Fever Falls in Back-to-Back Defeat at Washington

STAR OF THE GAME
NATALIE WILLIAMS
Williams finished with 14 points and a game-high nine rebounds, and for most of the night was the Fever's most potent offensive threat. She shot 6-of-10 from the floor.
UNSUNG HERO
KELLY MILLER
Miller was 3-of-4 from 3-point range and led Indiana with 16 points while playing opposite her twin sister, Coco, who scored eight for the Mystics.
QUOTABLE
BRIAN WINTERS
On Washington's defense:
“DeLisha Milton-Jones is a heckuva defender, and so is Charlotte Smith-Taylor. [Washington] did a good job, but we had a chance to win and that’s what we wanted. I’m very happy with the way we played – playing the second game of a back-to-back on the road against a team that desparately needed this win. Washington played well and deserves credit, but we were in a position to win.”

On Indiana's defense and early lead:
“We mixed it up [defensively] and had an early lead. But early leads usually don’t stand up in pro basketball, that’s just the way it is. And that’s what happened. We knew it would be a nip-and-tuck battle just like the last time we were here. We have to win games, and we know they’re all going to be like this.”

On Beard's 3-pointer with 5:31 to play:
“I’ll tell you the biggest play of the game, though, was when Alana Beard throws the ball into the air to herself, then throws up a 3. That should never have been missed. That changed the momentum of the game. That was the biggest play of the game.”

HIDDEN NUMBERS
Points in the paint:
Fever 18, Mystics 18
Second-chance points:
Fever 9, Mystics 5
Fast-break points:
Fever 0, Mystics 4
Points off turnovers:
Fever 18, Mystics 10
Starters scoring:
Fever 56, Mystics 45
Bench scoring:
Fever 4, Mystics 16
RELATED LINKS
Box Score | WNBA Recap
GAME REPORT
Mystics 61, Fever 60

August 7, 2005 at MCI Center (Washington, D.C.)

WASHINGTON (AP) - Delisha Milton-Jones and Chasity Melvin both made two free throws in the final seven seconds of the Washington Mystics' 61-60 victory over the Indiana Fever on Sunday night.

Milton-Jones' foul shots gave Washington a 59-57 lead with 7.3 seconds left.

Indiana's Tamika Catchings missed a baseline jumper with 4.5 seconds remaining, and the Fever lost the rebound out of bounds with 2.8 seconds left. Melvin's free throws gave the Mystics a 61-57 lead with 1.1 seconds remaining.

Catchings, who finished with 11 points, seven rebounds and four assists, hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer.

Alana Beard led the Mystics (14-12) with 17 points. Milton-Jones had 11 points and Melvin grabbed seven rebounds for Washington, which rallied from a 12-point deficit.

"We came out kind of flat and they came out on fire,'' Beard said, referring to Indiana's 10-0 run to open the game. "Then we just took our intensity to another level.''

Kelly Miller led the Fever (15-11) with 16 points, while Natalie Williams added 14 points and nine rebounds but committed six of Indiana's 17 turnovers.

Coco Miller hit a short jumper that gave Washington a 57-55 lead with 1:32 remaining. Catchings tied the score with a jumper from the right wing 31 seconds later.

On the Fever's next possession, Catchings got caught in the air and threw the ball away, setting the stage for the Mystics' frenetic finish.

"Delisha Milton-Jones is a heck of a defender, and so is Charlotte Smith-Taylor,'' Fever coach Brian Winters said of Washington's forwards who pressured Catchings. "They did a nice job on (the play), but we had a chance to win the game and that's what we wanted.''

Melvin also got a hand on two passes intended for Williams in the post that led to late Fever turnovers.

Catchings was quick to shoulder the blame for the loss.

"I think I bailed out a lot,'' she said. "There were a lot of times I could have taken it to the basket. I feel like I let my team down by not stepping up and taking shots. They played good defense, but a lot of it is stopping myself.''

Reserve Laurie Koehn and Beard hit consecutive 3-pointers to give the Mystics a 52-51 lead with 5:31 left. On Beard's 3, she lost the handle on a shot attempt, gathered the ball back and hit the shot over Williams.

"The biggest play of the game is when Alana Beard throws it up in the air to herself and then makes a 3,'' Winters said. "That should never happen. How that's not seen - I have no idea how a play like that stands.''


FEVER NOTEBOOK
  • Indiana begins a three-game West Coast road swing on Thursday when it visits San Antonio, prior to battling at Los Angeles and Phoenix.