Indiana 63, New York 51
Fever Take Command Late
NEW YORK, Aug. 30 (Ticker) -- Tully Belivaqua's big basket gave the Indiana Fever a big edge in their first-round playoff series.
Belivaqua's 3-pointer with 1:33 remaining keyed a closing 14-2 run as the Fever took control of their best-of-three Eastern Conference series with a 63-51 victory over the New York Liberty.
Indiana erased a nine-point first-half decicit, then blew a 10-point second half lead. A 3-pointer by Elena Baranova capped a 16-6 surge by New York and forged a 49-49 tie with 3:22 to go.
Deanna Jackson and Catchings each made two free throws to give the Fever the lead for good. With the shot clock running down, Bevilaqua buried a 3-pointer for a 56-49 lead.
"We try to establish an inside game, but we're in confident taking those shots," said Bevilaqua, who made three 3-pointers. "We're going to keep taking them."
Cathrine Kraayeveld sank two foul shots with 1:07 left, but the Liberty did not score again. Bevilaqua, Jackson and Catchings each made a pair from the line in the final 62 seconds for the Fever, who made 13 of their last 14 free throws.
"When it counts, we're really starting to knock them down now," Bevilaqua said. "That's really what we have to focus on."
Belivaqua scored 14 points and Jackson added nine for the second-seeded Fever, who held a 27-20 advantage on the glass.
Vickie Johnson scored 17 points but was the only player in double figures for the third-seeded Liberty, who will try to avoid elimination in Game Two at Indiana on Thursday.