Oct. 22, 2012
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Indiana Fever won the first WNBA Championship in franchise history at home Sunday with an 87-78 victory over the Minnesota Lynx, the 2011 champions.
Not only was it a great day for the Fever and the city of Indianapolis, but a source of pride for Purdue, as three former Boilermakers were part of the Fever's first WNBA title. Fever head coach Lin Dunn was Purdue's head coach from 1988 until 1996, guiding the Boilermakers to their first NCAA Final Four in 1994. Former Purdue All-American Katie Douglas, the Fever's second-leading scorer was unable to play in the championship series after suffering a severely sprained ankle in the final game of the Eastern Conference finals against Connecticut. Douglas, a 12-year veteran of the league was on the court for the final 3.2 seconds of the game as a tribute to her contributions prior to the final series.
Fever assistant coach Stephanie White is the third member of the 2012 WNBA championship team with Purdue connections. White was a senior All-American and the leading scorer on Purdue's 1999 national championship team. Douglas was her teammate, and although just a sophomore, a starter on that squad. Douglas would go on to earn All-America honors as a junior and senior and led Purdue back to the NCAA title game in 2001.
Throughout the championship run, the Fever maintained a composure that in the title game, enabled them to hit 29-of-31 foul shots and commit just eight turnovers. On Sunday, Indiana jumped out to an early 18-7 lead, gained in part by connecting on seven of its first nine shots. Minnesota would come back to tie the game four times, the final tie with 2:40 remaining in the third period. WNBA finals MVP Tamika Catchings led the way for the Fever with 25 points, eight assists and four rebounds in the championship contest.
A parade to celebrate the Indiana Fever's WNBA championship will be held in downtown Indianapolis on Tuesday at noon. The parade will start on the Monument Circle and travel to the Fever's home court, Bankers Life Fieldhouse.