Candice Dupree and Diana Taurasi combine for a block on Jessica Davenport of the Indiana Fever. (Photo by Ryan Malone, SB Nation Arizona)

Mercury Breaks Indiana Fever In Overtime, 93-89

The Phoenix Mercury survived another poor 2nd quarter with improved effort on the glass and defensive end in the second half. The win puts them at 1-3 on the season.

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Candice Dupree Named Player of the Week For WNBA Western Conference

It's not a small accomplishment for Candice Dupree to win the Player of the Week award for the WNBA Western Conference. Dupree is beat out the likes of Lauren Jackson, Sue Bird, Becky Hammon, Maya Moore, Seimone Augustus, Candace Parker and teammates Diana Taurasi and Penny Taylor.

Here's Candice after her 21 point, 18 rebound performance against Indiana on Sunday.


Candice Dupree with a block during Sunday's Mercury win over the Indiana Fever. Photo by Ryan Malone, SB Nation Arizona

Press Release:

Mercury forward Candice Dupree was named the WNBA Western Conference Player of the Week for regular season games played Monday, June 13 through Sunday, June 19.

On the week, Dupree led the league with 15.0 rebounds per game. She also recorded her third consecutive double-double, the longest such streak of her career, which ties for third in the WNBA this season. Among Western Conference players, she ranked second in blocks (2.0 bpg) and sixth in scoring (19.5 ppg).

Her week was highlighted by setting a franchise record with 18 rebounds and scoring 21 points in a 93-89 victory over the Indiana Fever on June 19. It was the second 20-15 performance of her career, both coming with the Mercury. Dupree also scored 18 points and registered 12 rebounds, along with a block on June 17 against San Antonio.

Tina Charles of the Connecticut Sun earned the award for the Eastern Conference. Other candidates for WNBA Players of the Week were Los Angeles's Ebony Hoffman, Minnesota's Seimone Augustus, San Antonio's Sophia Young, Seattle's Sue Bird, Tulsa's Ivory Latta, and Washington's Nicky Anosike.

The Mercury begins a four-game road trip against San Antonio on Tuesday, June 21. The game will be telecast live on ESPN2 at 7 p.m. The team returns home to face the Chicago Sky on July 1 at 7 p.m. Tickets starting as low as $10 in the lower level are still available. Tickets can be purchased online at, by phone at 602-252-WNBA, at the US Airways Center ticket office and at all Ticketmaster outlets.


Mercury Bounce Back With Rebounding (Gasp!) And Defense (Huh!)

At the end of the first half between the Phoenix Mercury and Indiana Fever on Sunday, the Phoenix defense had held Indiana to 15-38 shooting (39.5%) while connecting on 46% of their own attempts. Indiana was just plus-two in total rebounds but were up 12-4 in second chance points and 19-7 in free throw attempts which gave them held a nine-point lead at the half.

Mercury coach Corey Gaines looked at the half time box score and had a few choice words for his team about the offensive rebounding differential and the team responded. They didn't start making shots (in fact, their percentages dropped) but they did start defending better and they most certainly picked up the rebounding. The result was a grind it out win that Diana Taurasi compared to another important game between these two teams.

"It felt like Game 5 of the Finals. That's how we have to treat every game," Taurasi said.

Candice Dupree who finished with 18 boards for the game, used her nose for the ball and energy around the glass to lift her team and help grind out a 16-14 third quarter with a 6-2 edge on the offensive glass. Dupree had five in the third quarter alone which turned the tide of the game despite the miserable outside shooting from the team (5-28 from three).

Coach Gaines also went to his smaller lineup in fourth quarter and overtime with Kara Braxton watching from the bench. That freed up Dupree to attack in the paint but also put her at a significant disadvantage defending center Jessica Davenport. Davenport had 12 points in the fourth quarter but fouled out early in the overtime which was a big break for the Mercury.

Defensively, the Mercury went to the zone a lot more in the second half and held Indiana 32 points and most importantly, contested the three-point shots. Jeanette Pohlen and Tangela Smith went 7-7 in the first half but 0-2 in the second. Most importantly, Phoenix got key stops late in the close game.

While the Indiana offense isn't nearly as difficult to defend as some others in the league, it's a big improvement to make plays on the defensive end.


Phoenix Mercury Breaks Indiana Fever In Overtime, 93-89

In 2010 the Indiana Fever blew out the Phoenix Mercury in both of their meetings. This year the series between the 2009 WNBA Finalists seems to have returned to previous form. Both teams fought hard and both teams overcame deficits at some point in the game. It went down to the wire with under a minute left and the score tied and stayed that way when the final buzzer sounded on regulation sending the Mercury into their first overtime of the season. The Mercury were able to get the key stops and rebounds needed to win their first game of the season, 93-89

In the final minute of regulation, neither team was able to score on their final possessions and the game came down to a steal by Mercury point guard Temeka Johnson. Johnson was fouled immediately and broke the tie with two free throws to give Phoenix a 82-80 lead with 9.5 seconds to play. Indiana was then once again able to find Jessica Davenport in the post were she took advantage of her mismatch with Candice Dupree and scored a layup to tie the game with 1.9 seconds to play. The Mercury ran a quick play to hit DeWanna Bonner cutting to the basket but her jersey was held out of sight of the officials.

The Fever jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead in overtime but Diana Taurasi put her head down and got to the line for two points. After an exchange of turnovers, Taurasi was fouled shooting behind the arc and tied the game again with her three free throws. Briann January and Marie Ferdinand-Harris exchanged baskets and the game was once again tied (89-89, 36 seconds) after Candice Dupree had her shot blocked by Tammy Sutton-Brown. The Mercury got a steal and Taurasi got the the line again for two more to give Phoenix a two-point lead. 

On their final possession, Catchings got free but missed a layup that would have tied the game. The Mercury rebounded the ball and were intentionally fouled to put the game out of reach with 8.5 seconds to go.

Candice Dupree led the Mercury comeback with her furious energy on the glass in the second half. She finished with 21 points and 18 rebounds (13 in the second half). Diana Taurasi finished with 32 points on 10-23 shooting which included seven points in overtime, all from the line.

Jessica Davenport led the Fever with 20 points off the bench. Katie Douglas went down in the first quarter with a lower back injury and didn't return.

More to follow. 

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