Close But Not Enough As Sun Trips Fever, 76-71
|STAR OF THE GAME
Catchings did a little bit of everything, but not enough, in the Fever's loss to the Sun. She scored 18 points and pulled down a season-high 15 rebounds. She added three steals, shot 6-of-11 from the floor and 5-of-7 from the charity stripe.
Douglas got going slowly, but finished with 12 points on 5-of-11 shooting, including a pair of 3-pointers and three assists.
“We were down ten at half and we came back, had a really good third quarter closed it up and had a chance to win and that is what you want to do on the road, but its hard to win on the road when you don’t make your free throws. When you go on the road, you have to hit your free throws -- that's all there is to it.”
Points in the paint:
Fever 42, Sun 32
Fever 9, Sun 3
Fever 6, Sun 6
Points off turnovers:
Fever 10, Sun 13
Fever 53, Sun 65
Fever 18, Sun 11
UNCASVILLE, Conn. (AP) Danielle McCray is beginning to show why she was such a high draft choice.
McCray scored a career-high 22 points in her second career start Sunday, leading the Connecticut Sun to a 76-71 win over the Indiana Fever.
McCray and the Sun upended Eastern Conference-leading Indiana and sent the Fever to its second straight loss. Indiana forward Tamika Catchings scored 18 points with 15 rebounds and three steals, but her efforts weren't enough to counter the Fever's 8-of-14 free throw shooting and 17 turnovers.
```When we drafted [McCray] we felt she had a chance to be a really good player but when you come in as a rookie I think it's important to give them as much as they can take and let them find their way and then when you know matured, then you kind of let them have more,'' Connecticut coach Mike Thibault said.
The Sun took McCray as the seventh overall pick in the first round of the 2010 draft. She missed last season with a knee injury she sustained during her senior year at Kansas.
``My teammates found be on the weak side and when I had the ball, I knocked it down. They were cheating inside because when we have a good post player like Tina Charles, the other team is going to double-team her,'' McCray said. ``So when they were doubling on Tina, Coach Thibault put me on the back side and I knocked the shots down.''
Tina Charles added 18 points and 10 rebounds for the Sun (8-5) who are the lone team in the Eastern Conference undefeated at home (6-0).
Indiana (10-5) trailed 72-65 with 39 seconds remaining before Jessica Davenport made two free throws. Catchings stole the ensuing inbounds pass and assisted on Katie Douglas' basket to cut it to 72-69 with 34 seconds left.
Connecticut guard Renee Montgomery made one of two free throws to push the Sun lead to four at 73-69. Catchings made a layup with 18 seconds left to make it 73-71 before Kalana Greene made one of two free throws to make it 74-71 with 18 seconds left.
The Fever had a chance to tie the game with a 3-pointer, but Catchings threw an errant pass to Douglas that went out of bounds with 7.7 seconds left.
Kara Lawson's two free throws sealed it with 6.9 seconds remaining.
Montgomery added 10 points for the Sun, including six in the fourth period.
Douglas had 12 points and Davenport 10 for Indiana, which has lost two straight.
``Yeah, it's a little bump, but we know that nothing is going to be gift wrapped and handed to us. We know that we are one of the most hunted teams in the WNBA and we are going to have to fight on the road even more,'' Douglas said. ``We would like to regroup and gather and go to Atlanta, a team we have not seen all season, we can make the adjustments we need to make and be ready to go on Tuesday.''
Postgame Notes: With three steals Sunday night, Tamika Catchings extended her tenuous lead as the WNBA’s career leader in steals. Catchings boasts 743 career steals. Los Angeles’ Ticha Penicheiro has 737 prior to back-to-back games on Sunday and Monday.
Sunday’s tilt at Mohegan Sun Arena marked a homecoming for a pair of Fever stars – Katie Douglas and Erin Phillips. Douglas starred for the Orlando/Connecticut franchise from the time she entered the WNBA in 2001 until her trade acquisition by the Fever prior to the 2008 season. Phillips played for three seasons with the Sun until signing as a free agent this past winter.
Indiana continues a stretch with five games in nine days leading into next weekend’s All-Star Break. Playing every other day since last Wednesday, July 13, the Fever plays Sunday, Tuesday (at Atlanta) and Thursday (vs. Chicago) prior to a break for the annual classic.
Tamika Catchings and Katie Douglas have been voted by fans to start for the Eastern Conference in the 2011 WNBA All-Star Game, next Saturday, July 23, in San Antonio. For the third time since 2006, Catchings was the league’s top overall vote-getter. Douglas finished third in balloting among stars from the East. It is the second time that Catchings and Douglas will start an All-Star Game for the Fever. It is the third time the Fever has placed two starters in All-Star Game starting lineup.
When the Fever returns to Conseco Fieldhouse on Thursday, July 21, fans have the opportunity to purchase a uniquely designed bobblehead doll in the likeness of All-Star Tamika Catchings! Exclusive tickets begin at $24 and include the bobblehead doll and your game ticket to see the Fever and the Chicago Sky. Tickets for the Fever Bobblehead Night are on sale now and will be available until tipoff. This limited offer is on a first-come, first-served basis. Tickets for this offer may only be purchased online at FeverBasketball.com. The Catchings bobblehead doll will be available via the same offer, while supplies last, for the game on July 31 against the Los Angeles Sparks. A Katie Douglas bobblehead doll will be available for the Aug. 13 game against the New York Liberty.
adidas and the Indiana Fever have introduced adidas Basketball Team Nights for youth basketball players. Throughout the 2011 season at select games, adidas and the Fever invite any fan under age 18 to wear their basketball team or camp apparel. Those who do will receive a free adidas Basketball t-shirt. No purchase is necessary. Upcoming adidas Basketball Team Nights are Sunday, July 31 at 6:00 p.m. vs. Los Angeles Sparks; Saturday, Aug. 13 at 7:00 p.m. vs. New York Liberty; Saturday, Aug. 27 at 7:00 p.m. vs. Atlanta Dream; and Sunday, Sept. 11 at 5:00 p.m. vs. Atlanta Dream.
Bowl with the Indiana Fever stars and help local charities! The Indiana Fever will conduct the 2011 Fever Bowling Tournament at Pinheads in Fishers on August 3 at 6:30 p.m. Proceeds from this event go to the Fever’s Be YOUnique Fund. $400 buys a team of four with a celebrity. Or pay $125 individually to be put on a team. To sign up your team, go to FeverBasketball.com or pick up a flyer at the Ticket Service Kiosk.