Fever Tops Sting, Continues Quest for Home-Court Advantage
|STAR OF THE GAME
Eighteen points and 16 rebounds were more than the Sting could handle as Catchings collected a franchise-record 10 offensive rebounds, the most in the WNBA this season. The Fever's MVP candidate added three assists and two steals as Indiana won its third straight game.
Williams continued her late-season surge with the first double-double - 11 points and 10 rebounds - of her final WNBA season.
“Charlotte has been playing well lately. They were very aggressive defensively tonight and that got them back in the game. The good news is we found a way to win. It was a good, competitive and testy game for us. We could have handled the ball better. We got good production from the bench, though, and we won the battle of the boards. We're always happy to win. We have three games left and we want to secure the home court for the playoffs.”
On the bench with key plays in the final minutes:
“That's what it's all about. That's what our team is all about.”
Points in the paint:
Sting 18, Fever 28
Sting 8, Fever 14
Sting 3, Fever 12
Points off turnovers:
Sting 12, Fever 28
Sting 41, Fever 52
Sting 12, Fever 10
Box Score |
Playoff Tickets On Sale
||Fever 62, Sting 53
August 20, 2005 at Conseco Fieldhouse (Indianapolis, Ind.)
WNBA Playoff Schedule
INDIANPOLIS—For the first time all season and just the fifth in franchise history, two Indiana Fever players recorded double-doubles as Tamika Catchings (18 points, 16 rebounds) and Natalie Williams (11 points, 10 rebounds) led the Fever to a 62-53 victory over the Charlotte Sting in front of a season-high crowd of 9,823 on Saturday night.
Indiana (19-12) extended its franchise record for most wins in a season and most wins at home (13). The Sting (4-27) remained winless on the road, losing its 16th straight, the most by any team in WNBA history.
With the victory, the Fever kept itself one game atop New York in the Eastern Conference standings, bidding for second place and home-court advantage in the first round of the WNBA Playoffs. The Fever and Liberty are all but assured of meeting one another in a first-round series, though final seeding is still to be determined with three games to play.
Catchings not only matched her career high for rebounds, but her 10 offensive boards set a new franchise record and were the most by any WNBA player this season. Rebounding proved to be a big factor in the game, as the Fever grabbed 39 compared to Charlotte’s 22. Indiana’s 21 offensive rebounds also set a franchise mark and surpassed the previous high in the WNBA in 2005.
Kelly Miller, who played with Charlotte for three seasons prior to joining the Fever pitched in with 13 points and three assists.
The Sting earned its first and only lead on the first possession of the game, but Indiana dominated the rest of the way. After trailing by as many as 11, the Sting raced back within two, 51-49, with 9:06 remaining in the game. Tully Bevilaqua quickly put a damper on the close game as she nailed a 3-pointer and sparked a 7-2 Fever run to put the game out of reach.
Sheri Sam was the lone Sting player in double figures, as she finished with 15 points. Tangela Smith had nine and a team-high seven rebounds.
Including tonight's win, the Fever has won seven of the last eight games at Conseco Fieldhouse against the Sting. All-time, Indiana is 9-2 at Conseco Fieldhouse against Charlotte.
With 13 victories at Conseco Fieldhouse, the Fever has tied Connecticut for the most home wins by an Eastern Conference team in 2005 and is one win behind Sacramento for the most in the WNBA this season.
Having swept the 2005 season series from Charlotte, the Fever leads the all-time series with the Sting, 11-10.
With one road game left (at New York, 8/25) on the schedule, the Sting remains winless on the road, 0-16, in 2005.
Indiana's 21 offensive rebounds and the 10 offensive rebounds by Tamika Catchings are both franchise records, and also the most by a team and one player in the WNBA this season. Both Catchings and the team's offensive rebounds are two short of WNBA records
Catchings' 16 total rebounds tied her most ever in the WNBA and were one short of the franchise record. Tonight was her third career 16-rebound game and her second this season.
Natalie Williams had 11 points and 10 rebounds, giving her and Catchings double-doubles. That is the first time this season and the fifth time in franchise history that two Fever players have had double-doubles in the same game
Catchings' double-double is her ninth of the season and the 37th of her career. She is now tied with Taj McWilliams-Franklin for seventh on the WNBA's all-time career double-doubles list.
Natalie Williams' double-double was the 68th of her career, fourth on the league's all-time career list.
With three steals and just one turnover tonight, Tully Bevilaqua has had 14 steals and three turnovers in the last six games - a steals-to-turnover ratio of 4.67:1. For the season, Bevilaqua leads the WNBA with a steals to turnover ratio of 1.24:1.
Tan White tied her career-high with three steals--her fifth game with three steals this season.
Including four of five starters, Indiana had six players with at least two assists, led by Bevilaqua's four.
Indiana's attendance of 9,823 is its highest of the season. The Fever has drawn crowds of over 8,000 in eight of the last nine games.
Including the Sting's 53 points tonight, the Fever has held the opposition to less than 60 points in 13 of its last 14 victories and in 15 games overall this season.
Charlotte's Tammy Sutton-Brown tied a season-high with four blocked shots tonight.
Accounting for all of Indiana's blocked shots tonight, two, Deanna Jackson tied her most this season and her most ever with the Fever.