85 at Tulsa
Associated Press | August 5, 2011
TULSA, Okla. (AP) The Indiana Fever got a balanced effort from their starters and reserves and cruised to an easy win against the struggling Tulsa Shock. Jessica Davenport scored 17 points, Tamika Catchings had 15, and the Fever rolled to their fifth straight win, 85-65 victory Friday night, handing the Shock their franchise record-tying 13th straight loss.
Shavonte Zellous added 12 points against her former team, Katie Douglas had 11 and Erin Phillips 10 for the Eastern Conference-leading Fever (15-6), who got 45 points from their reserves.
``One of our keys is for the bench to come in and give the starters a break each and every game,'' said Zellous, who combined with Davenport to go 10 for 17 from the field. ``Every game (the bench) is getting better at sharing the ball and playing great defense. Jessica and I share the ball real good and when we kick it in she can either score or kick it back out.''
Tiffany Jackson and Jennifer Lacy scored 12 points each as the Shock (1-18) tied the team mark set in 2002, when they were in Detroit. Jackson scored Tulsa's final four points to eclipse 1,000 for her career.
The Fever led from the outset as Tulsa shot 4 for 18 in the first quarter while Indiana built a 22-12 lead.
``Tulsa is a scrappy team,'' Davenport said. ``We worked hard. We dug in and played great defense. Our bench is a cohesive unit. We play well together, we encourage each other. ... We have some things to work on from the inside but when we play at a high energy level defensively, it's hard for teams to keep up with us for 40 minutes.''
The Fever led by 15 in the first half and extended the advantage to 30 in the second half.
Davenport said she is fine with coming off the bench after starting early in the season.
``I'm comfortable with both roles,'' she said. ``Whatever is best for the team, I'm comfortable with that.''
Kayla Pedersen, who finished with seven points and six rebounds for the Shock, said what the team is doing in practice is not translating in games.
``I don't know what that reason is,'' she said. ``We're all trying to find it. We've been saying that the whole year. Practices are nowhere close to games. We don't know the answer right now.
``We just couldn't get into a flow. At the end, we looked a lot better, started feeding each other the ball. They were switching (defenses) and we couldn't quite figure out what to do. That really stopped us.''
Tulsa finished with 20 turnovers in the game, including a combined 12 by point guards Ivory Latta and Andrea Riley. In contrast, they combined for just three assists.