Fever Defense Dominates In 71-65 Win Over Phoenix Mercury

STAR OF THE GAME
LINDA FROHLICH
Frohlich finished with a career-high 15 points, including three 3’s, off the bench for Indiana. It was just the second time Frohlich scored in double figures this season.
UNSUNG HERO
TAN WHITE
White scored 9 points off the bench for the Fever, to go along with five rebounds and five assists. Her five assists was a season-high.
QUOTABLE
BRIAN WINTERS
In general:
“Phoenix played a good zone against us and we needed to make our perimeter shots. Tamika (Catchings) played Taurasi (Diana) well on defense. She always gives her a hard time. Tully (Bevilaqua) played good defense when she was on Taurasi.”

“The game was full of runs. We played much better in the second half by limiting our turnovers. It was nip-and-tuck most of the way. We played pretty poised under pressure, but I would like to have some laughers. But we are what we are.”

On Linda Frohlich:
“When I play her, she plays well. We needed her perimeter shooting today.”

TAMIKA CATCHINGS
On facing a zone defense:
“The first half we struggled. It wasn’t that we weren’t getting good looks. Their defense rotated and took the open shot away. The key in our second half was when we had five turnovers and were able to hit the open person, who hit some of those open shots.”

HIDDEN NUMBERS
Points in the paint:
Mercury 28, Fever 24
Second-chance points:
Mercury 10, Fever 9
Fast-break points:
Mercury 4, Fever 8
Points off turnovers:
Mercury 13, Fever 25
Starters scoring:
Mercury 53, Fever 44
Bench scoring:
Mercury 12, Fever 27
GAME REPORT
Fever 71, Mercury 65
July 18, 2006 at Conseco Fieldhouse (Indianapolis, Ind.)
Box Score | WNBA Recap

Team Record 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Phoenix 9-12 13 18 17 17 65
at Indiana 15-8 18 13 23 17 71

INDIANAPOLIS – Linda Frohlich came off the bench to score a career-high 15 points, including a career-best three 3-pointers, in sparking the Indiana Fever to a 71-65 victory over the Phoenix Mercury in a Tuesday afternoon matinee at Conseco Fieldhouse. The win was the second consecutive at home for Indiana, which is in the midst of a five-game home stretch.

Indiana’s win Tuesday also extended its record to a league-best 9-1 at home. The Fever was able to overcome 19 turnovers by holding the Mercury to a season-low 65 points, including shutting down the league’s leading scorer, Diana Taurasi, who finished with just seven points on 3-of-14 shooting. It was Taurasi's lowest point total this year. Indiana’s defense also forced Phoenix into a season-high 26 turnovers, resulting in 25 points for the Fever.

Tamika Catchings led all Indiana scorers with 17 points, seven rebounds and tied a season high with five steals. Reserve guard Tan White added nine points, five rebounds and five assists for Indiana, which improved its record to 15-8 this season.

Taurasi was in foul trouble early and never got on track offensively. She was held to single digits scoring for the first time this season. Penny Taylor scored a game-high 18 points for Phoenix, including three 3’s, to go along with seven rebounds in the game. Kamila Vodichkova added 14 points and eight rebounds for the Mercury, which fell to 9-12 this season.

Phoenix scored the first six points of the game, only to see Indiana go on a 10-0 run in an up-and-down opening five minutes of play. Penny Taylor’s 3-pointer put Phoenix back in front by one, 13-12. However, back-to-back 3’s from White and Frohlich would give the Fever an 18-13 lead after one. Taurasi picked up her 3rd foul at the 5:09 mark of the first and was called for a technical foul on her way to the bench for the remainder of the quarter.

Indiana’s lead was trimmed to 20-19 on a Kristen Rasmussen jumper early in the second quarter. Phoenix tied the score twice in the second, but never took the lead with the game tied at 31 at halftime. Indiana turned the ball over 13 times and shot just 33 percent from the floor, while Phoenix shot 38 percent from the field and turned it over 14 times in the game’s first half.

Trailing by one midway through the fourth, Vodichkova hit a jumper from the top of the key to give Phoenix its first lead since the first quarter, 60-59. The lead then changed hands several times down the stretch. Taurasi’s 3-pointer put Phoenix in front 65-64. Indiana, though, would score the final seven points of the game to preserve the win.


Notes:
  • At 15-8, Indiana has its best record ever after 23 games. The Fever is 9-1 at home, the best winning percentage of any team in the WNBA.
  • Since losing its first two games ever against the Mercury (7/8/00 & 7/26/00), Indiana has won eight of the last nine games vs. Phoenix, including the last four in a row. Today's win is the Fever's fifth straight home win vs. the Mercury.
  • The Indiana defense held Phoenix below 70 points for the first time this season and held the league's leading scorer, Diana Taurasi, to a season-low seven points. That is the first time in 2006 that Taurasi has scored less than 10 points.
  • Taurasi’s seven points was her lowest scoring total since August 16, 2005 when she was held scoreless against Detroit, playing 27 minutes before leaving with an injury.
  • Led by the career-high 15 points from Linda Fröhlich, the Indiana bench outscored the Mercury reserves, 27-12. Indiana's bench has outscored its counterparts just six times in 23 games.
  • Having missed just one of its 17 free throws, the Fever had its best outing at the foul line (.941) of the season.
  • The Fever had a season-high 17 steals today, including five apiece from Tamika Catchings and Tully Bevilaqua. Bevilaqua's five are her most ever with the Fever and are one short of her career-best. Five steals is the most for any Indiana player this season.
  • Catchings' five steals today gives her a league-leading 49 for the season and ties her most in any game in 2006.
  • While committing 19 turnovers, the Fever forced Phoenix into a season-high 26 turnovers and scored 25 points off those errors. The Mercury's 26 turnovers are the second most ever for Phoenix in its 10-year history. The Mercury's franchise record is 28 turnovers at Houston, 6/4/05.
  • Kelly Miller committed nine turnovers today, the most by any player in the WNBA this season.
  • Phoenix's 21 assists are one short of its most in 2006. The Mercury have had 22 assists twice this season.
  • Leading the Fever in assists with five apiece, Tan White set a career-high and Tamika Whitmore tied her most assists ever in the WNBA. This is the second time this season that Whitmore has had five assists.
  • Today's win is the Fever's fourth of the season (4-7) when being outrebounded by the opposition. Phoenix had a 32-29 edge on the boards.
  • The Fever is 10-1 this season when scoring 70+ points and is 10-0 when holding its opponent under 70 points.


    2006 Game Report Archive