Fever Surges Past Storm In Preseason Opener

Catchings scored 11 of her game-high 18 points during the second and third quarters in which the Fever took control.
Chosen as the top point guard in France this past winter and the benficiary of just one Fever practice since her return to the United States on Thursday evening, Sharp sparked Indiana with eight points and six assists. She made 4-of-8 from the field.
In general:
“We got what we wanted out of this game. We got to play all our players and we didn't have to burn out Tully and Catch.”

On Alison Bales:
“She was a force in the middle, and she is a very good passer. I was very happy with her play. She has face-up shooting ability. She plays more of a European-style post game.”

On her first game:
“I was a little nervous because it was my first professional game, ever. The coaches did a great job of preparing me. Ihad a lot of family here cheering me on. I need to work on staying out of foul strouble, posting up and getting around the post defensively.”

Points in the paint:
Fever 28, Storm 22
Second-chance points:
Fever 10, Storm 16
Fast-break points:
Fever 10, Storm 6
Points off turnovers:
Fever 16, Storm 11
Starters scoring:
Fever 43, Storm44
Bench scoring:
Fever 32, Storm 14
Fever 75, Storm 58
May 5, 2007at Conseco Fieldhouse (Indianapolis, Ind.)
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Team Record 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Seattle 0-1 19 7 15 17 58
at Indiana 1-0 16 16 29 14 75

INDIANAPOLIS - Tamika Catchings scored 18 points and Ann Strother added 15 as the Indiana Fever surged past the Seattle Storm, 75-58, in the preseason opener for both teams. Indiana outscored Seattle 45-22 during the second and third periods to assert control.

Catchings scored 12 of her 18 points in a first half which included 4-of-8 shooting and a pair of 3-pointers. Strother hit the game's first basket on a 3-pointer just nine seconds into the contest, but didn't score again until her next 3-pointer with just 38 seconds gone in the third period. Strother, acquired by the Fever in an offseason trade from Phoenix, stroked 4-of-6 3-pointers in the second half. All of her scoring came from beyond the arc.

Both teams played with depleted rosters, due mostly to veterans who have yet to report to training camp because of overseas commitments. The Fever played without Anna DeForge, Sheri Sam, Tammy Sutton-Brown, Tan White and Tamika Whitmore. The Storm were without the services of Sue Bird, Lauren Jackson, Betty Lennox, Barbara Turner and Francesca Zara.

A sluggish first quarter resulted in a 19-16 Seattle advantage. Indiana committed seven of its 14 turnovers in the first period, and shot just 35 percent from the floor. But from that point forward, it was virtually all Indiana as the Fever wore down Seattle and its roster of just seven active players.

Indiana outscored the Storm 9-2 to begin the second quarter, and took a six-point, 32-26 lead into the intermission.

The third period was all Fever as well, with its lead ballooning to 22 points, its largest of the game, when rookie Ashley Key hit a pair of free throws with 18.1 seconds in the period. Strother shot 3-of-4 in the quarter, all from 3-point range.

Bolstered by added size to its frontline during the offseason, the Fever outrebounded the Storm, 33-31, with Catchings boasting eight rebounds and rookie first-round draft pick Alison Bales seven. After Seattle shot 52.9 percent on 9-of-17 shooting in the first quarter, the Storm was limited to just 10 baskets the rest of the game, on 28 percent shooting the rest of the contest.

The Storm placed three scorers in double figures - Janell Burse had 11, followed by Shyra Ely and Wendy Palmer each with 10.

The game marked the rookie debut for former Purdue Boilermaker teammates Katie Gearlds and Erin Lawless, who just one month earlier won the Big Ten Conference championship on the same floor. While Lawless missed the game due to a concussion suffered in practice, Gearlds, an Indianapolis native, finished with four points on 2-of-10 shooting (0-of-5 3FG).

2007 Game Report Archive