STAR OF THE GAME
Tamika Catchings
Catchings scored 11 of her 13 points in the first half in the Fever win. She paced Indiana with a season-high seven assists, a mark she has now done four times on the year, along with five rebounds.
UNSUNG HERO
Katie Douglas
Douglas connected on three of her six attempts from beyond the arch, guiding her to a game-high 20 points. She also dished out a quartet of assists in the win.
QUOTABLE
Lin Dunn
In general:
“Once again we got great help from the bench. I was especially impressed with the defense of Shyra Ely and Tammy Sutton-Brown. We started the third quarter like the game was over. I was very disappointed we did not have a sense of urgency in that third quarter. It was as good a first half as I have every seen us play.”

Tamika Catchings
On balanced team play:
“I think every game for us is about balanced scoring, offensively and defensively just trying to maintain that balance amongst each other. That’s what makes this such a great team. We have so many different weapons.”

HIDDEN NUMBERS
Points in the paint:
Fever 28, Sun 22
Second-chance points:

Fever 6, Sun 15
Fast-break points:

Fever 5, Sun 5
Points off turnovers:

Fever 20, Sun 8
Starters scoring:

Fever 70, Sun 48
Bench scoring:

Fever 20, Sun 30
Douglas, Ely and first-place Fever sink Sun, 90-78

Team Record 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Connecticut 6-5 18 12 25 23 78
at Indiana 10-3 32 21 23 14 90

Tom Rietmann

By Tom Rietmann

INDIANAPOLIS -- Shyra Ely, a hometown favorite, enjoyed a break-out game Wednesday for the Indiana Fever.

Ely, a former standout at Indianapolis Ben Davis High School, turned in her best performance of the season as she scored 10 points and played strong defense in Indiana's 90-78 victory over the Connecticut Sun. Eleven of Ely's family members and friends were among an enthusiastic crowd of 9,045 at Conseco Fieldhouse.

A few days ago, Fever star Tamika Catchings kidded Ely about her quiet and shy demeanor in the locker room. Ely went out and did her talking on the floor.

“It's still pretty new for me, and I'm still adjusting,” said Ely, who is a five-year veteran of the WNBA but a first-year player with the Fever.

Ely smiled when reminded of the conversation with Catchings. “I told her to enjoy it while she could,” Ely said, “because once I get comfortable, you're going to want to shut me up.”

Indiana (10-3) won its seventh consecutive game, which is the second-best streak in franchise history, and owns the top record in the WNBA. The Fever connected on 11-of-17 3-pointers for a 64.7 percentage that was a franchise record.

The Fever also put six players in double figures for the third time in franchise history. Ely, who hit 4-of-6 shots, became the 10th different Fever player this season to score in double figures. Her previous best scoring game for Indiana was five points.

Nobody on the Indiana team puts in more time on the practice floor than Ely. She arrives early and stays late for extra shooting. On nights when she doesn't play a lot of minutes, she works on her conditioning after the game.

“I just tried to be patient,” said Ely, a 6-2 forward who starred at the University of Tennessee. “I knew I'd get the opportunity. I'm thankful to coach (Lin Dunn) for having the confidence in me.”

Ely's teammates share that confidence.

“We know exactly what Shyra can do,” guard Erin Phillips said. “Her defense was fantastic and she hit some big shots for us. She expects that from herself -- to come in and be that impact player and energy off the bench. I think she did a great job.”

Catchings calls Ely “the hometown kid.”

“The one thing about her,” Catchings said, “is that every single time she has been called on, she has produced. She comes out and gives us great minutes, whether it's defensively or offensively. She did a little bit of both (Wednesday).”

The Fever opened a 27-point lead in the second quarter with some crisp passing and fluid ball movement. Indiana shot 52.9 percent in the first half and committed only four turnovers while holding Connecticut (6-5) to 26.5 percent shooting.

Dunn called the first 20 minutes “as good a first half offensively and defensively as I've seen us play.”

In the third quarter, however, Indiana lifted off the gas pedal. And the Sun wasted no time slicing the margin to 15. In the fourth quarter, when Tan White hit a 3-pointer with 2:40 left, Connecticut cut the lead to 10 (88-78).

But the Fever turned up the defensive heat and held the Sun scoreless the rest of the way.

Afterward, despite Indiana's current status atop the WNBA, there was a reluctance to discuss it only 13 games into a 34-game season.

“I know we're on a roll, but I have no idea where we stand compared to other teams,” said guard Katie Douglas, who led the Fever with 20 points. “I think that's kind of been our approach … just focus on us and let everybody else worry about themselves. We're really focusing on ourselves and getting better.”

On Friday night, the Fever will play Minnesota, an up-and-coming team in the Western Conference, in the last of five straight games at Conseco Fieldhouse.

“We're really not worried about the standings right now. It's too early in the season,” said Dunn, whose team has a two-game lead on New York in the Eastern Conference. “What we're worried about is playing well for 40 minutes. We played really, really well (against Connecticut) for 20 minutes.”

Postgame Notes:

  • The Fever has won seven in a row, the second longest streak in team history, and the longest since it won 11 in a row in early 2009.
  • Today's win is the Fever's third straight regular season victory over Connecticut. Indiana has won four of the last five games with the Sun. The three-game winning streak is the team's longest ever against the Sun, including its days as the Orlando Miracle.
  • The Fever has won its last six home games in a row, one short of its longest home winning streak in 2010. Six wins in a row at Conseco Fieldhouse ties the fifth longest home winning streak in team history.
  • Including all five starters, the Fever had six players in double figures for just the third time in franchise history.
  • The Fever also had six players make at least one 3-pt FG and tied the team's Conseco Fieldhouse record with 11 3-pt FG today.
  • Having shot 11-17 from beyond the 3-pt arc today, the Fever set a franchise record for highest percentage in a single game at 64.7 percent.
  • With her bench-high 10 points, Shyra Ely became the 10th different Fever player to score in double figures this season. Ely's previous season-high was five points.
  • Erin Phillips was 5-5 from the floor today, including two 3-pt FG and her 13 points were one short of her season-high set in the last game vs. Washington.
  • The Fever had 20 assists today, including Tamika Catchings's season-best tying seven. Indiana has had 20+ assists in seven of the last 10 games and it is 6-1 in those games with 20 or more assists.
  • Indiana's starters had eight steals, 17 assists and just four turnovers.
  • The Fever had 10 steals today, including a career-high three from Jessica Davenport. The Fever has had 10+ steals six times this season, including the last four games in a row.
  • While forcing Connecticut into 15 turnovers, the Fever had a season-low nine miscues. The Fever scored 20 points off the Sun's mistakes, their fourth straight game with 20+ points off the opposition's turnovers.
  • Today is Indiana's second straight game with more steals than turnovers.
  • The Fever bench scored 20 points and has scored at least 20 points in nine of the last 11 games.
  • Connecticut was led in scoring by former Fever guard Tan White, who tallied a season-high 17 points, including 5-5 from 3-pt range. White is the first player ever to hit five 3-pt FG without a miss against the Fever.
  • The Sun made 11 3-pt FG today, the third most ever by a Fever opponent--one short of the opposition record set by the Sun at Connecticut, 6/26/03, and tied by New York at Conseco Fieldhouse, 8/3/10.