Fever Win Battle with Liberty in OT
|STAR OF THE GAME
Catchings propelled the Fever by scoring 16 of her team-high 22 points in the second half. She posted her second consecutive double-double, finishing with 10 rebounds. Catchings also had seven assists, and scored six of the Fever's 11 points during overtime.
Douglas displayed her efficiency with 21 points on 7-of-12 shooting, including 3-of-5 from the beyond the arc. She also took on tough defensive assignments while playing over 37 minutes in the contest.
On the Win:
“This was a really outstanding win for us. We gave up our lead, but we knew they would keep it close. They’re too good. I thought we played really well defensively; we even held Cappie to 40! We did play good defense, though, and we got the big stops when we needed them. Tamika was great down the stretch for us, she just sets a tone. We didn’t give [New York] anything easily. We stopped them when we needed to and really got a great road win.”
On Pondexter's Performance:
“Cappie was on her game. She was in a zone. We were trying to limit her touches – really, we were trying – but she hit everything she threw up there. We knew we had to continue playing good defense. I’m proud of how we held together. Things are clicking right now, people are where they’re supposed to be and we got big stops when we needed them.”
Points in the paint:
Fever 30, Liberty 20
Fever 7, Liberty 15
Fever 8, Liberty 6
Points off turnovers:
Fever 12, Liberty 16
Fever 66, Liberty 69
Fever 18, Liberty 12
|at New york
NEW YORK(AP) Tamika Catchings scored nine of her 22 points in overtime to lift the Indiana Fever to an 84-81 victory over the New York Liberty on Sunday.
Katie Douglas had 21 points and Ebony Hoffman added 15 points to help the Fever (13-7) beat the Liberty for the seventh straight time. Catchings also had 10 rebounds and seven assists as Indiana moved into first place in the Eastern Conference, percentage points ahead of Atlanta.
Cappie Pondexter had a career-high 40 points for New York (9-10). Leilani Mitchell scored 15 on 5-for-6 shooting on 3-pointers and Janel McCarville added 12 points. Pondexter's previous high was 35 for Phoenix against Detroit on July 6, 2006.
Catchings' tiebreaking 3-pointer gave the Fever the lead for good, 78-75 with 4 minutes left in the extra period. Douglas followed with a jumper 51 seconds later to push the lead to five.
Pondexter's 3 pulled the Liberty to 80-79 with 2:10 to go, but Catchings hit two free throws 28 seconds later. Kalana Greene made two from the line for the Liberty with 1 1/2 minutes left to make it a one-point game again, but Catchings hit two more with 2.1 seconds left to seal Indiana's win.
Catchings tied the score at 73-all with a 3-pointer from the right corner with 50.7 seconds left, a shot that was confirmed by video review.
Both teams had chances to win in the final minute of regulation.
Pondexter missed a 3 with about 23 seconds to go, but Mitchell got the rebound in the right corner and the Liberty called back-to-back timeouts. Pondexter missed a short jumper from the right side with about 10 seconds left, and Tully Bevilaqua got the rebound for Indiana.
The Fever then called consecutive timeouts with 8.4 seconds left to set up a final play. Bevilaqua missed a jumper from the left side and McCarville grabbed the rebound for New York. On the ensuing play, Catchings stole the inbounds pass near midcourt and launched a long 3 that missed off the rim at the buzzer.
Mitchell's fifth 3 of the game gave the Liberty a 69-66 lead with 3:14 left, their first advantage since late in the second quarter. Pondexter's jumper with about 2 1/2 minutes to go put New York up five.
Briann January and Tammy Sutton-Brown had consecutive jumpers to pull Indiana within one with 1:27 to go. Pondexter followed with a jumper 20 seconds later.
After Bevilaqua's layup in the opening minute of the second half, Hoffman and Douglas combined to score Indiana's next 18 points. Hoffman had nine points and Douglas scored seven during a 16-8 run that gave the Fever a 56-47 lead, their biggest of the game, with about 1 1/2 minutes left in the third quarter.
Pondexter scored the next six points and Greene had a fast-break layup to pull the Liberty within one in the opening minute of the fourth quarter.
Mitchell's 3 tied the score at 60-all with 6:19 left.
• In the fifth overtime game between the Liberty and Fever since 2004 (all in New York), Indiana outlasted New York, 84-81, to win for the third time in its last five games. It was the Fever’s fourth straight road win over the Liberty. New York snapped win streaks of two games overall and three at The Garden.
With the Indiana win and with Washington’s loss to Chicago this afternoon, Indiana assumes first place in the Eastern Conference by just percentage points (Indiana 13-7, .650; Atlanta 14-8, .636; Washington 12-7, .632).
In the overtime, Catchings’ 3-pointer gave Indiana a 78-75 lead that it never relinquished. Indiana led by as many as five, 80-75, before the Liberty trimmed the Fever advantage to one, 82-81. Pondexter missed a running jumper with four seconds remaining, however, and after Catchings pulled down the rebound, she hit a pair of free throws to ice the win.
Cappie Pondexter scored a career-high 40 points, scoring nearly half the Liberty’s total. She finished 14-of-21 from the floor with five 3-pointers.
Catchings scored nine of the Fever’s 11 points in the overtime, hitting both shot attempts and adding four free throws. Catchings led Indiana with 22 points and 10 rebounds. Katie Douglas added 21 and Ebony Hoffman added 15 points and matched a season-high with eight boards.
Pondexter missed a baseline jumper sandwiched in the middle of a Fever double team with 9.9 seconds remaining in regulation, but Tully Bevilaqua got her first rebound in two games to set up Indiana’s final possession. Briann January’s running jumper missed at the buzzer.
New York took its first lead of the second half on Leilani Mitchell’s 3-pointer with 3:14 remaining and led by as many as five, 71-66, but Catchings’ 3-pointer with 50 seconds remaining knotted score at 73. It was the Liberty’s first lead since 1:42 in the first half.
Douglas and Hoffman combined to score 18 of Indiana’s 20 points during a 12:06 span between the third and fourth quarters.