Fever Foiled in Final Seconds

STAR OF THE GAME
TAMIKA CATCHINGS
Catchings played aggressive offense throughout the game, breaking a recent shooting slump by going 10-of-17 from the floor, finishing with a game-high 26 points. She added seven rebounds and two steals.
UNSUNG HERO
NATALIE WILLIAMS
Williams battled valiantly in the low post most of the night , finishing with eight points and six rebounds and helping to hold Houston center Michelle Snow to two-of-seven shooting from the field.
QUOTABLE
BRIAN WINTERS
On the game:
“First half, we were out of sync. We had an eight-day break, but that's no excuse. We lost our game rhythm. We played a great second half. We were active and lively. (Janeth) Arcain made two great plays down the stretch to beat us. It was a hard-fought game and Houston played well enough to win. ”

On Tamika's improved shooting:
“I knew she would get out of her funk in just a matter of time. She played a great game.”

TAMIKA CATCHINGS
On being out of sync in the first half:
“I think it was a long break. It was an adjustment coming back. We picked it up in the second half. We just have to get better.”

On the recent breaks in the schedule:
“We would like to have another game, a back-to-back. But this is the way the schedule is set up. We will have to get back in on Sunday and push ourselves. We can't come out against Connecticut like we did tonight or it won't be a good game.”

NATALIE WILLIAMS
On the close finishes this season against the Comets:
“We gave them the first game (Houston beat Indiana in 2ot on May 29). We were ahead 20 points. They have gotten better. We gave them too many second chances, and didn't take advantage of opportunities.”

HIDDEN NUMBERS
Points in the paint:
Fever 32, Comets 20
Fast-break points:
Fever 11, Comets 2
Second-chance points:
Fever 32, Comets 14
Points off turnovers:
Fever 15, Comets 8
Starters scoring:
Comets 53, Fever 46
Bench scoring:
Fever 17, Comets 12
RELATED LINKS
Box Score | WNBA Recap
GAME REPORT
Comets 65, Fever 63

July 7, 2005 at Conseco Fieldhouse (Indianapolis, Ind.)

INDIANAPOLIS — Janeth Arcain led the Houston Comets with 16 points that included a turnaround jumper with 2.9 seconds to play, as Houston defeated the Indiana Fever 65-63 in WNBA action Thursday at Conseco Fieldhouse.

A shot at the buzzer by Tamika Catchings, who finished with a game-high 26 points, fell short as the Fever lost at home for the second straight game, after winning its first six on its home floor. After combining for just 12 points in her last two games, the Fever’s All-Star forward shot 10-of-17 from the field. She also grabbed seven rebounds to go along with two steals.

The Fever (8-6) made a valiant comeback after trailing for almost the entire game and managed to tie the score three times in the final five minutes. Catchings’ running jump shot with 27 seconds left deadlocked the score at 63, but Indiana had little time to recover, as Arcain’s jumper clinched the victory for the Comets (10-5).

Rookie Tan White put Indiana ahead for the first time, after she sank a jump shot at the 5:42 mark that allowed the Fever to pull ahead, 56-55. White tallied nine points and Natalie Williams finished with eight.

Trailing by as many as 10 in the first 20 minutes of action, the Fever struggled on both ends of the court. Indiana was down 33-26 at the half.

The Comets had a slim 25-22 rebounding advantage over the Fever, but committed 12 turnovers, compared to Indiana’s 11. Shooting 40 percent in the first period after a nine-day layover since playing Los Angeles on June 28, the Fever shot 63.6 percent in the final period.

Indiana held WNBA All-Star Sheryl Swoopes scoreless in the first half. But Swoopes broke free in the second half of action to finish with 14 points and five assists. Former Indiana forward Kristen Rasmussen went 4-of-6 from the field, adding nine points and three blocks for the Comets.

The game pitted the top two vote-getters in fan balloting for Saturday’s WNBA All-Star game in Uncasville, Conn. Swoopes led all WNBA players. Catchings, second, led all players from the Eastern Conference.

Indiana resumes action after the All-Star Break when it hosts the Eastern Conference’s first-place team, the Connecticut Sun, on Wednesday, July 13 at 1 p.m.


FEVER NOTEBOOK
  • Tonight's game is the Fever's sixth of the season decided by three points or less and its second loss in a row in those games.
  • Overall, the Fever has lost two in a row for the second time this season and has lost two in a row at home after winning its first six games at Conseco Fieldhouse.
  • Having shot 14-22 (.636) in the second half, the Fever shot a season-best 50 percent from the floor for the game.
  • Tamika Catchings shot 10-17 from the floor tonight and hit 50 percent or better from the field for the first time in 2005.
  • In the last three games, the Fever has shot 21-29 FT (.724) to the opposition's 34-40 FT (.850). The Fever's six free throws made tonight tied its season-low.
  • Tamika Catchings' 26 points tonight represents her fifth game of 20-plus points this season and her third in the last six games. Her 26 points is two off her best outing of the season.
  • Including its 11 tonight, the Fever has averaged 11.3 topg in the last three games.
  • Of the nine Fever players to see action tonight, eight of them had at least one assist and the team notched 16 assists. Kelly Miller led the Fever in assists for the third time this season with four. Miller is the only player, other than Tamika Catchings, to led the Fever in assists in more than one game in 2005.
  • Jurgita Streimikyte's bench-high three assists are her season-high.
  • Ranked fifth in the WNBA with an average of 4.9 apg this season, Tamika Catchings had a season-low one assist tonight.
  • Scoreless in the first half on 0-2 FG, Sheryl Swoopes scored 14 second-half points on 5-9 FG, 2-4 3-pt FG and 2-2 FT. Swoopes also tied for the team lead in assists with Dominique Canty. Four of Swoopes assists came in the second half. Canty's assists tied her season-high.
  • After losing four straight games, the Comets have now won six in a row. Overall Houston is 4-1 against the Eastern Conference, 2-0 on the road. Houston's six-game winning is the longest current streak in the WNBA.
  • The Fever remains three and a half games behind the Connecticut Sun in the Eastern Conference standings, as the Sun lost 89-79 to New York tonight. The Fever maintains a one-game lead on third place Washington, which lost tonight to Detroit.