|STAR OF THE GAME
Catchings completed her eighth double-double of the season, finishing with 17 points, 13 rebounds, five steals and four assists. Catchings' performance marked her third consecutive game with at least five steals.
Jackson provided a much-needed scoring boost off the bench with a season-high 14 points on 7-of-11 shooting in only 16 minutes of play. She also contributed three assists and one steal to the stat sheet.
On the game:
“We played well most of the first half; however, they came on strong in the end. We didn't have an answer for (Nykesha) Sales. We need to focus on one game at a time and now I am thinking only of Washington.
On the Fever's shooting woes:
"We spend lots of time at practice working on shooting; we have shot 36% in some games and won. We must continue to focus on defense."
On the game:
"I'm disappointed about the loss. We played with a lot of energy. We had crucial turnovers and costly mistakes throughout that cost us in the end.
On preparing for Washington:
"We need to regroup, put this game behind us and come out tomorrow with a great deal of energy. It is a different team with a different defense and we must find out a way to score."
Points in the paint:
Fever 32, Sun 28
Fever 17, Sun 11
Sun 8, Fever 4
Points off turnovers:
Fever 19, Sun 11
Sun 67, Fever 46
Fever 19, Sun 7
Box Score |
||Fever 65, Sun 74
August 6, 2005 at Conseco Fieldhouse (Indianapolis, Ind.)
INDIANAPOLIS—Nykesha Sales scored 26 points to lead the Connecticut Sun to a 74-65 victory over the Indiana Fever in a battle between the top two teams in the Eastern Conference on Saturday night at Conseco Fieldhouse, in front of a season-high crowd of 9,370.
Connecticut became the first team in the WNBA to 20 wins, and moved within one game of clinching a playoff spot, with eight games still to play. The Fever, meanwhile, remained two games ahead of Washington and New York, who are tied for third place in the East. The Sun comfortably moved 4 1/2 games ahead of the Fever to assume full command in the Eastern Conference.
Fever star Tamika Catchings grabbed her 1,000th rebound and became the fifth player in WNBA history to record each of four major milestones: 2,000 points, 1,000 rebounds, 400 assists and 300 steals. Catchings, who notched 17 points and 13 rebounds in the Fever loss, became the fastest player to ever reach this quartet of major milestones (125 games), joining only Sheryl Swoopes in reaching all four milestones before her 200th game. Catchings has reached all four milestones during what is her fourth active season in the WNBA. Swoopes, the previous fastest to reach all four, reached her fourth during what was her seventh active season.
Deanna Jackson finished with a season-high 14 points for Indiana, and Kelly Miller also finished with 14. With her eighth double-double of the year, Catchings also contributed four assists and a game-high five steals. In her past two games, Catchings has combined for 41 points, 22 rebounds, 10 assists and 12 steals.
The Fever, 15-10, led by as many as 10 in the first half, 29-19, but a late 8-0 Connecticut run to close out the half cut Indiana's lead to two at the intermission. The Sun's momentum carried into the second half also, where the Sun, 20-6, outscored the Fever, 47-36.
Miller made it a three-point game, 60-57 with 4:16 remaining in the game, but the Sun put the game out of reach, scoring nine of the next 10 points down the stretch. The game featured eight lead changes and seven ties, and the largest lead of the night for either team grew to 12, when Taj McWillaims-Franklin sank a free-throw with 47 seconds in the game.
McWilliams-Franlin contributed 14 points for the Sun, while Lindsay Whalen and Katie Douglas had 13 and 12 points, respectively.
Indiana’s 13 first-half steals tied a franchise record for most steals in a half. Connecticut took control underneath the basket, outrebounding the Fever, 31-22.
Tonight's loss is the Fever's first of the season at home against an opponent from the Eastern Conference (6-1).
With her 11th rebound of the game, Tamika Catchings collected the 1,000th rebound of her career. With that, she became the fifth player in league history with 2,000 points, 1,000 points, 300 steals and 400 assists in her career. She achieved these four milestones in 125 games, faster than any other player in WNBA history. The previous fastest to these four milestones was Sheryl Swoopes of Houston, who reached them in 191 games.
Tamika Catchings' 17 points and 13 rebounds represents her eighth double-double of the season, tying her with Lauren Jackson of Seattle second in the WNBA this season. Cheryl Ford leads the WNBA with 10.
Taj McWilliams-Franklin had 14 points and 12 rebounds for her team-high fifth double-double of the season.
Connecticut's 47 points in the second half was one off the most by a Fever opponent in the second half of any game this season. Indiana's opposition has scored 40+ points in the second half in each of the last three games.
The Fever's 13 steals in the first half tied a franchise record for thefts in a half set in the first half of the first meeting vs. the Sun, 7/13.
With 17 steals for the game and 13 turnovers, Indiana had more steals than turnovers for the sixth time this season.
Tonight's attendance of 9,370 is the largest crowd for the Fever this season, besting the 9,290 in attendance at Thursday's game vs. Seattle.
With two fewer offensive rebounds (10-8), the Sun outscored the Fever, 8-4, in second chance points.
Deanna Jackson's bench-high 14 points is a season-high and marks her fifth game in double figures this season.
Nykesha Sales tied a season-high with 26 points tonight.
Tan White tied a season-high with three steals, her fourth game of three steals this season.
Tully Bevilaqua also tied a season-high with four steals tonight.
Connecticut's 49.1 percent from the floor tonight represents the second best game by a Fever opponent this season and the best since Washington shot 49.2 percent FG at MCI Center, 6/18.