By: Doug Feinberg, AP Basketball Writer
Airport delays forced the postponement of Saturday night’s WNBA game between the Indiana Fever and Connecticut Sun.
Indiana played in Washington on Friday night and was set to travel to Hartford, Connecticut, on Saturday morning. The Fever said the team’s commercial flight was held on the tarmac for nearly two hours because of weather and mechanical problems before finally returning to the gate.
The Fever could not make it to Connecticut for the 7 p.m. EDT start, and the league agreed to the postponement. The WNBA and the teams are working on a makeup date.
“It was out of our control,” Indiana Fever coach Stephanie White said by phone Saturday. “The main priority is our players and their health. It would have been difficult to have them prepared and ready to play a game if we showed up right before tip after a long bus or train ride.”
White said most of the players were sleeping and didn’t realize they weren’t in Connecticut until they were told to leave the plane. They had been on board more than two hours.
“It was a crazy travel day,” Fever guard Briann January said. “You have a late game last night and for myself and my teammates it takes awhile to wind down and get your body calmed down again. We got up at 6 this morning to leave to head to airport. Everyone is exhausted. I was knocked out on the plane sitting there.”
Indiana (8-7) lost to Washington 68-50 on Friday night. The Fever will now stay in Washington an extra day before flying out to San Antonio for Tuesday’s game with the Stars.
“It’s always nice when you can get a day or two of rest, but we have a bitter taste and it’s nice to have a game the next day to try and work that out,” White said. “It’s six of one, half dozen of the other.”
January laughed trying to recall if this had ever happened to her before.
“We were joking around about that, something that would happen in AAU ball, get on plane and go play,” she said. “We’re not as young as we used to be, and at this level you should be able to perform at your peak performance level.”
With Saturday night’s game postponed, Connecticut — 7-6 and losers of five straight — is taking the train to Washington for Sunday’s game against the Mystics. Originally, the Sun were going to fly Sunday morning for that night’s game.
The two teams may bump into each other Saturday night because they are staying at the same hotel in D.C.
“I’m sure we’ll cross paths tonight and laugh about it,” January said.
It’s not the first time a WNBA game has been postponed. In 2008, Sacramento was supposed to play at Houston, but the game was postponed because of Hurricane Ike.
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