Sky Toppled By Fever

The Sky handled the Western Conference leaders last week, but had no answer for the Eastern-Conference leading Indiana Fever (13-4) on Sunday night, losing 70-86. It was the second straight loss for the Sky (8-10), coming less than 24 hours after the team fell to Washington, 73-77, in Chicago on Saturday night.

Tamika Catchings had 16 points, 7 rebounds and a career-high 11 assists to lead the Fever. Her 7 steals moved her into third place all-time, with 474, and she became the first player in WNBA history to have at least seven points, rebounds, assists and steals in one game. Associated Press called it “one of the best games in Catchings' six-year career.”

"She's the best player in the league,'' said Sky Head Coach Bo Overton. “She could probably play any position, even point guard if they asked her.''

Cathy Joens had a team-high 16-points off the bench for the Sky. She was 3-of-5 from beyond the three point arc and shot 5-of-5 from the free throw line. She was waived on May 24 to make room on the roster for Chasity Melvin, and re-signed on July 5. Candice Dupree was held to 13 points and nine rebounds. Melvin added 11 points and Stephanie Raymond had 10 points off the bench.

Chicago didn't make a field goal until Stacey Dales’ 3-pointer more than three minutes into the game. It took more than five minutes for the Sky to score in the second quarter, as they were outscored 21-9. The Fever closed the first half with a 12-0 run to lead 50-26 at the half. The Fever held the Sky to 28 percent shooting before halftime.

“We didn’t compete,” said Overton. “Indiana is a great team and bigger than us. At halftime, we talked about coming out and competing. We did a better job in the second half.”

The Sky outscored the Fever in both the third and fourth quarters, but couldn’t make up the first-half deficit. The Sky out-rebounded the Fever 37-35, and improved the team’s free throw percentage to 84.2%. The Sky shot 35.4%, which made it the 12th straight game Indiana has held an opponent to less than 40 percent shooting.

“They are just physical and athletic from guard through post,” said Overton on the loss. “We have a tough next few weeks as we take on the Shock and the Fever again. I hope this loss will teach us to compete.”

The Sky heads to Detroit to battle the 2006 WNBA Champion Shock Tuesday night at 6:00 pm. The game will be broadcast on ESPN2 and on WVON 1690 AM.