An explosion in the third quarter of Indiana pushed fever beyond Chicago Sky

With 10 seconds left and one point ahead of Fever, NaLyssa Smith went on to take on Emma Meesseman for a jump ball at Sky’s land end.

While coach Carlos Knox put a calm face on his team, especially the rookies, his heart was definitely racing. But he remained calm, chatting with the rookies through their locations, how to set up and where to get the ball.

But the players on the bench at Fever had their feelings written on their faces. Indiana struggled from a 13-point lead in the first half by scoring a season-high 35 points in the third quarter.

As Indiana waited for the referee to throw the ball, Danielle Robinson and Tiffany Mitchell had smiles on their faces. Queen Igbo was biting her nails, staring at the court as Emma Cannon wrapped her face in a towel, her eyes closed to the ball.

When the ball went up, Smith sent it forward toward Lexi Hull, who was able to deliver it to Victoria Vivians, drawing the foul.

Nelissa Smith of Indiana shoots during the warm-up as the Indiana Fever host the Chicago Sky in their pre-season game at Ginbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis on April 30, 2022.

Vivian divided the shots, then with 7.8 seconds left, Fever broke into the defense, forcing Courtney Vanderslot to waste shots and winning 89-87.

“It was a thrill,” Cannon said. “A lot of our rookies were on the court and we wanted to make sure they were in the right places and we knew what to do with the ball if you went here or you went there. Those moments in those games are special because a lot of the games don’t show up at that moment, that’s a hit or a pit stop. So it was a great learning point for everyone and it was something special for us to win at home.”