Fever Clinch Playoff Berth with Win Over Mystics
|STAR OF THE GAME
Catchings shot 9-of-11 from the floor and had a game-high 23 points to lead the Fever past the Mystics. Conducting a prototypical box score-filled night, Catchings added six rebounds and six assists, padding her own franchise assist mark for a season (130).
Playing her best ball of the season, Williams collected a season-high 15 points for the third time this season, and the second game in-a-row.
On clinching a playoff berth:
“Well, we’re in the playoffs. It’s a great feeling. It was our number one goal starting this season. However, this is only the first step. We’re not satisfied yet. We want home-court advantage. We worked a lot in practice against a zone, trying to be more patient and it paid off, tonight.”
On Tamika Catchings:
“She didn’t force things tonight. She plays great games even when she doesn’t shoot. When she shoots well, that’s even a bonus.”
Points in the paint:
Mystics 20, Fever 30
Mystics 7, Fever 6
Mystics 6, Fever 4
Points off turnovers:
Mystics 18, Fever 8
Mystics 55, Fever 59
Mystics 2, Fever 8
Box Score |
Playoff Tickets On Sale
||Fever 67, Mystics 57
August 18, 2005 at Conseco Fieldhouse (Indianapolis, Ind.)
INDIANAPOLIS— Tamika Catchings scored a game-high 23 points on 9-of-11 shooting to lead the Indiana Fever to a 67-57 victory over the Washington Mystics, Thursday night at Conseco Fieldhouse.
With the win, Indiana, 18-12, clinched a spot in the Eastern Conference playoffs for just the second time in franchise history and extended the team’s club- record for most wins in a season. It was the Fever's 12 win at Conseco Fieldhouse, establishing its franchise mark for home victories in a season. The Mystics, 14-16, dropped their fourth game in-a-row, though remained in contention a playoff berth, just 1/2 game behind fourth-place Detroit.
Catchings, who recorded more than six field goals in a game for just the third time this season, also finished with six rebounds and six assists. She collected one steal and remains 15 shy of the WNBA's all-time single season mark of 100. Natalie Williams and Kelly Miller helped the cause with 15 and 13 points, respectively.
Indiana raced to a 7-0 lead to start the game and never looked back. With a 34-28 advantage at intermission, the Fever went up by as many as 13 on the night. The 50-37 lead came after Miller nailed a 3-pointer on an assist from Catchings at the 12:42 mark.
Following the Miller basket, the Mystics fought back and went on a 14-5 run to cut the Fever lead to four, 55-51, with just 5:18 left to play. But it was as close as Washington could get the rest of the way.
DeLisha Milton-Jones and Chasity Melvin each had 20 points for the Mystics. Melvin also collected a game-high 10 rebounds.
On the night, the Fever shot 51.1 percent from the field (23-of-45), its second-highest shooting performance of the season, compared to Washington’s dismal .378 effort (17-of-45). Indiana was outrebounded 29-21.
Tickets for the Fever's first home game of the Eastern Conference playoffs will go on sale Saturday, at the Conseco Fieldhouse Box Office at 10:00 a.m. The box office will remain open through the end of Saturday night’s game with the Charlotte Sting (7:00 p.m.)
With tonight's win, the Fever has clinched the second playoff berth in franchise history.
Tickets for the Fever's first home playoff game will go on sale beginning at 10:00 a.m. Saturday, 8/20.
Tonight's win is the Fever's club record 18th of the season and its club record 12th victory at home. With this win, the Fever has guaranteed itself of a record above .500 for the first time in franchise history.
Washington's 57 points represents the 13th time that a Fever opponent has failed to score 60 points this season. It is just the fifth time this season that Washington has failed to reach the 60-point mark.
Tonight's 57 points ties the Mystics' low-water mark of the season, tying their total vs. Sacramento, 6/26.
With a game-high 23 points, Tamika Catchings scored 20+ points for the 10th time this season and the first time in the last six games.
In pursuit of the WNBA's single-season mark for steals, Catchings had one vs. Washington. She needs 15 steals in her last four games to match the WNBA record set by Teresa Weatherspoon (100 in 1998).
Catchings also led the Fever in rebounds with six and in assists with six. Catchings has led the Fever in scoring, rebounding and assists in the same game eight times this season.
The league's leading 3-pt shooting team (.369), the Mystics hit just 2-9 3-pt FG (.222) tonight.
The Fever shot 51.1 percent from the floor this season, its third game of 50+ percent FG this season.
Tully Bevilaqua collected a season-best five rebounds tonight. She also led the Fever with three steals, her 10th game of two or more steals in the last 12 contests.
Led by Ebony Hoffman's four points, the Indiana bench outscored Washington's reserves 8-2.
Natalie Williams scored a season-high 15 points for the third time this season and the second game in a row.
With a team-high tying 20 points and a game-high 10 rebounds, Chasity Melvin posted her second double-double of the season and her first since June 3.
Including her 13 tonight, the Fever's Kelly Miller has scored 10+ points in four of the last six games. In that span, she has averaged 11.0 ppg.
The WNBA leader in steals-to-turnover ratio, Tully Bevilaqua had three steals and no turnovers tonight--lifting her ratio to 1.20:1 for the season.
Indiana is now a WNBA-best 11-5 against the Eastern Conference, including a mark of 7-1 at home.
Tonight's wire-to-wire win was the Fever's third of the season.