McCarville Leads Liberty Past Fever in 3 OTs

New York 102, Indiana 96

NEW YORK, June 26 (AP) -- The New York Liberty got a big boost before heading out on a long road trip.

Janel McCarville scored a career-high 31 points and Shameka Christon had six of her 23 in the third overtime, lifting the Liberty to a 102-96 victory over the Indiana Fever on Thursday night.

"It helps our confidence,'' New York coach Pat Coyle said. "A loss would have been devastating.''

Essence Carson had 18 points, Loree Moore added 12 and Cathrine Kraayeveld 11 to lead New York (7-6) in a game that tied for the second-longest for overtime periods in the regular season in league history. The only game that went longer was Washington's victory over Seattle in four overtimes on July 3, 2001.

"This game was very important, it will help us with our confidence level,'' Carson said. "Right now, we know when we play together as a team good things happen.''

The Liberty play their next five games on the road, starting with a matchup at Sacramento on Saturday night, and don't return home until facing Detroit on July 12.

Ebony Hoffman scored a career-high 26 points and Tammy Sutton-Brown had career highs with 23 points and 15 rebounds for Indiana (7-7). Katie Douglas added 18 points and Tamika Catchings had 15.

Hoffman was 11-for-19 from the field, including a career-best three 3-pointers, before fouling out with about two minutes to go in the second overtime.

"Ebony's done a great job,'' Fever coach Lin Dunn said. "She has asserted herself and been really aggressive. Losing her when she fouled out was really a big blow.''

The Liberty, who rallied from a 13-point deficit in the second quarter, were 26-for-30 from the free throw line and outrebounded the Fever 46-42. Indiana shot 12-for-17 from the line and 12-for-26 on 3-pointers.

New York, which set a franchise record for scoring in a 105-72 victory against Phoenix on Sunday, won for the second time in three games.

"Going into triple-overtime, it shows maturity,'' Moore said. "All of the things we have been going through, all of the ups and downs, we really stuck together.''

After Sutton-Brown had consecutive baskets in a 33-second span to give the Fever a 96-94 lead with 2:12 left, Christon 's 3-pointer nearly a minute later started the Liberty's game-ending 8-0 run.

Kraayeveld's jumper gave New York a 92-90 lead with 1:07 left in the second overtime, but Sutton-Brown's putback with 10 seconds left tied it.

"There were times we could have folded, but we didn't,'' Coyle said. "It was a great game ... an unbelievable game. It had a lot to do with our aggressiveness.''

Catchings, who came in averaging 8.4 points in limited minutes after missing the first eight games while recovering from an Achilles' injury, hit a 3-pointer with 4.4 seconds left in the first extra period to give the Fever an 88-87 lead. However, she was then whistled for a foul on McCarville, who missed the first free throw before hitting the second with 1 second left to send the game to a second overtime.

Hoffman and Douglas hit consecutive 3-pointers 32 seconds apart to give the Fever a 70-65 lead with 1:08 left in regulation.

McCarville hit a jumper for New York 10 seconds later, and Hoffman missed a jumper with the shot clock running down on the ensuing possession.

Carson then made a short jumper with 20.6 seconds left, but missed a potential tying free throw.

After Douglas hit two free throws 8 seconds later to push Indiana's lead to 72-69, Kraayeveld made a tying 3 from the left corner with 6.3 seconds left.

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