Fever Routs Sting in Preseason Opener

STAR OF THE GAME
TAMIKA WHITMORE
Whitmore came off the bench to play 22 minutes and score a game-high 19 points in her Fever preseason debut - literally hours after arriving from France and without the benefit of a practice prior to Saturday's shootaround. She was 6-of-10 from the floor with a 3-pointer, three rebounds and two blocked shots.
UNSUNG HERO
EBONY HOFFMAN
Hoffman dominated the boards in the decisive first half. She had five points and eight rebounds at the break, and finished with seven points and nine boards as she played sparingly in the second half.
QUOTABLE
BRIAN WINTERS
On the meaning of the game:
“It was a good first game for us. We got to play a lot of people and I thought all of our new people played very well together. We got some very good production from Tamika Whitmore and La’Tangela Atkinson, and I thought K.B. [Sharp] played well, also. Tamika [Catchings] and Tully both got some good time on the floor, and it was good to rest them after their travel recently.”

“We played a little more up-tempo then we did last year. That had a little to do with the new rules and the 24-second shot clock. But I think we’re more athletic, too, and our defense helped set up our transition. It was good for us to get out and run a little bit, and play against people besides ourselves.”

HIDDEN NUMBERS
Points in the paint:
Fever 34, Sting 44
Second-chance points:
Fever 11, Sting 11
Fast-break points:
Fever 8, Sting 7
Points off turnovers:
Fever 21, Sting 7
Starters scoring:
Fever 30, Sting 29
Bench scoring:
Fever 55, Sting 37
GAME REPORT
Fever 85, Sting 66
May 6, 2006 at Charlotte Bobcats Arena (Charlotte, N.C.)
Box Score

Team Record 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Indiana 1-0 22 21 18 24 85
at Charlotte 0-2 15 13 12 26 66

CHARLOTTE - The Indiana Fever fell behind Charlotte 4-0 before outscoring the host Sting 43-24 the rest of the first half, en route to an 85-66 victory in the Fever's preseason opener Saturday.

Playing in what was the Sting's preseason opener at the new Charlotte Bobcats Arena, the Fever used depth and balanced scoring to command its early advantage. Eight different players got into the scoring column during the first two quarters, led by nine from Tamika Catchings and seven apiece from Tamika Whitmore and Coretta Brown. The Fever claimed a 20-14 edge on the boards by halftime, with Ebony Hoffman, who started at center, owning eight boards in the opening half.

Whitmore led the Fever with 19 points overall, followed by Catchings with 14. Reserve guard K.B. Sharp had 12, 10 in the second half. Indiana led by as many as 18 points in the first half, and by 25, 67-42, in the opening moments of the fourth quarter.

With the lead already well in hand, the Fever used a 9-0 run in the final minutes of the third quarter, capped by a 3-pointer by Whitmore and a driving layup by first-round draft pick La’Tangela Atkinson, as Indiana posted a 23-point lead, 61-38. Four free throws by Sharp and a layup by Linda Frohlich posted the Fever to its largest lead with 7:54 left in the game.

The Fever started the game with Hoffman in the post, Charlotte Smith at one forward, and Brown at shooting guard. Catchings started at the other forward despite just two practices since arriving from Russia earlier in the week. Bevilaqua started at the point despite just one practice and an arrival from Australia barely 24 hours earlier. Whitmore came off the bench to play 22 minutes in what was her first Fever appearance - practice or otherwise. She had not practiced with the team since arriving from France, Friday, on the same day the Fever traveled to Charlotte.

Rookie Monique Currie led Charlotte (0-2) with 18 points, as the Sting lost their second preseason game in a week. Indiana (1-0), hosts the Los Angeles Sparks at noon on Thursday, May 11, in its final preseason game and its only preseason tuneup at Conseco Fieldhouse.


Notes:
  • Indiana hosts a preseason home game with the Los Angeles Sparks next Thursday, May 11 (noon). Prior to Thursday’s game, beginning at 10:00 a.m., the Fever will host “Choices for Champions,” hosted by WISH-TV sports anchor Anthony Calhoun. Calhoun and the Fever will host approximately 1,200 area youth for a discussion and seminar about making decisions in life, and dealing with youth issues such as peer pressure. Speaking and taking questions during the seminar will be WNBA All-Stars and Olympic gold medalists Tamika Catchings and Lisa Leslie.
  • Thursday's game with the Sparks marks an early matchup with Tamika Whitmore facing her former team. Whitmore, a starter in L.A. the past two seasons, and at New York in five seasons prior, was signed to a free agent contract in March.
  • The Fever continue its training camp schedule with practices scheduled Sunday through Wednesday, prior to hosting the Sparks. Among the 15 players on its preseason roster, only 13 traveled to Charlotte. The remaining two players, Anna DeForge and Tan White, arrived in Indianapolis from overseas locations late Saturday. DeForge was recently named the MVP of her league in Poland. White was playing overseas in Turkey.
  • Saturday’s preseason tip with the Sting marked the third time in four years the two teams had met in a preseason bout. The Fever were victorious in both previous occasions – besting the Sting 74-52 in 2003 at Charlotte Coliseum, and 63-57 in 2004 at Hinkle Fieldhouse.
  • Saturday’s game was a homecoming for several Fever stars. Charlotte Smith began her WNBA career with the Sting and played six seasons in Charlotte. Olympia Scott spent 2004 with Charlotte before her trade to Sacramento prior to the 2005 campaign. Jenni Benningfield, Linda Fröhlich and Lenae Williams all have spent time in previous Sting training camps.
  • Three Fever stars played their college ball at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. Smith led the Tar Heels to a national title in 1995 and currently is a UNC assistant coach where she coached a pair of her new teammates, Coretta Brown and the Fever’s 2006 No. 1 draft pick, La’Tangela Atkinson.


    2006 Game Report Archive