ATLANTA (0-0) at INDIANA (0-0)
Date: Saturday, August 18, 2012
Time: 7:00 p.m. ET
Site: Bankers Life Fieldhouse (Indianapolis, Ind.)
TV: Fox Sports Indiana
Webcast: Live on FeverBasketball.com
• Saturday’s game is the fourth of five meetings between the Indiana Fever (11-7) and Atlanta Dream (9-10, pending Friday’s game at Chicago). The Fever won the first two matchups, 92-84 and 78-64, while losing the third contest, 70-58. With a victory Saturday, Indiana could clinch a playoff tiebreaker against the team that knocked the Fever out of the playoffs last season.
• After a five-week Olympic break, the Fever began the second half of its season in good fashion, defeating Washington 84-66 Thursday night.
• Rebounding was crucial in the Fever’s victory over the Mystics. Indiana, who has struggled on the boards all season, outrebounded its opponent for the first time in seven games. The 41-35 advantage on the glass is a step in the right direction according to head coach Lin Dunn.
• Atlanta returns standout forward Erika de Souza for the second half of its season. de Souza spent the first half training for the Olympics with her Brazilian national team, which finished fifth in London. The Dream lacked experience in the low block position in the first half of the season and is looking forward to de Souza’s return.
• Out of six teams in the Eastern Conference, Indiana sits in second place while Atlanta holds onto third, both behind conference leader Connecticut.
• Tamika Catchings and the Dream’s Angel McCoughtry will play against each other Saturday after spending the past five-weeks as teammates at the London Olympic Games. Team USA’s gold was Catchings’ third gold medal and McCoughtry’s first. Atlanta’s head coach Marynell Meadors spent the Olympic break with Catchings and McCoughtry as an assistant coach for the U.S.
• Catchings needs four assists to move past Vickie Johnson in the No. 8 position on the WNBA’s all-time chart for assists.
• Saturday is Go Green Night presented by Republic Services, and also is a Lucas Oil Family Night presented by the Indianapolis Star. Family Night packages include a ticket to the game plus a t-shirt, hot dog, bag of chips and a Pepsi product beginning at $13 per ticket.
• The first 2,500 fans to Saturday’s game will receive a one-of-a-kind Fever/Steak ‘n Shake spatula courtesy of Steak ‘n Shake. Thank you Steak ‘n Shake!
• Fever fans will also be treated to a postgame concert in the Indiana University Health Entry Pavilion as part of Power & Praise Gospel Night. Performances will be given by Sunday’s Best Winner Amber Bullock, Todd Dulaney and other artists.
Players to Watch
Larkins proved she belonged on the court in Thursday’s win over Washington, scoring a career-high 16 points in less than 21 minutes of play. Known for her rebounding ability and natural knack for the ball, the 6’1” forward pulled down seven rebounds, four offensive. Larkins shot 4-of-6 from the floor, while sinking all eight of her free-throws. With the absence of Catchings during the Olympic break, Larkins received more reps in both the 4 and 5 positions during practice. In Thursday’s game, she matched or beat personal bests in points (16), rebounds (7), steals (3) and free throws (8).
Dream – Angel McCoughtry
McCoughtry leads the WNBA in scoring, averaging 22.6 points per game. In London, McCoughtry finished as Team USA’s second-leading scorer, averaging 10.9 points per game, despite playing the ninth-most minutes. She also had 20 steals, six more than any other player on any team during the Olympics. The 6’1” guard/forward did not play in Atlanta’s last three games prior to the Olympics due to a sprained left knee. In her most recent Dream performance against Chicago on July 1, McCoughtry scored 21 points and grabbed five rebounds.
Fever - F-Tamika Catchings, F- Katie Douglas, C-Tammy Sutton-Brown, G- Shavonte Zellous, G-Briann January
Dream – F- Sancho Lyttle, F- Angel McCoughtry, C- Erika de Souza, G- Armintie Price, G- Lindsey HardingLast Games
Fever vs. Mystics — Erlana Larkins scored a career-high 16 points to help the Indiana Fever defeat the Washington Mystics 84-66 on Thursday night. Larkins also matched career highs with seven rebounds and three steals. Tamika Catchings, fresh off winning her third gold medal for Team USA, had 14 points and 14 rebounds. The double-double was the 76th of her career, tied her with Lauren Jackson for third in WNBA history. Katie Douglas added 11 points for the Fever (11-7), who returned from the Olympic break trailing Connecticut by four games in the Eastern Conference standings. Monique Currie scored 12 points, Michelle Snow scored 11 and Jasmine Thomas added 10 for the Mystics (4-15), who remained in last place in the East. Indiana outrebounded Washington 41-35 and had 20 assists on 29 field goals.
Dream vs. Silver Stars — Jia Perkins scored 21 points and the San Antonio Silver Stars defeated the Atlanta Dream 91-70, prior to the Olympic Break, for a franchise-record ninth straight victory. San Antonio (13-5) also established the franchise's best start after 18 games. Becky Hammon added 15 points for the Silver Stars. Sophia Young, Danielle Robinson and Shenice Johnson each had 12. Perkins and Johnson sparked San Antonio's bench, which outscored Atlanta's 44-3. The Dream were without starting forward Angel McCoughtry, who was sidelined since July 1 with a left knee sprain.
Indiana is 2-1 against the Dream this season and 1-0 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Indiana fell to Atlanta all four times in the 2011 regular season, and the Dream defeated the Fever 2-1 in last year’s Eastern Conference Finals.