Angel McCoughtry came into the game hobbled but she rose the occasion when the Atlanta Dream needed her the most. McCoughtry's three-pointer with 8.8 seconds in double overtime was the difference in a 90-88 Atlanta win over the Indiana Fever.
McCoughtry didn't start because of a leg injury that was heavily wrapped. She didn't appear to have the same burst of speed in the open court but she made every play down the stretch to get the win. Nine of her 27 points came in the extra sessions. She made 9-15 shots, was 7-8 from the free throw line, handed out five assists and also had six steals on the defensive end of the floor.
Overall the game was a sloppy contest with both teams combining for 52 turnovers. Part of that was due to both Atlanta and Indiana's attacking defensive styles but a lot of it was also just sloppy play. That was clearly on display in the final play of regulation where a Shoni Schimmel turnover led to a run out and a missed layup by Karima Christmas.
Plenty of Louisville fans were in attendance to see Schimmel who didn't disappoint as she recorded the first double-double of her career with 17 points and 10 assists. However, her seven turnovers reminds everyone that she is still a rookie and there is room for improvement. Still its doubtful that anyone could have anticipated a better start to her career.
Erika de Souza finished with 17 points and nine rebounds for the Dream while Sancho Lyttle put in work on the glass with 10 points and a game-high 21 rebounds.
Rooke Natasha Howard went head-to-head with McCoughtry in overtime and led the Fever with 21 points, six rebounds and three assists. However, her 1-4 shooting from the free throw line helped keep the door open for the Dream late. As a team Indiana was just 10-19 from the free throw line and those were some costly misses down the stretch and in overtime.
Briann January went 4-5 from three-point range and finished with 20 points and five assists. Eriana Larkins battled with Lyttle and de Souza all game long and finished with a double-double of her own with 17 points and 13 rebounds.
Atlanta begins the season with a pair of gritty wins and now has a week off to get healthy and to continue to get acclimated to head coach Michael Cooper's system.