to be effective somehow. I still need to get better defensively and offensively. But if I can spark any way off the bench, I’m going to do it.
Indiana jumped back to the top 65-58 to start the fourth quarter, but the Lynx again rallied to take a 69-67 lead on another 3-pointer with 7:01 to play by Banham, and Gained a 70-69 lead in a free. Thrown by Jessica Shepard with 5:47 remaining.
From there, however, Fever scored 13 of the final 19 of the game. Minnesota finished the game 32-for-77 (41.6 percent) off the field and was just 4 out of 19 (21.1 percent) behind the 3-point line. The Lynx also turned the ball over 18 times.
Indiana, who improved to 1-2, was 9-for-20 (45 percent) from 3-point range.
“It just came down to execution and stopping at the other end,” said Shepard, who finished with 10 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists, leaving him one assist shy of a triple-double. “Small talk. We gave them too many second chances and some weren’t in the right place on the property. When you try so hard to come back, you have to put in extra effort to get to those stops.”
Sylvia Fowles led the Lynx again on Tuesday, finishing with 26 points and 14 rebounds. Reeve praised his game, but said he was not getting enough help.
“We’re getting Cob Touch,” said Reeve, whose team returns home to host defending champion Chicago Sky at Target Center on Saturday at 7 p.m. “We have players who are better at how they play Those who aren’t helping Sil. That’s the story of this team. There’s only so much Sil can do.”
Forward Angel McCutry, who was suffering from a knee problem, started on Tuesday but the game time was just under seven minutes. Reeve said it was not related to the injury and felt he was playing his best on the court.
“We constantly have a group that comes to the floor and teams score big runs on them,” Reeve said. “Every game we get a swing of 20 points, or a big deficit after being up 11 and next thing you know we’re down nine.
“No one deserves a starting job. We’re going to spend our time tweaking and working and finding the right combination. We felt like the group that was out there, unfortunately we gassed them a bit.” done, but they’re playing the way we want a Lynx team to play.”
Guard Odyssey Sims was off the team on Tuesday. Reeve said she was handling a private matter, but would not comment further.