Fever Overcomes Early Struggles to Shock Detroit, 66-56

Catchings recorded a double-double with 17 points and 13 rebounds. She also had 7 assists, one steal and one blocked shot, while shooting 6 of 8 from behind the free throw line.
Whitmore continued to lead the Fever in scoring with 22 points. She was 100 percent from the free throw line, shooting 4 for 4, and contributed five rebounds and one assist.
On a slow start:
“We struggled to score in the first half. Our defense and our rebounding kept us in the game. Our up-tempo play helped us in the second half. We’re a good defensive and rebounding team, and we play off of that. Tamika [Catchings] had a terrific block on [Deanna] Nolan. She kept the ball in play to start the fast break, and Tan hit a big three.”

On the comeback:
“We didn’t do a good job with the spacing on the court [in the first half]. We needed to pick up our defense. When we clamped down on defense, it generated our offense. This was a big win, especially for our confidence. Saturday against Connecticut will be a battle.”

Points in the paint:
Shock 24, FEVER 20
Second-chance points:
Shock 6, FEVER 2
Fast-break points:
Shock 8, FEVER 8
Points off turnovers:
Shock 0, FEVER 8
Starters scoring:
Shock 45, FEVER 61
Bench scoring:
Shock 11, FEVER 5
Fever 66, Shock 56
June 29, 2006 at Conseco Fieldhouse (Indianapolis, Ind.)
Box Score | WNBA Recap

Team Record 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Detroit 10-5 18 14 9 15 56
at Indiana 12-5 16 9 15 26 66

INDIANAPOLIS – Tamika Whitmore scored 22 points and Tamika Catchings added 17 Thursday to lead the Indiana Fever to its 10th straight home win and move into a share of first place in the WNBA’s Eastern Conference, by defeating the Detroit Shock 66-56 at Conseco Fieldhouse. The win was the Fever’s seventh in its last nine games. It put an end to the Shock’s league-leading six-game win streak.

Whitmore shot 9-of-17 from the floor and led all scorers in the game. Catchings had game-highs of 13 rebounds and seven assists while flirting with a triple-double. Indiana’s Tamika duo helped the Fever remain unbeaten at home (7-0) while becoming the first WNBA team to 12 wins (12-5).

The Shock (10-5) fell to third place in the East, and play Friday at Eastern leader Connecticut (11-4), who remained percentage points ahead of Indiana. Connecticut hosts Detroit on Friday before traveling to face the Fever on Saturday, during a three-day round-robin schedule of the East’s top teams.

Trailing 32-25 at the intermission, the Fever limited Detroit to nine points in the third quarter to pull within 41-40. Anna DeForge scored the game’s first five points after the break for a 32-30 Fever deficit, and in the fourth Whitmore helped break the game open by hitting all four field goal attempts and scoring 10 of her 22.

Indiana, now 10-1 when outrebounding its opponent, remained true to the statistic by outlasting the Shock and WNBA rebounds leader Cheryl Ford on the glass, 35-27. Ford finished with eight points and nine rebounds. Center Ruth Riley paced Detroit with 14 points and seven boards, while Deanna Nolan scored 12.

The Fever took its first lead since the opening period on Tully Bevilaqua’s breakaway layup with 19 seconds gone in the final period. Plenette Pierson knotted the score for Detroit with the first of two free throw attempts, but after Catchings’ reverse layup with 8:35 to play, the Fever never trailed again.

Ford’s layup kept the Shock within two, 48-46 with 5:45 remaining, but Whitmore’s hook shot and a 3-pointer by Bevilaqua sparked a 12-4 run that put the game out of reach. Tan White’s 3-pointer capped the run with 1:10 to play, and secure the Fever’s second win over Detroit this season.

The Fever, 8-3 in its last 11 games, hosts the Sun on Saturday (7:00 p.m.) in a rematch of last season’s Eastern Conference Finals. Saturday’s matchup caps a 25-day stretch for the Fever that has included 12 games, six on the road. Indiana currently boasts the most wins in the WNBA, despite a league-high 10 road games.

  • One of only two teams in the WNBA that are undefeated at home, the Fever has extended its overall home winning streak to 10 in a row, just three wins short of the franchise's all-time record set from July 2002 to July 2003.
  • With tonight's win, the team's 12th of the season, the Fever has the most wins in the WNBA and has played more road games (10) than any other team in the WNBA.
  • With her 22 points tonight, Tamika Whitmore led the Fever in scoring for the eighth time this season and the sixth time in the last seven games.
  • Whitmore has scored 20+ points six times this season. In her first seven seasons she scored 20+ points 10 times total.
  • With 17 points and a game-high 13 rebounds, Tamika Catchings registered her fourth double-double of the season and the 41st of her WNBA career.
  • Catchings also led the Fever in assists with a season-high seven. That is the most assists for any Fever player this season.
  • Detroit's 55 points are a season-low and represents the first time it has scored below 60 points this season. The Shock's 55 points are just two off the fewest scored by any team in the WNBA this season. The WNBA season-low is 53 points by the San Antonio Silver Stars against the Fever, 5/23.
  • The Fever's starting backcourt of Anna DeForge and Tully Bevilaqua combined for five assists, three steals and no turnovers with each playing over 30 minutes.
  • Indiana's seven steals featured a season-high three from Tan White.
  • Katie Smith's 3-pt FG in the first period was the 500th of her WNBA career.
  • Ebony Hoffman notched the second double-figure rebounding of her WNBA career with 10 tonight. She had four offensive rebounds, giving her 43 for the season. She is now tied for second in the WNBA in offensive rebounds, behind Cheryl Ford, who has 60 offensive rebounds in 2006.
  • Indiana is now 9-2 against Eastern Conference competition, the best winning percentage for any team in the WNBA against its own conference.
  • Indiana held the Shock to just four offensive rebounds tonight. That is the first time that Detroit has had single-digit offensive boards in 2006. Overall, the Fever outrebounded the Shock, 35-27, and Indiana is 10-1 this season when outrebounding its opponent.
  • Detroit's six free throws made are a season-low and are the fewest by a Fever opponent this season.

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