STAR OF THE GAME
Shay Murphy
Murphy led the Fever with 16 points and grabbed nine rebounds as well. In two regular season games against Chicago, Murphy has accounted for 36 points and 19 rebounds. She also connected on five consecutive field goals in the game.
UNSUNG HERO
Tammy Sutton-Brown
Sutton-Brown did not stuff the box score, but played a vital defensive role against 2009 WNBA All-Star Sylvia Fowles. Fowles came into the contest averaging over 20 points per game, however, Sutton-Brown limited her to 10 points and just four shots. Sutton-Brown also contributed five rebounds, three assists and three steals.
QUOTABLE
Lin Dunn
In general:
"Well we've now had two weekends of back-to-back games and they're tough. Both teams were tired. We won this game because of our bench. Shay (Murphy) wants to be the sixth man. She may start some more games. Her energy was great for us. I love our small lineup. We are quicker and faster with it. Tammy Sutton-Brown only had four shots, but her defense on Fowles (Sylvia) was tremendous."

Shay Murphy
On her confidence level:
"My mentality is the same. I want to have a positive impact, no matter whether I’m scoring, rebounding or defending. I had a great year in Spain. I became more aggressive and attacked the basket. I am just willing to help get into the offense and I feel good helping out.”

HIDDEN NUMBERS
Points in the paint:
Fever 28, Sky 20
Second-chance points:

Fever 10, Sky 6
Fast-break points:

Fever 21, Sky 4
Points off turnovers:

Fever 27, Sky 20
Starters scoring:

Fever 36, Sky 44
Bench scoring:

Fever 33, Sky 17
Successful Weekend for Murphy and Fever

Team Record 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Chicago 0-4 19 20 9 13 61
vs Indiana 2-2 20 13 20 16 69

by Tom Rietmann | May 23, 2010

For the Indiana Fever's Shay Murphy, it was a memorable weekend, easily her most productive and satisfying of three seasons in the WNBA.

Murphy capped it off Sunday night by cutting a swath through the Chicago Sky for team-leading totals of 16 points and nine rebounds in Indiana's 69-61 triumph at Conseco Fieldhouse.

The victory evened the Fever's record at 2-2. And it came only 24 hours after the Fever topped the Sky in overtime in Chicago (92-86), thanks in large part to Murphy's significant contributions there.

“I think the thing we know for sure now is that Shay wants to be our sixth man,” Fever coach Lin Dunn said Sunday night. “It's her energy and rebounding. It's a tremendous lift to have a wing player rebound like she does.”

Saturday night in Chicago, Murphy scored a career-high 20 points and added 10 rebounds for her first double-double with the Fever. She also had a team and career-high six assists.

Sunday night, she started the second half when Dunn opted for a smaller, quicker lineup and provided instant energy. After the Fever finished the first half with just one point in the final 5:26, Murphy led the team on a 14-2 run to open the third quarter. Murphy provided three fast-break buckets that brought a crowd of 7,665 to its feet.

“My goal,” Murphy said, “is just to be a positive spark off the bench, no matter if I play five minutes or 20 minutes.”

Mission accomplished.

“She has come in and played over and beyond expectations,” said Fever forward Tamika Catchings, who had 13 points and five rebounds.

Murphy signed as a free agent with the Fever after the start of the 2009 season. The Fever saw potential in Murphy, a former USC star who had been released by the Washington Mystics, and decided to re-sign her prior to the 2010 training camp.

Murphy bonded immediately with her Indiana teammates. And she embraced the opportunity to play with last season's Eastern Conference champions.

“Anytime you do well in the WNBA, against the top players, I'm thrilled,” said the 5-11 guard, who finished just one rebound short Sunday night of becoming only the fourth player in franchise history with consecutive double-doubles. “I like the challenge. I measure myself against people like Tamika Catchings and whoever. I just want to continue to work hard and maybe I'll be one of those names, too, one day.”

The Fever opened an 11-point lead at 61-50 in the fourth quarter, but the Sky sliced the edge to four. Then the Fever, bolstered by four free throws from Briann January and a three-point play by Katie Douglas, eased to the victory.

Rookie Jené Morris, the Fever's top draft pick, contributed 12 points on 5-of-6 shooting from the floor after not getting into the game at Chicago. She took her cue from Murphy.

“The way Shay comes off the bench and helps the team, I definitely have been trying to follow her example,” Morris said.

Tammy Sutton-Brown scored just one point for Indiana, but her defense on Chicago's Sylvia Fowles played a major role in the win. Fowles, who came in with a 19.5 scoring average, was held to four field goal attempts. She made two and added six points from the foul line.

“When you can have an Olympian like Fowles only get four shots, that's huge,” Dunn said. That's directly attributable to (Sutton-Brown's) desire not to let Sylvia catch the ball.”

Fever Tidbits
-- The Fever, traveling by bus, returned to Indianapolis at 3:30 a.m. Sunday following their game in Chicago. “I thought that second half for both teams was kind of a gut-check time. Everybody was mentally and physically tired,” Dunn said.
-- The Fever's victory gave them the first sweep of back-to-back games since winning on consecutive nights last June against the New York Liberty.
-- Katie Douglas, with four assists and zero turnovers on Sunday night, ranks among league leaders with an assist-to-turnover ratio of 19-6.


Game Notes

  • Ending Tamika Catchings' run of leading the team in scoring at three in a row, Shay Murphy came off the Indiana bench to lead all scorers with 16 points on 6-12 FG and 4-5 FT. Murphy also led the Fever in rebounding for the second straight game with nine boards tonight. Murphy fell just short of being the fourth Indiana player in franchise history with consecutive double-doubles.
  • Murphy's seven defensive rebounds tied her career-high set last night in Chicago.
  • While scoring a season-low six points, Katie Douglas led the team in assists for the third straight game with four tonight.
  • Including three each from Tamika Catchings, Tammy Sutton-Brown and Tully Bevilaqua, the Fever had a season-high 13 steals tonight. Indiana is averaging a league-best 12.25 spg this season.
  • With her three steals tonight, Tully Bevilaqua has accumulated 501 thefts in her career and she is just the fifth player in WNBA history with 500 or more steals in her career.
  • With 27, the Fever matched its season-high in points off turnovers.
  • After a start in which the Fever hit just two of its first five free throws, it finished by making all but two of its last 16 FTS (.875). For the game, Indiana's 76.2 percent from the foul line is its best of the season.
  • Indiana outrebounded the Sky, 30-26, and that is the first time this season that the Fever has outrebounded an opponent.
  • Chicago had just seven offensive rebounds, the fewest by an Indiana opponent in 2010, and tying the Sky's season-low.
  • Jessica Moore's three rebounds tonight matched her total for the first three games combined, and all three tonight came at the offensive end.
  • Chicago's nine points in the third quarter are the fewest scored by a Fever opponent in a single period this season.
  • With wins against the Sky on Saturday and Sunday, the Fever has swept a back-to-back for the first time since the last two games of June 2009 when it defeated the New York Liberty in a home-and-home back-to-back (6/26-27).
  • Including her first two 3-pt FG as a pro, Jené Morris scored a season-high 12 points on 5-6 FG in 19 minutes against the Sky. She had scored just two points and shot 1-3 FG in her first two career appearances.