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WNBA: Kelsey Mitchell scores 20 as Fever beat Liberty to win second in row

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Five players scored in double figures Friday night as the Indiana Fever won their second straight game following a 12-game losing streak, stopping the New York Liberty 82-69 in Indianapolis.

Kelsey Mitchell scored 20 points and Danielle Robinson added 18 for Indiana (3-16), while Teaira McCowan came off the bench for 15 points and nine rebounds. Tiffany Mitchell and Jantel Lavender each tallied 10 points.

Betnijah Laney scored a game-high 23 points for New York (10-10), but made just 8 of 21 field goal attempts and committed seven of its 20 turnovers. Kylee Shook added 13 points, while Sami Whitcomb and reserve Reshanda Gray each hit for 10.

Liberty point guard Sabrina Ionescu endured a rough night, making just 2 of 7 shots from the field for four points and committing six turnovers. New York canned just 39.4 percent of its field-goal tries, which combined with its miscues to more than offset a 38-32 advantage on the boards.

The Fever sank 46.5 percent of their field-goal tries and coughed up just eight turnovers, a game after committing just a season-low seven in beating Connecticut.

Seeking a season sweep of Indiana, New York sizzled offensively in the first quarter. A good chunk of it was because of Laney, the only WNBA player averaging at least 19 points and five assists per game. Her layup with 48.7 seconds left in the period capped a 13-point quarter and made it 28-23 Liberty.

From that point, the Fever took over on the defensive end, which was ironic because they’ve been the league’s worst defensive team this year. But they held New York to 12 second-quarter points and took a 44-40 lead to the half, as Kelsey Mitchell drove for a layup just before time expired.

Indiana clamped down on the Liberty again in the third period, ceding just 12 points. McCowan’s 3-point play in the last minute gave it a 14-point lead before a Whitcomb 3-pointer pulled New York within 63-52 going to the fourth quarter.

–Field Level Media

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