Strong Second Half Propels Fever Past Silver Stars
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SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- Tamika Whitmore made two big baskets late to help the Indiana Fever hang on wrap up the second spot in the playoffs with a 59-55 win over San Antonio on Friday night.
Indiana (20-13) outscored San Antonio 14-0 over a stretch of 3 minutes, 22 seconds late in the fourth quarter, then held off a comeback bid.
Whitmore was the only Indiana player in double figures with 12 points, and Tully Bevilaqua made her only two 3-pointers less than a minute apart during the run.
The Fever secured the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs because third-place Connecticut (18-15) lost Friday to New York.
Sophia Young scored 12 for San Antonio (20-13). Vickie Johnson had 11 and Becky Hammon added 10.
The teams combined to shoot 38 percent from the field. It was a season low in points for the Silver Stars, and Indiana's 20 points at halftime was a season low.
San Antonio can finish no better than second behind Phoenix in the West. The Silver Stars had a half-game lead over Sacramento before the Monarchs played late Friday against Phoenix.
With 7:24 remaining, San Antonio led 44-41, but Bevilaqua's 3-pointers and four more points from Sheri Sam helped Indiana make it 55-44 with 4:02 to play. Bevilaqua finished with eight points.
San Antonio cut it to 55-53 with 1:04 remaining when rookie Camille Little hit a basket and made a free throw.
Whitmore answered with a jumper for a four-point lead before Helen Darling cut it back to two on a driving layup with 28 seconds to go. Whitmore then drive past Little with seven seconds left.
The Silver Stars led by nine points in the first half despite a season-low 26 points. Though the Silver Stars struggled through a 5-of-16 second quarter, the Fever were 3-of-16.
The 18 points combined in the second quarter is one short of the league record for fewest combined points in a quarter. The record was set by the same two teams on May 23 last year..