After the second quarter, anyone new to women's basketball might not have recognized the Mercury's two star shooters, Taurasi and Pondexter. Taurasi went 2 for 9 in the field-goal department and 1 for 4 in three-point attempts by halftime, and she uncharacteristically got colder as the night wore on (she would ultimately end the game making only 9 of 32 shots). But thanks largely to Penny Taylor's 14 points, the Mercury were only trailing the Fever 45-48 at the end of the first half.
But the Merc continued their downward trend in the third quarter, missing shots left and right. Taurasi and Pondexter never seemed to find their rhythm or their shots, as Pondexter went 2 for 9 and Taurasi went 4 of 16 for field goals. Tangela Smith scored 10 points, but the loss of Penny Taylor, who scored 23 points in game one and went down with a "lip laceration" three-plus minutes into the third quarter, hit the Mercury hard. The quarter ended with the Mercury trailing yet again, 63-77.
The Mercury attempted a comeback late in the fourth, with Pondexter nailing a three to shrink the Fever lead to nine. But the Mercury could never really gain momentum. The Fever took game two, 93-84.
In the end, Taurasi scored 20 points for the Mercury, near her usual range. Temeka Johnson and Penny Taylor each scored 14, with Pondexter and Tangela Smith both scoring 12. On the Fever end, Tamika Catchings was the high scorer, with 19 points. Ebony Hoffman and former ASU player Briann January each scored 16.
Sunday's game three will be broadcast on ESPN2 from Indianapolis at 1 p.m.
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