By Sydney Gibbs
Five different Atlanta Dream players scored in double-figures Tuesday night to pave the way for their fourth win of the season, defeating the Indiana Fever, 102-90. This is Atlanta’s second win in the last four games.
Courtney Williams and Chennedy Carter led the Dream on the offensive end with 22 points each.
The Fever and the Dream were getting easy shots in transition to start out the opening period –– garnering buckets from inside the paint and three-point range. Those quality shots tied the game up at 27 apiece going into the second quarter.
Atlanta led 43-38 going into halftime, and broke away from Indiana and led by as many as 11 points in the third quarter. Despite only leading by four points heading into the fourth, the Dream played lights out in the final 10 minutes and busted out for a 19-point lead to keep them ahead throughout the remainder.
“I think everyone just came out and played with confidence,” said rookie guard Chennedy Carter. “Everyone played together. We found each other, moved the ball, and we made the game really easy tonight. So, that was the big thing. Those three’s, they were jumping’ from Strick [Shekinna Stricklen] and Glo [Glory Johnson], and I was like, ‘Keep running it. Keep doing it. Keep doing y’all thing,’ because I really want them to get confidence and believe in their selves. So I’m proud of them tonight.”
The Dream’s offense was singing for all four quarters –– finishing beautifully in almost every statistical category. Atlanta shot 53.6 percent, including 10 of 20 from beyond the arc, and went 18-for-22 from the free throw line. Glory Johnson knocked down three three-pointers of her own while Betnijah Laney, Courtney Williams, and Shekinna Stricklen each had two.
Carter and Williams were brilliant, especially in the second half –– both finishing the game with 22 points. Laney added 16 points and dished out four assists. Glory Johnson had an effective night off the bench –– recording 13 points on 4-of-8 shooting and grabbed eight rebounds. Elizabeth Williams also contributed scoring 10.
Everything that could have gone well from the Dream did so in their first game of September.
“We separated, we kept putting downhill pressure on them in transition by setting good screens and by separating on our screens,” said head coach Nicki Collen. “When we touch the paint we’re a good offensive team and we’ve been a pretty good offensive team all year. Where we’ve had struggles is defensively. I’m proud of this group for continuing to battle and continuing to get better. We’re starting to move the pieces around and do a pretty good job.”
Despite their record, Atlanta still has a chance of making it into the WNBA Playoffs if they can improve to the eighth seed.
“One game at a time,” said Collen on Atlanta’s chances of making the Playoffs. “I want somebody else to knock us out, not us eliminate ourselves. We’re not mathematically eliminated and even if there comes a point where we are, we want to take the momentum of this season into next. We may have to win every game but I just firmly believe we’re capable.”