|STAR OF THE GAME
Catchings led the Fever with 27 points, 12 rebounds and five assists. Her 12 rebounds were a season high and it was her fourth double-double of the season.
January came off the bench to score 14 points. She was looking to get to the hoop all night and got to the free throw line often, shooting 5-for-6.
“We were soft defensively early with their threes. To stay with this team we need to hit the open shots and we didn’t. We need to be more focused. Two or three of our players were not scoring, plus missing Katie Douglas hurt us. We allowed Phoenix to penetrate too much. We hurt ourselves with some of our decisions. We had some not smart fouls. Up to now, we have not had challenges. Things have been going pretty well.”
“You have to play with who you have. Everyone who comes in has to make a difference. Our defensive intensity has to be 24-7. All players who come in have to have that mentality. We have to be mentally focused for this game with Detroit. They might be our opponent in the playoffs. We must stay focused.”
Points in the paint:
Fever 38, Mercury 46
Fever 14, Mercury 13
Fever 11, Mercury 11
Points off turnovers:
Fever 20, Mercury 19
Fever 65, Mercury 68
Fever 25, Mercury 38
INDIANAPOLIS -- Cappie Pondexter scored 25 points and the Phoenix Mercury shot nearly 60 percent from the floor in a 106 90 victory over the Indiana Fever on Wednesday night in a matchup of first-place teams.
DeWanna Bonner scored 15 points, Diana Taurasi had 14 and Temeka Johnson 13 as the Mercury (21-10) shot 41 for 70 from the field (59 percent), including 10 for 18 on 3-pointers.
Tamika Catchings had 27 points and a season-high 12 rebounds for the East-leading Fever (20-9), losers of four of their last five. Tammy Sutton-Brown scored 19 points and rookie Briann January had 14.
The Fever played without Katie Douglas, who sprained her left ankle on Saturday and was held out for precautionary reasons. Her status is day to day.
With tonight's win, Phoenix has won at Conseco Fieldhouse for just the third time ever, and just the second time since its initial appearance here in July 2000
Phoenix's 106 points tonight represent the second highest total ever allowed by the Fever, and just the third 100-point game ever allowed by Indiana.
With her 27 points and season-high 12 rebounds, Tamika Catchings registered her fourth double-double of the season. Her 27 points were one short of her most this season and were also one short of the most a Fever player has ever scored against Phoenix. Katie Douglas and Catchings have both scored 28 against the Mercury.
Indiana shot a season-high 38 free throws tonight and made 30, which is one short of its most FTM in 2009.
Tonight's game is just the second in her two seasons with Indiana that Katie Douglas has missed. In the last six seasons, including 2009, Douglas has missed a total of six games.
The Mercury's 10 3-pt FG are the most made by a Fever opponent this season.
Accounting for half the team's eight steals, Ebony Hoffman tied a career-high with four steals tonight.
Making her first start as a member of the Fever, Tamecka Dixon scored seven points--one short of her season-high.
Phoenix outscored the Fever, 46-38, in the paint--tying the most points in the paint allowed by the Fever defense this season.
With tonight's loss, the Fever finishes 2009 with a 5-7 record vs. the Western Conference and its five wins ties its fewest against the West of the last six seasons. Indiana also won five games (5-9) vs. the West in 2008.
Nicole Ohlde's team-high seven rebounds are her most this season. Her nine points matched her best outing of 2009.