|STAR OF THE GAME
Streimikyte was one rebound from her first double-double of the season, finishing with 10 points and nine rebounds - and hitting two clutch 15-foot jumpers to stave off a second half rally by the Silver Stars. Twice the Silver Stars drew within three points, and on the ensuing possession each time, Streimikyte buried jumpers from the foul line to keep the Fever lead at five.
White finished 3-of-4 from the field and scored nine points, including her only 3-point shot with 5:20 remaining to push Indiana's lead back to double figures. White played 22 minutes with foul trouble plaguing guards Tully Bevilaqua and Kelly Miller, and added a pair of steals to help secure Indiana's victory.
On the importance of the win:
“This was the first game of our trip, with a tough back-to-back to follow, so it was important for us to start the trip with a win. We’re in a race for the playoff and hopefully finish right where we are in second place. I think Connecticut is probably out of reach for the lead, but we can finish with home-court advantage for the playoffs if we just win games.”
On key plays:
“I thought one really big play for us was the 3-pointer by Coretta Brown right at the end of the half. For a player who really has played very little, to come off the bench cold and hit that shot going into the locker room gave us a big shot of momentum. I thought we came out hard to start the second half again, but then [San Antonio] went to a zone and we struggled against it. We’ve done that all year. They closed within a couple of points, but then we slowed down, got more patient, made some big shots and pushed the lead back to double figures. This was a big win.”
On bouncing back from two losses:
“Coming off two losses to good teams, Connecticut and Washington, we knew we needed this one. We want home court for the playoffs and that means we have got to take care business at home or on road."
On her role in the big win:
“This was a big game for us, we are on the road for the next three and wanted to start it off right. We knew we had to come in and play hard as team. I just come in do what they need me to do, just pick up the slack and get us started when [the starters] come out. I do whatever it takes to help us win and try to play under control."
Points in the paint:
Fever 18, Silver Stars 24
Fever 8, Silver Stars 10
Fever 2, Silver Stars 0
Points off turnovers:
Fever 12, Silver Stars 13
Fever 35, Silver Stars 32
Fever 22, Silver Stars 18
Box Score |
||Fever 57, Silver Stars 50
August 11, 2005 at SBC Center (San Antonio, Texas)
SAN ANTONIO (AP) - Tamika Catchings shrugged off a slow start and finished with a team-high 11 points, leading the Indiana Fever past the San Antonio Silver Stars 57-50 Thursday night .
The second-place Fever, 16-11, increased their lead to two games over New York and Washington for homecourt advantage in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs.
Indiana, which had lost two straight and three of four, has seven games remaining, including four on the road.
"Coming of losses to good teams - Connecticut and Washington - we knew we needed this one,'' Catchings said after the Fever tied a franchise record with 16 wins in a season. "We want homecourt for the playoffs and that means we have got to take care of business at home or on the road.''
Marie Ferdinand scored a game-high 12 points for San Antonio, 7-22, which lost its fourth straight.
Catchings, eighth in the league in scoring at 14.8 points per game, had just two points in the first 19 minutes of the game. She added six assists, four rebounds and three steals while finishing 5-of-12 from the floor before fouling out with less than two minutes remaining.
Ferdinand helped San Antonio cut Indiana's 11-point advantage early in the second half to three when she converted a three-point play and hit a 3-pointer. Rookie Shyra Ely added two free throws to trim the Fever's advantage to 35-32 with 16:03 remaining. Each time though, Jurgita Streimikyte answered with15-foot free throw line jumpers to keep the Indiana advantage and five and thwart San Antonio threats. Streimikyte ended with 10 points and a season-high nine rebounds.
Tan White’s 3-pointer with 5:32 remaining gave Indiana a 51-40 lead, and Ebony Hoffman’s free throw with 3:50 to play gave the Fever a 12-point margin, its largest at 54-42. The Silver Stars did not pull within single digits until Katie Feenstra’s two free throws with 2:32 on the clock. Tully Bevilaqua’s 3-pointer on the next possession pushed the lead back to 11 and the Fever coasted in the final minutes.
The Silver Stars were down by three as late 13:10 to go, but Indiana went on a 20-12 run over the next 11 minutes.
"We weren't able to put the ball in the hole,'' San Antonio point guard Shannon Johnson said, noting the Silver Stars shot 18-of-49 including 2-of-13 from 3-point territory. "The game lacked flow. We would stop each other on defense. They were able to put the ball in the hole a couple of more times than we were.''
San Antonio rallied from an early seven-point deficit to tie the game 19-19 with 4:11 remaining in the first half. However, the Silver Stars managed to get off three shots from the floor the rest of the half while Indiana hit 4-of-7 during a 12-5 run.
Indiana continues its three-game West Coast road swing on Saturday when it visits Los Angeles, and again on Sunday at Phoenix.
Third-year guard Coretta Brown made one of the Fever's baskets, hitting her first 3-pointer in two seasons as the clock wound down to end the first half. In and out of the lineup with injuries the past two seasons, Brown entered just her fourth game of the season with only 31.4 seconds left in the half, replacing foul-troubled Kelly Miller. With Indiana clinging to a four-point lead on the half's final possession, Brown took a pass from Catchings and promptly deposited a shot from deep in the right corner with 5.9 seconds before intermission.
Indiana won for the 16th time in 2005, matching the existing franchise mark for wins - in 2002 (16-16) and 2003 (16-18).
Indiana earned its fifth road win of the season, one shy of the franchise mark for road wins in a season - 6 in 2002.
Indiana is 2-0 all-time at SBC Center, defeating the Silver Stars in both road meetings since the franchise moved from Utah to San Antonio.