STAR OF THE GAME
Tamika Catchings
Catchings finished with a team-high 13 points and a dozen rebounds, including 10 in the first half. The double-double is her second of the season and the 70th of her career, which is 6th all-time in WNBA history. She also led the Fever with five assists in 30 minutes of action.
UNSUNG HERO
Katie Douglas
After missing last Tuesday's game against Washington, because of a back contusion, Douglas provided 32 solid minutes of play. She was able to tally 9 points and five rebounds, while also contributing a team-high four steals.
QUOTABLE
Lin Dunn
In general:
“This was a good win over a very good team. We knew they had another run in them. We had a very good stop at the end. We were thrilled to win the boards. I give Tammy Sutton-Brown a lot of credit coming off the bench, as she has started most of her games. Each team knows each other very well and it’s a struggle when we play each other.”

Katie Douglas
On players stepping up:
“This team is really starting to come together, accepting our roles and thriving in them. And I think that is what being a great team is all about. Tonight the lineup was shifted around and when one player is down another person is going to pick them up, that was the case in Washington when Z (Shavonte Zellous) came in and had a big game. Depth is so key and pivotal in this league because it’s a taxing, compact season.”

HIDDEN NUMBERS
Points in the paint:
Fever 30, Sun 20
Second-chance points:

Fever 8, Sun 5
Fast-break points:

Fever 13, Sun 10
Points off turnovers:

Fever 20, Sun 20
Starters scoring:

Fever 44, Sun 64
Bench scoring:

Fever 31, Sun 6
Sutton-Brown Enjoys Big Night Off Bench

Team Record 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Connecticut 4-3 24 8 17 21 70
at Indiana 5-3 18 21 21 15 75

By Tom Rietmann

INDIANAPOLIS -- Tammy Sutton-Brown accepted Indiana's victory with a smile Saturday night and quickly moved on to other matters.

“In this league, you can't get too high and you can't get too low,” Sutton-Brown said after the Fever's 75-70 triumph over the Connecticut Sun at Conseco Fieldhouse. “We have a game again (Sunday night) against Minnesota, and they're playing extremely well.”

It's too bad, really, that Sutton-Brown didn't have more time to savor the win, which lifted Indiana (5-3) into first place in the WNBA's Eastern Conference. She deserved it.

The Fever center came off the bench for the first time since 2009 and collected 12 points and three rebounds in 19 ˝ minutes against the Sun. Her eight points on 4-of-4 shooting in the third quarter provided a significant turning point.

“I give Tammy a lot of credit,” Indiana coach Lin Dunn said. “That's tough for her (coming from the bench). For her to come in and play so well, hitting 6 of 7 from the field, it's really a positive sign for our team.”

Jessica Davenport, who has enjoyed a strong start this season, opened the game in place of Sutton-Brown and collected nine points and three rebounds.

“Dav has been playing extremely well,” said Sutton-Brown, who became the ninth different Indiana player to score in double figures in 2011. “That was a change coach wanted to make and her decision. I just wanted to do whatever it takes for this team to get a win right now.”

For the sixth straight game, the Fever bench contributed at least 25 points. Indiana's reserves outscored Connecticut's by a 31-6 margin.

The reserves' production will continue to be important as the club deals with flights to and from Minnesota on Sunday and Monday and then another game at The Fieldhouse Tuesday against Phoenix.

“We feel really good about our bench,” Dunn said. “They're getting quality minutes. A lot of bench players are in there during crunch time.”

Saturday night, Tamika Catchings led the Fever with 13 points and 12 rebounds, recording the 70th double-double of her career. She scored six points in the final 4 ˝ minutes to boost Indiana to a 73-70 lead with 12.9 seconds remaining. And she finished off the victory by stealing the ball from Renee Montgomery on the Sun's final possession, which led to a fast-break layup by Shyra Ely.

“I thought we had some great defensive stops,” Dunn said.

And the Fever built some marvelous runs. Indiana closed the first half with a 16-2 spurt. The Fever then mounted a 17-2 run in the third quarter.

“We kind of realized what we needed to do,” said Indiana guard Briann January, who scored 10 points with four rebounds and three assists. “We saw that we were in a lull and we needed to pick it up and have a run. We knew it had to start on the defensive end, and I think that's where it did happen.

“It's a goal of ours to be a third-quarter team this year, and we tried to come out and be strong in the third and set the tone for the second half.”

Katie Douglas, who missed one game and practiced little this week with a bruised lower back, started and scored nine points. But she went scoreless in 16 second-half minutes.

“I was surprised she did as well as she did under the circumstances,” Dunn said. “I'll be really curious to see how she is (Sunday) with the flight and then the back-to-back.

“I'm not worried about whether she scored early, late or anything, as long as we get a win and somebody else comes in and steps up.”

Connecticut (4-3) had four of its starters in double-digit scoring, led by Montgomery's 19. But center Tina Charles, the second-leading scorer in the WNBA, was held to 12 -- more than eight under her average.

The defensive plan, Dunn said, was to try to keep Charles from getting the ball and then double-team her when she did. At first, Indiana failed in its efforts to deny Charles the ball. With some urging from Dunn, the Fever players worked harder at it.

“I thought the times when we did what we were supposed to do, it really bothered her,” Dunn said. “Anytime you keep Tina Charles to 12 points, you're happy. I'm real happy.”

Postgame Notes:

  • With tonight's win, the Fever is the first Eastern Conference team with five wins and is in first place--a half game ahead of the Sun.
  • Tonight's win is the Fever's second straight regular season victory over Connecticut. Indiana has won two in a row and three of the last four games with the Sun. The two-game winning streak is Indiana's first against the Sun since 2008.
  • In the third quarter, the Fever went on a 17-2 run and the last 12 points were scored by the bench.
  • With its 31 points tonight, the Fever bench scored 25+ points for the sixth consecutive game. Indiana's reserves scored a total of 27 points in its first contests of the season.
  • With a season-high 12 points tonight, Tammy Sutton-Brown is the ninth different Fever player to score in double figures this season. Making her first appearance off the bench this season, Sutton-Brown is the fifth different Indiana player to score 10+ points as a reserve in 2011.
  • The Sun entered tonight's game as the number one team in the WNBA in terms of fewest turnovers with an average of 12.8 topg. Connecticut had a season-high 17 miscues tonight and Indiana had 20 points off those mistakes--its second highest total of the season.
  • Indiana outrebounded the Sun, 37-33, and held the opposition to just three offensive rebounds. That is Connecticut's fewest offensive rebounds this season and the fewest by a Fever opponent.
  • With 13 points and 12 rebounds, Tamika Catchings registered the 70th double-double of her career. She is sixth all-time in WNBA history and just one behind Cheryl Ford, who is fifth all-time.
  • In addition to nine points, five rebounds and two assists, Katie Douglas also led the Fever with a season-high four steals--tying Briann January and Tammy Sutton-Brown for the most by a Fever player in 2011.
  • The Fever held the league's second best scorer, Tina Charles, to just 12 points--eight below her average (20.7)--and just four in the second half.
  • With 13 points, 12 boards and five assists, Tamika Catchings is the first Indiana player to lead the team in all three categories in the same game this season.
  • The Fever had 20 assists tonight, its fourth game of 20+ assists this season, and the third in a row.
  • Connecticut's eight points in the second quarter are the fewest allowed by the Fever in any period this season.
  • Having hit all 13 of its free throws tonight, the Sun becomes the second Indiana foe to make at least 10 free throws without a miss in a single game this season. The New York Liberty were 12-12 from the line at Prudential Center, 6/11, after going 5-5 from the line the night before at Conseco Fieldhouse.