This time, Fever comeback sticks as Catchings, Pohlen provide late heroics.
|STAR OF THE GAME
The rookie came off the bench to net 14 points including 4-of-4 shooting from 3-point range. She had eight points at halftime, and after Tamika Catchings posted the Fever to an 81-80 lead in the final minute, Pohlen's fourth 3-pointer iced the game with 32 seconds to play.
Katie Douglas paced the Fever early and Jeanette Pohlen's 3-pointers grabbed headlines in the final minute, but it was Catchings' steady second half play that pulled Indiana from behind. Catchings had 10 first-half points. She added seven in the decisive fourth quarter, including tying and go-ahead FTs with 1:32 remaining.
“Well, we think we let them steal one last night, so we just stole one back. I thought the difference in game tonight was the play of [Jeanette] Pohlen and [Jessica] Davenport. Jeanette hit bit shots, she had 4 3s. Davenport had great rebounding and scored some big points. I really have to give those two players credit. We got a great game from Katie and Catch again and shot over 50 percent from the floor. I thought we played really well, but the MVP of the game was definitely our bench.”
Points in the paint:
Fever 28, Liberty 34
Fever 5, Liberty 20
Fever 8, Liberty 12
Points off turnovers:
Fever 27, Liberty 30
Fever 60, Liberty 73
Fever 26, Liberty 7
|at New York
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Tamika Catchings scored 19 points, Katie Douglas had 17 and the Indiana Fever scored the last nine points to beat the New York Liberty 86-80 Saturday night.
Rookie Jeanette Pohlen had 14 points, including a key 3-pointer in the final minute, and Briann January added 13 as the Fever (2-1) spoiled New York's opener at Prudential Center — the Liberty's home for the next three seasons.
Essence Carson scored 23 points to lead New York (2-1). Plenette Pierson had 16 points and Cappie Pondexter and Nicole Powell added 13 each.
The Liberty squandered a double-digit lead in the third quarter for the second straight night against Indiana but couldn't come back this time.
The Fever trailed by 14 points late in the third quarter before storming back with a 15-2 run to tie the score at 72-all.
Jessica Davenport's three-point play pulled Indiana within 10 and Douglas' jumper — her only points of the second half — cut the deficit to 70-62 in the final minute.
January's three-point play with 8:54 to go in the fourth got the Fever within five. Catchings' 3 made it 72-70 and January tied it with a layup with 6:45 left. She had a chance to put Indiana ahead but missed the ensuing free throw.
Carson made a jumper 20 seconds later and Pierson had a layup to give New York a 76-72 lead with 6:06 remaining.
The teams played close for the next several minutes until the Fever's game-ending run. Davenport's layup got Indiana to 80-79 with 2:14 left, Catchings made two free throws 38 seconds later to put the Fever ahead, and Pohlen's 3 another minute later made it a four-point game.
January made two free throws with 16.2 seconds remaining to seal the Fever's win.
The Liberty opened the third quarter with a 13-4 run to take their first double-digit lead of the game. Carson started it with a 3 in the opening minute and had a jumper that put New York ahead 58-47 with 7:11 to go.
Hollingsworth's layup a little more than 3 minutes later made it 66-52, the Liberty's biggest lead of the game. Carson's layup gave New York a 70-57 with 2:13 to go in the third quarter.
Carson hit a 3 to start a 14-2 run and cappped it with a layup that put New York up 49-41 with :37.1 seconds left in the second quarter. Carson had 12 points, Pondexter 11 and Pierson 10 in the first half as the Liberty had a 49-45 lead at the break.
Postgame Notes: For the second consecutive night, Indiana erased New York’s double-digit lead. This time, instead of allowing a game-winning jumper in the final seconds, it was Tamika Catchings and rookie Jeanette Pohlen who provided last-minute heroics. Catchings hit tying and go-ahead free throws with 1:36 to play. Pohlen hit the last of her four 3-point field goals to ice the game with 32 seconds to play.
The Liberty led the Fever by 18 points Friday night at Conseco Fieldhouse. The Fever came from behind to lead in the final minutes, but surrendered a Cappie Pondexter jumper with 8 seconds left in regulation. On Saturday at The Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., the Liberty lost a 14-point advantage as the Fever outscored New York 24-10 in the final period.
The Liberty built big leads in both games due to uncharacteristic turnovers by Indiana. The Fever had 18 turnovers resulting in 18 points on Friday. On Saturday, the Liberty staked its big lead with the help of 27 Fever turnovers resulting in 30 points. Indiana’s 27 turnovers matched the second highest figure in franchise history.
Helping offset the turnovers on Saturday was 56.6 percent shooting (30-of-53) for the Fever. It was the third-highest shooting percentage in franchise history.
Catchings led the Fever with 19 points, seven of which came in the final period. Katie Douglas finished with 17 points with 15 coming in the first half. Pohlen had 14 points that included 4-of-4 shooting from 3-point range. Briann January added 13 points.
The weekend series with the Liberty was a rematch of last season’s Eastern Conference Semifinals in which N.Y. beat Indiana 2 games to 1.