Indiana Loses Comeback Bid at Chicago Staff | July 22, 2014

CHICAGO – Sylvia Fowles had 21 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Chicago Sky past the Indiana Fever, 60-57, at Allstate Arena on Tuesday. Epiphanny Prince added 13 points for the Sky and added a go-ahead layup as the Sky snapped a six-game losing streak.

The Fever ended a three-game road win streak, but not before erasing a 12-point deficit and having chances to win in the final minutes.

Chances to win that were snuffed by Indiana’s own missed free throws.

The Fever shot 9-of-20 at the charity stripe overall, missing 5 of 12 attempts in the fourth quarter. Four misses came in the game’s final 90 seconds.

“Unfortunately, we gave the game away,” said Fever coach Lin Dunn. “I thought we did everything we had to do in the second half to come back and win. But when you’re on the road, you can’t miss free throws and expect to win.”

She added, “As coach, all I can do is get them to the free throw line. Once you get there, if you make ‘em, you win. If you miss, you lose.”

Indiana erased the double-digit, third-quarter deficit to knot the score in the game’s final minutes, coming back from what was a 34-22 Chicago lead early in the third period. The Fever tied the score at 51 on a pair of free throws by Tamika Catchings to cap a 10-2 run with 3:54 remaining.

Prince staked the Sky to a 53-51 advantage and Catchings had a chance to tie with 1:32 to play, but missed both free throw attempts before knotting the score on the Fever’s next possession with a short jumper in the paint.

A Fowles jumper produced a 55-53 Chicago advantage and Indiana tied it again with a pair of free throws from Marissa Coleman, with 38.5 seconds left, setting the stage for Prince’s heroics.

Prince scored on a driving right-handed layup with 21.3 seconds to play and, after back-to-back Indiana timeouts, Erlana Larkins was fouled by Fowles with 16.1 ticks remaining. She hit the front end of two attempts, but the Fever was forced to foul after she missed the second.

The Sky’s Jamierra Faulkner gave the Fever a final opportunity when she missed 1 of 2 foul shots with 13 seconds to play, but when Catchings was fouled with 4.1 seconds on the clock with another chance to tie, she missed her third straight free throw attempt. She made the second attempt for a 1-point deficit and Allie Quigley tacked on another pair of free throws to seal the win for Chicago.

Catchings, the reigning Eastern Conference Player of the Week after a pair of 25-point outings last week and a starring role in last weekend’s WNBA All-Star game, paced the Fever with 11 points and nine rebounds while finishing 3-of-7 shooting at the foul line. Ironically, she is the WNBA’s all-time leader in free throws.

Coleman also scored 11 for Indiana who was hampered by 12 first-half turnovers. The Fever’s 19 turnovers overall contributed to 22 points for the Sky who evened the season series with Indiana, 2-2.

Indiana staged a rally late in the third quarter, ending the period on a 9-2 run on the strength of four different scorers and capped by a 3-pointer from Karima Christmas – trimming the Chicago lead to 44-41.

After leading 14-13 after one quarter, the Fever was outscored 16-6 in the second quarter to cap the club’s lowest-scoring half of the season. Chicago led 29-20 at intermission.

Indiana continues a string of five straight road games when it begins a four-game Western Conference road trip beginning Friday at San Antonio.

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