Fever Holds Off Surging Mercury In Phoenix

STAR OF THE GAME
TAMIKA WHITMORE
Whitmore scored a game-high 26 points, shooting 10-of-17 from the field and 6-of-6 from the foul line. She also had nine rebounds two assists and three steals in the game.
UNSUNG HERO
TULLY BEVILAQUA
Bevilaqua had nine points, four rebounds and a game-high four steals. It was her steal and 3-point play with less than a minute remaining in the game that lifted Indiana past Phoenix.
QUOTABLE
BRIAN WINTERS
In general:
“We played well tonight. We got out of the gates early and that helped. We showed a lot of poise against their zone and when they had their run in the third quarter. It was a great win to start the road trip. ”

TAMIKA CATCHINGS
In general:
“The big thing for us was that we started with high intensity. That was big for us on the road. We regrouped after their rally and did a good job. Taurasi and Pondexter are two great players and we knew they would make a run. But we kept our composure and played well all the way until the end.”



HIDDEN NUMBERS
Points in the paint:
Fever 36, Mercury 34
Second-chance points:
Fever 12, Mercury 6
Fast-break points:
Fever 13, Mercury 10
Points off turnovers:
Fever 22, Mercury 12
Starters scoring:
Fever 70, Mercury 55
Bench scoring:
Fever 13, Mercury 18
GAME REPORT
Fever 83, Mercury 73
June 23, 2006 at US Airways Center (Phoenix, AZ)
Box Score | WNBA Recap

Team Record 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Indiana 10-4 24 20 17 22 83
at Phoenix 4-7 14 14 27 18 73

PHOENIX, AZ – Tully Bevilaqua’s steal and ensuing 3-point play the old fashioned way with 42.2 seconds left sealed an 83-73 victory for the Indiana Fever over the Phoenix Mercury Friday night.

Phoenix used a 9-0 run to cut Indiana’s double-digit lead down to three and had a chance to tie with less than one minute remaining. However, the smallest player on the floor provided the biggest defensive play of the game to lift the Fever to its 10th win of the season.

Tamika Whitmore scored a game-high 26 points on 10-of-17 shooting and added a game-high nine rebounds. It was the fourth consecutive game Whitmore was Indiana’s leading scorer. Tamika Catchings had a quiet 20 points despite some foul trouble early on.

Dianna Taurasi finished with 21 points and six rebounds to lead the Mercury. Fourteen of Taurasi’s points came in the second half during the Mercury’s surge. Cappie Pondexter followed with 14, while Kamila Vodichkova contributed ten points for Phoenix.

Facing the league’s top-scoring team, it was the Fever that opened the game scoring at a dizzying pace. Indiana exploded out of the gates, scoring the game’s first ten points, ignited by a 3-pointer from Anna DeForge on its first possession of the game.

The Fever led by as many as 12 in the first quarter before holding the Mercury to its lowest scoring quarter of the season, leading by ten, 24-14, after one.

Phoenix went on a 7-2 run to open the second quarter including five in a row from Pondexter to cut Indiana’s lead down to five at 26-21. Late in the second, Tan White converted a transition bucket to extended Indiana’s lead to 15 before a DeForge 3-point play gave the Fever its largest lead of the game, 44-28, with 1:40 left in the first half. The Fever was able to extend its first quarter lead despite Catchings being sidelined with three fouls early in the period.

The Mercury managed just 28 points in the first half, which was its lowest total this season. Indiana also forced 12 Mercury turnovers in the first two quarters and never trailed.

Phoenix would score the first six points of the third quarter before Taurasi caught fire. After scoring just seven points in the first half, Taurasi dropped 12 in the third quarter alone to help carve into Indiana’s double-digit lead.

The Mercury went on to outscore the Fever 27-17 in the third to cut its deficit down to six heading into the fourth quarter. Phoenix continued its run early in the final stanza, however, Catchings converted a crucial 4-point play to extend the Fever’s lead back to double digits midway through the period.

Indiana outscored Phoenix 8-1 in the final minute of the fourth quarter before claiming its third consecutive win over the Mercury.


Notes:
  • Tonight’s game with Phoenix continued a stretch of six games in 11 days for the Fever, including three games in five days as part of a coast-to-coast road trip.
  • In the next eight days the Fever will face three Eastern Conference title contenders in three consecutive games, playing at Washington (6/27), versus Detroit (6/29) and versus Connecticut (7/1).
  • Playing against her former team, Anna DeForge tied a season-high with eight rebounds tonight in Phoenix.


    2006 Game Report Archive