Catchings Stars in Korean Championship Opener

INDIANAPOLIS (March 11, 2003) -- Tamika Catchings scored 19 points and pulled down 13 rebounds in a best-of-five Women's Korea Basketball League (WKBL) championship series opener on Monday night in Korea, but it was not enough to offset 27 points by Travesa Gant as the Samsung Life Bichumi outlasted Catching's Woori Bank Hansae, 89-78.

Catchings, the WKBL All-Star MVP during February and the Rookie of the Year in the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) in 2002 while playing with the Indiana Fever, led the Hansae (16-8) to a regular season championship and a first-round playoff series victory.

Samsung Life led 28-19 after one quarter, and opened a double-digit lead by halftime. Woori Bank closed within two, 49-47, with 1:45 remaining in the third period, but never got closer.

The Hansae had beaten the Bichumi in four straight regular season meetings during the WKBL Winter League. Game 2 of the championship series takes place on Tuesday.

Catchings and the Fever host a WNBA preseason game on Wednesday, May 14 at Conseco Fieldhouse against the Phoenix Mercury. Indiana opens its 2003 regular season on Thursday, May 29 at Charlotte, followed two days later with Indiana's home opener against Washington on May 31. For group or season ticket information, please contact a Ticket Sales Account Executive at (317) 917-2500.