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Jewell Loyd scores 32 before sellout of 18,000, Seattle holds off Caitlin Clark and Fever 85-83

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Jewell Loyd scores 32 before sellout of 18,000,  Seattle holds off Caitlin Clark and Fever 85-83
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Jewell Loyd scores 32 before sellout of 18,000, Seattle holds off Caitlin Clark and Fever 85-83

2024-05-23 21:33 Last Updated At:21:41

SEATTLE (AP) — The decisive losses Caitlin Clark and the Indiana Fever endured to start the WNBA season were easier to handle than the last two setbacks that were decided by a total of six points.

Jewell Loyd scored 21 of her 32 points in the first half, Sami Whitcomb scored all 10 of her points in the fourth quarter, and the Seattle Storm held off Clark and the Fever 85-83 on Wednesday night, two days after Indiana's 88-84 loss to the Connecticut Sun.

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Indiana Fever guard Caitlin Clark, right, signs autographs before the team's WNBA basketball game against the Seattle Storm, Wednesday, May 22, 2024, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

SEATTLE (AP) — The decisive losses Caitlin Clark and the Indiana Fever endured to start the WNBA season were easier to handle than the last two setbacks that were decided by a total of six points.

Indiana Fever guard Caitlin Clark (22) drives as Seattle Storm guard Nika Muhl (1) defends during the second half of a WNBA basketball game Wednesday, May 22, 2024, in Seattle. The Storm won 85-83. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

Indiana Fever guard Caitlin Clark (22) drives as Seattle Storm guard Nika Muhl (1) defends during the second half of a WNBA basketball game Wednesday, May 22, 2024, in Seattle. The Storm won 85-83. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

Indiana Fever forward Aliyah Boston drives as Seattle Storm forward Nneka Ogwumike defends during the second half of a WNBA basketball game Wednesday, May 22, 2024, in Seattle. The Storm won 85-83. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

Indiana Fever forward Aliyah Boston drives as Seattle Storm forward Nneka Ogwumike defends during the second half of a WNBA basketball game Wednesday, May 22, 2024, in Seattle. The Storm won 85-83. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

A young fan holds a sign for Indiana Fever guard Caitlin Clark during the second half of the Fever's WNBA basketball game against the Seattle Storm, Wednesday, May 22, 2024, in Seattle. The Storm won 85-83. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

A young fan holds a sign for Indiana Fever guard Caitlin Clark during the second half of the Fever's WNBA basketball game against the Seattle Storm, Wednesday, May 22, 2024, in Seattle. The Storm won 85-83. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

Indiana Fever guard Caitlin Clark (22) is defended by Seattle Storm guard Jewell Loyd (24) during the second half of a WNBA basketball game Wednesday, May 22, 2024, in Seattle. The Storm won 85-83. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

Indiana Fever guard Caitlin Clark (22) is defended by Seattle Storm guard Jewell Loyd (24) during the second half of a WNBA basketball game Wednesday, May 22, 2024, in Seattle. The Storm won 85-83. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

Seattle Storm guard Nika Muhl, left, and Indiana Fever guard Caitlin Clark greet each other following a WNBA basketball game, Wednesday, May 22, 2024, in Seattle. The Storm won 85-83. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

Seattle Storm guard Nika Muhl, left, and Indiana Fever guard Caitlin Clark greet each other following a WNBA basketball game, Wednesday, May 22, 2024, in Seattle. The Storm won 85-83. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

Seattle Storm guard Nika Muhl, left, and Indiana Fever guard Caitlin Clark pose for photos following a WNBA basketball game Wednesday, May 22, 2024, in Seattle. The Storm won 85-83. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

Seattle Storm guard Nika Muhl, left, and Indiana Fever guard Caitlin Clark pose for photos following a WNBA basketball game Wednesday, May 22, 2024, in Seattle. The Storm won 85-83. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

Seattle Storm forward Nneka Ogwumike (3) moves the ball as Indiana Fever center Temi Fagbenle, left, and guard Caitlin Clark defend during the second half of a WNBA basketball game Wednesday, May 22, 2024, in Seattle. The Storm won 85-83. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

Seattle Storm forward Nneka Ogwumike (3) moves the ball as Indiana Fever center Temi Fagbenle, left, and guard Caitlin Clark defend during the second half of a WNBA basketball game Wednesday, May 22, 2024, in Seattle. The Storm won 85-83. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

Indiana Fever guard Caitlin Clark (22) drives as Seattle Storm guard Nika Muhl defends during the second half of a WNBA basketball game, Wednesday, May 22, 2024, in Seattle. The Storm won 85-83. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

Indiana Fever guard Caitlin Clark (22) drives as Seattle Storm guard Nika Muhl defends during the second half of a WNBA basketball game, Wednesday, May 22, 2024, in Seattle. The Storm won 85-83. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

Indiana Fever guard Caitlin Clark (22) drives as Seattle Storm guard Jewell Loyd (24) defends during the second half of a WNBA basketball game, Wednesday, May 22, 2024, in Seattle. The Storm won 85-83. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

Indiana Fever guard Caitlin Clark (22) drives as Seattle Storm guard Jewell Loyd (24) defends during the second half of a WNBA basketball game, Wednesday, May 22, 2024, in Seattle. The Storm won 85-83. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

Indiana Fever guard Caitlin Clark is defended by Seattle Storm center Ezi Magbegor (13) during the first half of a WNBA basketball game Wednesday, May 22, 2024, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

Indiana Fever guard Caitlin Clark is defended by Seattle Storm center Ezi Magbegor (13) during the first half of a WNBA basketball game Wednesday, May 22, 2024, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

Indiana Fever guard Caitlin Clark signs autographs before the team's WNBA basketball game against the Seattle Storm, Wednesday, May 22, 2024, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

Indiana Fever guard Caitlin Clark signs autographs before the team's WNBA basketball game against the Seattle Storm, Wednesday, May 22, 2024, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

Seattle Storm guard Nika Muhl warms up for the team's WNBA basketball game against the Indiana Fever, Wednesday, May 22, 2024, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

Seattle Storm guard Nika Muhl warms up for the team's WNBA basketball game against the Indiana Fever, Wednesday, May 22, 2024, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

Indiana Fever guard Kelsey Mitchell, right, drives against Seattle Storm guard Jewell Loyd (24) during the first half of a WNBA basketball game Wednesday, May 22, 2024, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

Indiana Fever guard Kelsey Mitchell, right, drives against Seattle Storm guard Jewell Loyd (24) during the first half of a WNBA basketball game Wednesday, May 22, 2024, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

Seattle Storm guard Jewell Loyd (24) drives against Indiana Fever guard Kristy Wallace (3) during the first half of a WNBA basketball game Wednesday, May 22, 2024, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

Seattle Storm guard Jewell Loyd (24) drives against Indiana Fever guard Kristy Wallace (3) during the first half of a WNBA basketball game Wednesday, May 22, 2024, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

Indiana Fever guard Caitlin Clark (22) dribbles the ball as Seattle Storm guard Sami Whitcomb (32) defends during the first half of a WNBA basketball game Wednesday, May 22, 2024, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

Indiana Fever guard Caitlin Clark (22) dribbles the ball as Seattle Storm guard Sami Whitcomb (32) defends during the first half of a WNBA basketball game Wednesday, May 22, 2024, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

Indiana Fever guard Caitlin Clark (22) points downcourt as Seattle Storm forward Nneka Ogwumike (3) runs nearby during the first half of a WNBA basketball game Wednesday, May 22, 2024, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

Indiana Fever guard Caitlin Clark (22) points downcourt as Seattle Storm forward Nneka Ogwumike (3) runs nearby during the first half of a WNBA basketball game Wednesday, May 22, 2024, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

“These two definitely hurt the most. We're what, six points away from being 2-3 instead of 0-5,” Clark said. “It's just that close and there's so many instances going back and watching the film and little things you can easily fix and clean up that would go a really long way.”

Loyd, last year’s leading scorer in the WNBA, shook off a sluggish start to the season to post the 22nd 30-point game of her career. Loyd and Whitcomb combined for 18 of Seattle’s 27 points in the fourth quarter, and the Storm (2-3) needed all those points to hold off a late rally and keep the Fever (0-5) winless.

“I just kind of cleared my head. I was in a good headspace coming into today's game. ... I just kind of reset and changed my routine a little bit and then caught a little rhythm,” Loyd said.

Clark finished with a team-high 21 points two days after rolling her left ankle in the home loss to Connecticut. She struggled early against Seattle, but sparked a third-quarter rally and helped give the Fever a 60-58 lead going into the fourth.

While most of the sellout crowd of 18,343 — the largest for a game in Seattle — wore the green and gold of the Storm, there was a healthy smattering of Indiana and Iowa No. 22 jerseys and shirts for Clark.

The third quarter was a stretch where she looked like the Clark everyone came to know collegiately at Iowa when she was the national player of the year.

“It's still a process of learning when to be assertive,” Clark said. “Sometimes it's hard when you start off a little bit cold.”

Seattle led by as many as seven early in the fourth quarter. Clark’s three free throws with 1:50 left pulled the Fever within 79-77, but Seattle got baskets from Jordan Horston and Ezi Magbegor on consecutive possessions.

The final minute was filled with debated calls and multiple officials' reviews. The Fever pulled within 84-83 after two free throws by Clark. Seattle committed a turnover with 11 seconds left, giving Indiana a chance to win.

Clark stumbled after the inbound pass and a jump ball with 4.7 seconds left between Aliyah Boston and Horston was tipped to Nneka Ogwumike, who hit one of two free throws. Indiana was out of timeouts and could only get Boston’s desperation attempt at the buzzer that was off line.

Ogwumike added 22 points after missing the past two games with an ankle injury.

“Today was one of those days where I knew I had to push through some things,” Ogwumike said. “I just pride myself on being efficient in every way.”

Clark put on a show the last time she was in the building during the 2023 NCAA Women’s Tournament when she helped lead Iowa to the Final Four, including a triple-double in the regional final.

On Wednesday, Clark missed her first four shots before scoring on a baseline drive early in the second quarter. Her first 3-pointer didn’t come until midway through the third quarter and she finished 6 of 16 shooting, including 2 for 8 from behind the arc.

Seattle rookie Nika Muhl made her debut for Seattle after missing the first four games of the season due to visa issues. Muhl checked in late in the third quarter to a rousing ovation, only to see Clark knock down a 3 over her.

UP NEXT

Fever: At Los Angeles on Friday.

Storm: Hosts Washington on Saturday.

WNBA: https://apnews.com/hub/wnba-basketball

Indiana Fever guard Caitlin Clark, right, signs autographs before the team's WNBA basketball game against the Seattle Storm, Wednesday, May 22, 2024, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

Indiana Fever guard Caitlin Clark, right, signs autographs before the team's WNBA basketball game against the Seattle Storm, Wednesday, May 22, 2024, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

Indiana Fever guard Caitlin Clark (22) drives as Seattle Storm guard Nika Muhl (1) defends during the second half of a WNBA basketball game Wednesday, May 22, 2024, in Seattle. The Storm won 85-83. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

Indiana Fever guard Caitlin Clark (22) drives as Seattle Storm guard Nika Muhl (1) defends during the second half of a WNBA basketball game Wednesday, May 22, 2024, in Seattle. The Storm won 85-83. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

Indiana Fever forward Aliyah Boston drives as Seattle Storm forward Nneka Ogwumike defends during the second half of a WNBA basketball game Wednesday, May 22, 2024, in Seattle. The Storm won 85-83. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

Indiana Fever forward Aliyah Boston drives as Seattle Storm forward Nneka Ogwumike defends during the second half of a WNBA basketball game Wednesday, May 22, 2024, in Seattle. The Storm won 85-83. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

A young fan holds a sign for Indiana Fever guard Caitlin Clark during the second half of the Fever's WNBA basketball game against the Seattle Storm, Wednesday, May 22, 2024, in Seattle. The Storm won 85-83. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

A young fan holds a sign for Indiana Fever guard Caitlin Clark during the second half of the Fever's WNBA basketball game against the Seattle Storm, Wednesday, May 22, 2024, in Seattle. The Storm won 85-83. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

Indiana Fever guard Caitlin Clark (22) is defended by Seattle Storm guard Jewell Loyd (24) during the second half of a WNBA basketball game Wednesday, May 22, 2024, in Seattle. The Storm won 85-83. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

Indiana Fever guard Caitlin Clark (22) is defended by Seattle Storm guard Jewell Loyd (24) during the second half of a WNBA basketball game Wednesday, May 22, 2024, in Seattle. The Storm won 85-83. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

Seattle Storm guard Nika Muhl, left, and Indiana Fever guard Caitlin Clark greet each other following a WNBA basketball game, Wednesday, May 22, 2024, in Seattle. The Storm won 85-83. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

Seattle Storm guard Nika Muhl, left, and Indiana Fever guard Caitlin Clark greet each other following a WNBA basketball game, Wednesday, May 22, 2024, in Seattle. The Storm won 85-83. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

Seattle Storm guard Nika Muhl, left, and Indiana Fever guard Caitlin Clark pose for photos following a WNBA basketball game Wednesday, May 22, 2024, in Seattle. The Storm won 85-83. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

Seattle Storm guard Nika Muhl, left, and Indiana Fever guard Caitlin Clark pose for photos following a WNBA basketball game Wednesday, May 22, 2024, in Seattle. The Storm won 85-83. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

Seattle Storm forward Nneka Ogwumike (3) moves the ball as Indiana Fever center Temi Fagbenle, left, and guard Caitlin Clark defend during the second half of a WNBA basketball game Wednesday, May 22, 2024, in Seattle. The Storm won 85-83. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

Seattle Storm forward Nneka Ogwumike (3) moves the ball as Indiana Fever center Temi Fagbenle, left, and guard Caitlin Clark defend during the second half of a WNBA basketball game Wednesday, May 22, 2024, in Seattle. The Storm won 85-83. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

Indiana Fever guard Caitlin Clark (22) drives as Seattle Storm guard Nika Muhl defends during the second half of a WNBA basketball game, Wednesday, May 22, 2024, in Seattle. The Storm won 85-83. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

Indiana Fever guard Caitlin Clark (22) drives as Seattle Storm guard Nika Muhl defends during the second half of a WNBA basketball game, Wednesday, May 22, 2024, in Seattle. The Storm won 85-83. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

Indiana Fever guard Caitlin Clark (22) drives as Seattle Storm guard Jewell Loyd (24) defends during the second half of a WNBA basketball game, Wednesday, May 22, 2024, in Seattle. The Storm won 85-83. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

Indiana Fever guard Caitlin Clark (22) drives as Seattle Storm guard Jewell Loyd (24) defends during the second half of a WNBA basketball game, Wednesday, May 22, 2024, in Seattle. The Storm won 85-83. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

Indiana Fever guard Caitlin Clark is defended by Seattle Storm center Ezi Magbegor (13) during the first half of a WNBA basketball game Wednesday, May 22, 2024, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

Indiana Fever guard Caitlin Clark is defended by Seattle Storm center Ezi Magbegor (13) during the first half of a WNBA basketball game Wednesday, May 22, 2024, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

Indiana Fever guard Caitlin Clark signs autographs before the team's WNBA basketball game against the Seattle Storm, Wednesday, May 22, 2024, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

Indiana Fever guard Caitlin Clark signs autographs before the team's WNBA basketball game against the Seattle Storm, Wednesday, May 22, 2024, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

Seattle Storm guard Nika Muhl warms up for the team's WNBA basketball game against the Indiana Fever, Wednesday, May 22, 2024, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

Seattle Storm guard Nika Muhl warms up for the team's WNBA basketball game against the Indiana Fever, Wednesday, May 22, 2024, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

Indiana Fever guard Kelsey Mitchell, right, drives against Seattle Storm guard Jewell Loyd (24) during the first half of a WNBA basketball game Wednesday, May 22, 2024, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

Indiana Fever guard Kelsey Mitchell, right, drives against Seattle Storm guard Jewell Loyd (24) during the first half of a WNBA basketball game Wednesday, May 22, 2024, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

Seattle Storm guard Jewell Loyd (24) drives against Indiana Fever guard Kristy Wallace (3) during the first half of a WNBA basketball game Wednesday, May 22, 2024, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

Seattle Storm guard Jewell Loyd (24) drives against Indiana Fever guard Kristy Wallace (3) during the first half of a WNBA basketball game Wednesday, May 22, 2024, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

Indiana Fever guard Caitlin Clark (22) dribbles the ball as Seattle Storm guard Sami Whitcomb (32) defends during the first half of a WNBA basketball game Wednesday, May 22, 2024, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

Indiana Fever guard Caitlin Clark (22) dribbles the ball as Seattle Storm guard Sami Whitcomb (32) defends during the first half of a WNBA basketball game Wednesday, May 22, 2024, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

Indiana Fever guard Caitlin Clark (22) points downcourt as Seattle Storm forward Nneka Ogwumike (3) runs nearby during the first half of a WNBA basketball game Wednesday, May 22, 2024, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

Indiana Fever guard Caitlin Clark (22) points downcourt as Seattle Storm forward Nneka Ogwumike (3) runs nearby during the first half of a WNBA basketball game Wednesday, May 22, 2024, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)

TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) — Leading opposition parties in Tunisia asserted Wednesday that politically motivated arrests and gag orders are creating impossible conditions for holding democratic elections later this year.

Members of the National Salvation Front, a coalition of secular and Islamist opponents to President Kais Saied, said a government crackdown on opponents had created a climate of fear, making campaign requirements like signature-gathering nearly impossible.

“There is a clear message behind all these targeted arrests,” Riadh Chaibi, a leading member of the Islamist party Ennahda, told a press conference in the capital of the North African nation.

He said the coalition had counted more than 300 people currently imprisoned on political charges.

Leaders of Ennahda and other parties in the Front described recent arrests and limitations on those planning to challenge Saied a “suffocation in terms of freedoms, human rights and basic rights for Tunisians.”

They said they have little choice but to boycott the October presidential election, something that many parties had previously announced in protest of the country’s authoritarian drift.

“Authorities seem to find comfort in this boycott, allowing them to move forward with the electoral process without any political opposition,” Chaibi said.

“There can’t be political stability without opposition,” he added.

For months, many of Tunisia’s leading opposition figures have languished behind bars, including Abir Moussi of the Free Destourian Party and Ennahda’s Rached Ghannouchi.

Ennahda, which commanded a majority in Tunisian politics during the years that followed 2011's Arab Spring, was dealt another blow over the weekend when police arrested its secretary general, Ajmi Lourimi, along with two other party members during a routine traffic stop.

Authorities did not announce charges or show judicial permission for the arrests, the party said in a statement on Sunday. The arrests sparked outrage from rights advocates including Amnesty International.

“It is outrageous to see the Tunisian authorities trampling on people’s rights in their bid to undermine the political opposition,” Amnesty said in a statement on Tuesday.

Such arrests have become increasingly common in Tunisia since Saied took power in 2019 and began a campaign that critics say has reversed the country’s path toward democracy. In the years before he was elected president, the nation of 12 million people emerged as a regional beacon of hope, overthrowing a longtime dictator in a peaceful revolution, rewriting its constitution and winning a Nobel Peace Prize for political compromise.

But signs of authoritarianism have re-emerged since Saied took power while promising to fight corruption and lift the country from years of economic malaise in ways democracy couldn’t. He has suspended parliament, rewritten the constitution to consolidate his power and arrested politicians, activists and journalists who criticized him.

He has yet to announce plans to run for a second term in the election, but his critics see authorities’ moves against the opposition as stacking the deck in his favor.

“We don’t see any basic conditions being reunited at all for a fair and transparent electoral competition,” said Samir Dilou, a longtime Ennahda member and attorney who is defending several of the coalition’s imprisoned politicians.

Though several parties in the coalition have long planned to boycott the election, others had intended to seek the signatures necessary to get their candidates on the ballot.

Abdellatif Mekki, the leader of coalition member Work and Accomplishment, announced plans to challenge Saied but later had his movements restricted and was subjected to a gag order by a Tunis judge as part of a 2014 murder investigation that critics have called politically motivated.

Such developments have instilled fear among the electorate, Ahmed Neffati, Work and Accomplishment’s deputy secretary general, told The Associated Press.

“We can see that as a result of the arrests, people are getting afraid and express reluctance in showing any form of support," he said.

__

Sam Metz contributed from Rabat, Morocco.

People attend a press conference by the National Salvation Front opposition group, ahead of the upcoming presidential elections, in Tunis, Tunisia, Wednesday, July 17, 2024. (AP Photo/Anis Mili)

People attend a press conference by the National Salvation Front opposition group, ahead of the upcoming presidential elections, in Tunis, Tunisia, Wednesday, July 17, 2024. (AP Photo/Anis Mili)

Lawyer Saida Al-Akrami, wife of Noureddine El-Behiri, a leader of Ennahda party and former Minister of Justice, speaks during a press conference by the National Salvation Front opposition group, ahead of the upcoming presidential elections, in Tunis, Tunisia, Wednesday, July 17, 2024. (AP Photo/Anis Mili)

Lawyer Saida Al-Akrami, wife of Noureddine El-Behiri, a leader of Ennahda party and former Minister of Justice, speaks during a press conference by the National Salvation Front opposition group, ahead of the upcoming presidential elections, in Tunis, Tunisia, Wednesday, July 17, 2024. (AP Photo/Anis Mili)

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