|STAR OF THE GAME
Whitmore came off the bench to add a team-high 16 points, two blocked shots, four rebounds and one assist to help the fever get the win over Sacramento.
From the start White started off strong for the Fever contributing 14 points, three steals, one assist and six rebounds.
“Great to clinch a playoff spot. However, it is better to bounce back from last night and win one before the home crowd. Everyone gave a great defensive effort tonight. The bench gave us many good minutes. Since Tamika’s (Catchings) injury all our games, except Seattle and Connecticut, we have played well. No date yet for Tamika’s return.”
On what a difference a day makes:
“The good thing about basketball is we had a bad day and yet the next day we are able to come out and prove ourselves. We came out with a lot of energy. We need to learn to go on the road and win.”
Points in the paint:
Fever 26, Monarchs 30
Fever 11, Monarchs 14
Fever 7, Monarchs 6
Points off turnovers:
Fever 15, Monarchs 18
Fever 29, Monarchs 35
Fever 34, Monarchs 20
INDIANAPOLIS, Aug. 5 (AP) -- Reserve Tamika Whitmore scored 16 points to help the Indiana Fever beat the Sacramento Monarchs 63-55 and clinch a playoff berth on Sunday night.
Tan White added 14 points for the Fever, who reached postseason play for the third straight year by bouncing back from an 84-59 loss to Connecticut on Saturday night.
Yolanda Griffith scored 11 points and Chelsea Newton added 10 for the Monarchs, who missed a chance to clinch a Western Conference playoff berth.
Indiana (18-11) allowed its lowest point total of the season and held Sacramento to 30 percent shooting from the field, also a season-best defensive effort for the Fever.
Sacramento (16-11) committed 23 turnovers while Indiana committed 14.
The Fever are 3-7 since the All-Star break and 2-6 since losing All-Star forward Tamika Catchings to a foot injury on July 20.
Indiana led 40-23 at halftime and 49-32 in the third quarter before the Monarchs closed the period on a 7-2 run to cut the lead to 51-39.
The Monarchs cut the Fever's lead to 60-55 on a 3-pointer by Newton with 1:19 left. Sacramento had a chance to trim Indiana's lead further, but Ticha Penicheiro threw an errant pass over Kara Lawson's head and out of bounds with 34 seconds left. White then beat the Monarchs downcourt for a quick layup to give Indiana a 62-55 lead.
With the win, the Fever clinched its third consecutive WNBA playoff berth. Playoff tickets are on sale now! The Conseco Fieldhouse Box Office will open at 2 p.m. on Sunday, prior to the Fever’s game with Sacramento.
Tonight's win clinches the Fever's third consecutive appearance in the WNBA Playoffs.
Tonight's win is Indiana's eighth of the season vs. an opponent from the Western Conference, giving the Fever a record above .500 vs. the West for the second straight season.
Since winning their very first game ever at Conseco Fieldhouse, 6/21/00, the Monarchs have now lost five straight games on the Fever's home floor.
Sacramento's 55 points are the fewest scored the Fever this season and represent the third time in the last six games that the Fever has held an opponent to 60 points ore less. Overall, Indiana has held its opponent to less than 60 points four times in 2007.
Sacramento's 23 points in the first half are its fewest in a first half in 2007 and tied the fewest scored in any half this season. The Monarchs' eight points in the second period are just one off their fewest in a single quarter this season.
Sacramento outrebounded the Fever, 47-34, and its 47 rebounds are the most ever by a Fever opponent. The Monarchs' 19 offensive rebounds are one short of the Fever opponent record.
The Fever is now 7-6 this season when being outrebounded.
Yolanda Griffith's six offensive rebounds are her season-high and are one off the most by a Fever opponent player in 2007.
Sacramento's 30.0 percent shooting from the floor is the lowest by any Fever opponent this season.
Sacramento's 23 turnovers were one off its most this season and the Fever's 25 points off the those miscues are its most since scoring a season-high 26 points off turnovers at New York, 6/24. Tonight is the first time in the last 10 games that Indiana has scored 20+ points off its opponents' errors.
The Monarchs' nine points off turnovers are the fewest scored by a Fever opponent this season.
Indiana had 12 steals tonight, its 15th game of the season with double-digit steals.
Kasha Terry led the Fever bench with five rebounds, her most ever in the WNBA.
The Fever outscored the Monarchs from the foul line, 15-10, including 7-8 FT by Tamika Whitmore. That is Whitmore's most free throws made and attempted this season.
Ebony Hoffman had the only blocked shot by a starter tonight and she has had nine blocks in the last eight games.