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FSM Essential Recap: Aces vs. Fever – Game 7

Franchise Sports Media

Las Vegas Aces (5-2) | Indiana Fever (1-7)

 

 

After blowing out the Indiana Fever 113-77 on Friday, the Las Vegas Aces would deal with a more focused fever team in the second game of this mini-series at Michelob Ultra Arena. However, Vegas raced out to an early lead and never took their foot off the gas en route to a 101-78 victory.

 

RECAP:

 

Aces vs Fever
Photo Credit: Las Vegas Aces

Sunday’s afternoon match between the Aces and the Fever started with some offensive punch. For the Aces, this was no different than Friday night’s game in which they hung a franchise-best 113 points on the board. Indiana got off to a brief 6-2 lead behind the tandem of Kelsey Mitchell and Tiffany Mitchell, but Vegas struck back quickly. Las Vegas center, Liz Cambage, had an impressive start defensively that really got the Aces going on offense. She put together three straight stops at the rim, including two blocked shots, to get Vegas out and running in transition — running the floor for a layup of her own, and then pushing the pace herself and hitting A’ja Wilson for a transition layup. From there, Las Vegas really took off. Chelsea Gray immediately found Dearica Hamby streaking to the rim for consecutive baskets. And as the Fever offense struggled to produce, the Aces kept running. Wilson and Jackie Young added to the fireworks, and Vegas went into the second quarter with a 32-15 lead after a late Chelsea Gray mid-ranger pullup.

Quarter No. 2’s offensive attack slowed down slightly for both teams as the two combined for only 11 points over the first four minutes. Rookie guard Kysre Gondrezick put in a tongue left-handed floater along the baseline in the opening moments of the quarter, but then the Fever offense had a hard time. On the other end, Vegas slowed it down and got the ball to Cambage — who the Fever had no answer for. Yet, even with that, Indiana hung around — much like the second quarter of Friday’s game.

Tierra McGowan crashed the offensive glass for putbacks, Jantel Lavender hit an uncontested middy, and Kelsey Mitchell got downhill successfully and finished at the left side of the rim — putting their deficit at 15 points. Vegas took a timeout to get settled down and answered with two catch-and-shoot threes courtesy of Riquna Williams and Dearica Hamby. Kelsey Mitchell would score the Fever’s final two points of the half as her fast-break layup with seconds to go and trim the Aces’ lead to 48-29 at halftime.

Aces vs Fever
Photo Credit: WNBA

The two team’s offenses found themselves a bit to begin the third, in large part due to the amount of fouling that was going on — although Riquna Williams and Danielle Robinson scored a couple of field goals for their respective teams. Both squads earned some free points at the line before a media break brought the score to 59-40 mid-way through the quarter.

Vegas would put together a 9-2 run over the next two minutes and change with every Ace on the floor getting a hand in on the action. The Aces would hold the Fever to just six points over the final half of the quarter, and they’d take a 72-46 lead into the final frame.

As the fourth quarter began with the Aces having built yet another 20+ point lead over Indiana, much of the final frame featured the reserve players for both teams. Newly signed Ace, Joyner Holmes entered the game for the first time to a loud ovation from the home crowd. She drilled her first basket from the elbow and followed it up with two three-pointers shortly after. Riquna Williams added to her scoring total while Indiana’s young talents, Victoria Vivians and Kysre Gondrezick, provided the offense for the Fever. Ji-Su Park knocked down two free throws in the closing moments of the game to put the Aces over the 100-point mark for the second straight game. Las Vegas cruised to a 101-78 victory.

 

POSITIVES:

 

As was the case in many of the Aces’ wins thus far, they took an early lead and controlled the game from there on out.

Defense – For as great as the Aces’ offense has been over the past games, their defense has been just as spectacular. They allowed just 29 points in the first half of Sunday’s game against the Fever and forced seven turnovers.

Not Fouling –  I guess this could go hand-in-hand with the great defense they displayed, but Vegas did a really good job of guarding without fouling. During Friday night’s match, the Aces gave Indiana 24 free-throw attempts. On Sunday, that number was much lower at just 11.

 

 

 

NEGATIVES:

 

The Aces checked a lot of boxes in their third straight victory, in a game in which they didn’t have many flaws.

Turnovers – just nitpicking here, but Las Vegas ended this game with 11 turnovers. That’s not a crazy amount, but in tighter games, they’ll want to keep that number in single digits if possible.

 

The Aces head to Connecticut to avenge a loss to the Sun on Tuesday, June 1st. Follow the action live on My LVTV, and ESPN3 at 4:00 p.m., and remember to check back for the next recap.

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-Cole Huff– Franchise Sports Media

Follow Cole on Twitter @ColeHoops

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