Fever garners much-needed victory
|STAR OF THE GAME
Davenport came off the bench shooting 9-of-9 from the floor, breaking a franchise record for field goals made without a miss. The 6'5" center's perfect scoring broke her own previous record (8-of-8).
January shot 4-of-7 from the field and 2-of-3 from behind the arc, finishing with a season high 14 points. She also dished six assists and added three thefts, passing the 100th mark in her career for steals made.
“That was a great, gut-check win for us. We got great help from the bench, especially Davenport (Jessica). We moved the ball. We shared the ball. We defended at a high level. We did a lot of switching and talking. It was a good win for us.”
“We made a huge run at the end of the third quarter going into the fourth quarter. Seems like we just picked up our intensity to another degree. Davenport played huge for us tonight, hit some big shots, taking it at Sylvia (Fowles).”
Points in the paint:
Fever 36, Sky 34
Fever 8, Sky 4
Fever 2, Sky 4
Points off turnovers:
Fever 30, Sky 17
Fever 57, Sky 63
Fever 27, Sky 7
Gameday Spotlight: Catchings Entering A League Of Her Own
By Tom Rietmann | June 16, 2012
INDIANAPOLIS -- Mired in a three-game losing streak, the Indiana Fever came into Saturday night's game looking for a boost.
Center Jessica Davenport provided it -- in a big way.
Davenport set a franchise record, hitting all nine of her field goal attempts as she produced a team-high 19 points off the bench in Indiana's 84-70 victory over the Chicago Sky at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
The scoring surge broke a four-game spell in which Davenport totaled just 17 points. It also came against Chicago's Sylvia Fowles, one of the best post players in women's basketball.
“Dav was probably the X-factor of the game tonight,” said Fever star Tamika Catchings, who was held to 12 points. “She came in, gave us great minutes and hit a lot of tough shots. We have a lot of weapons.”
After Catchings and Katie Douglas, Davenport has been one of the Fever's most reliable point-producers over the last couple of seasons. The recent dry stretch was difficult for her, but nothing she couldn't handle.
“I've been in the league for a while, so I know how it goes,” said the 6-foot-5 center, who's in her sixth WNBA season. “I got an opportunity tonight to play extended minutes and I wanted to take advantage of it.
“I've been playing hard, but I haven't gotten great results on offense. I think I have continued to (play with) energy, and I just kept trying to do that tonight.”
The Fever lifted its record to 5-3 ahead of a busy schedule that has them playing five games in nine days, starting with Tuesday's trip to Connecticut. Chicago dropped to 7-2, with both losses coming against Indiana. The Sky played most of the game without WNBA leading scorer Epiphanny Prince, who left in the first quarter with a foot injury.
On a night when Catchings and Douglas were a combined 8-of-27 from the field, the Fever basically manufactured a much-needed victory. Players did whatever they could to grab the win.
Douglas tied a career high with eight assists. Indiana point guard Briann January kept a steady hand on the wheel, collecting 14 points and six assists. Indiana kept the ball moving, totaling 19 assists on 29 buckets.
“I thought it was a great, gut-check win for us,” said Coach Lin Dunn, whose Indiana club is 10-1 in its last 11 games against Chicago.
Chicago opened the game by hitting its first 11 shots, but the home team refused to wilt. And after the Sky went on to make 12-of-13 field goal attempts in the first quarter, the visitors would connect on just 16-of-42 in the final three quarters.
“I thought our defense was kind of the key in separating from them,” Dunn said.
The Fever closed the first half on a 13-1 run, taking a 42-38 lead at the break. Indiana finished the game with an 18-5 burst.
Catchings hit 6-of-8 free throws and has made 1,478 in her career. She surpassed Lisa Leslie as the career leader in the WNBA.
“It's cool,” said Catchings, who then deflected credit to her fellow players in the Fever locker room. “My teammates have put me in a position to be successful. … The No. 1 record we want to set is getting the (WNBA) championship.”
Postgame Notes:With tonight's win the Fever snaps its three-game losing streak and extends its winning streak in the series with Chicago to three in a row.
Tonight’s win is the Fever’s 11th straight home win in the series with the Sky/
With her six free throws made tonight, Tamika Catchings moved ahead of Lisa Leslie as the WNBA’s all-time leader in that department. Catchings ends tonight’s game having hit 1,478 free throws in her career.
With tonight’s win the Fever avoided losing both games of a back-to-back for the first time since the first two games (5/15-16) of the 2010 season.
The Sky shot 12-13 from the floor in the first quarter and that is the third best shooting percentage in a single quarter by one team in WNBA history.
For the game, the Sky shot 28-55 FG (.509) and is the first Indiana opponent to top 50 percent from the field in 2012.
Jessica Davenport led the Fever with a season-high 19 points, the most by any Indiana reserve this season. Her 9-9 from the floor tonight tops the Fever franchise record for a single game she set by hitting 8-8 FG at Connecticut last June (6/11/10). Only four times in franchise history has a Fever player attempted at least six shots in a game without a miss and Davenport has two of those four games. Kara Wolters was 7-7 from the floor at Portland, 7/28/00, and Natalie Williams hit 7-7 FG at Washington, 9/1/04.
With her 19 points tonight, Davenport needs just nine for 1,000 in her WNBA career.
The Fever had a season-high 19 assists tonight, including Katie Douglas’s career-high tying eight and Briann January’s six, which tied her most this season. Douglas’s eight are the most by any Fever player this season.
Tamika Catchings tied a season-high with four steals tonight and the Fever had nine thefts. Indiana has had at least eight steals in seven of eight games this season.
Indiana outscored the Sky in the paint, 36-34, registering its most points in the paint this season, and just its second of 30+ points in the paint in eight games.
The Fever scored 30 of its 84 points off 21 Chicago turnovers. That is Indiana’s most points off turnovers this season and 21 miscues marks the third time that an Indiana opponent has had 20+ turnovers.
The Fever had just 12 turnovers, tying its fewest of 2012.
Including her 4-4 FT tonight, Briann January has shot 20-21 FT for a WNBA-leading 95.2 percent.