Early Lead Generated Fever Win
Box Score | WNBA Recap
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NEW YORK(AP) Tamika Catchings scored 18 points and Tamika Whitmore had 15 to lead the Indiana Fever to a 74-63 victory over the suddenly struggling New York Liberty on Sunday.
Tammy Sutton-Brown added 11 points and Anna DeForge 10 points to help the Fever (10-3) pull within a half-game of first-place Detroit in the Eastern Conference.
Loree Moore scored 17 points, Cathrine Kraayeveld and Janel McCarville added 13 apiece, and Lisa Willis had 12 for New York (7-6). The Liberty lost for the sixth time in eight games after a franchise-best 5-0 start.
Kraayeveld hit three free throws and had a fastbreak layup in the opening minute of the fourth quarter to cap a 9-0 run. Willis then hit a 3 and Moore had a layup to cut the deficit to 57-50 with 6:19 left.
Willis hit another 3 and then a turnaround jumper that pulled the Liberty to 63-57 and energized the Madison Square Garden crowd with about 3 1/2 minutes to go. However, the Fever followed with a 7-1 run to pull away.
Indiana opened the game with a 10-0 run and never trailed. Whitmore's layup with 33 seconds left in the first quarter capped a 9-0 run and pushed the lead to 22-7. The Fever scored 11 straight points spanning halftime to take a 44-22 lead, their biggest of the game, on Whitmore's jumper with 8:19 to go in the third quarter.
The Liberty played without Erin Thorn and Shameka Christon. Thorn has a sprained left foot and is expected to miss a week, and Christon was sick.
New York made 3 of 11 shots in the first quarter while committing 10 of their 15 first-half turnovers.
Indiana led 38-22 at halftime while shooting 50 percent from the field (14 of 28).