STAR OF THE GAME
Tamika Catchings
Catchings led the Fever with 23 points, including the two game winning free-throws. She shot 9-for-15 from the field and 2-for-2 from behind the 3-point line.
UNSUNG HERO
Katie Douglas
In her 32 minutes of play, Douglas scored 20 points and grabbed a team-high seven rebounds. She added two assists and finished with team-highs in steals and blocks with three and two respectively.
QUOTABLE
Lin Dunn
In General:
“Even though New York was down several players, we knew they would be tough. What a great game. I’ve got to thank the fans for their support."

Tamika Catchings
On the Team's Composure
“I thought we did a good job holding our composure down the stretch. When you look at it there are things that you’re happy about and things you aren’t happy about. We're just continuing our quest to be a good team."

HIDDEN NUMBERS
Points in the paint:
Fever 34, Liberty 24
Second-chance points:

Fever 18, Liberty 14
Fast-break points:

Fever 8, Liberty 4
Points off turnovers:

Fever 13, Liberty 16
Starters scoring:

Fever 67, Liberty 71
Bench scoring:

Fever 17, Liberty 11
Catchings, Douglas propel Fever to victory

Team Record 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
New York 6-11 20 23 16 23 82
at Indiana 10-6 26 26 14 18 84

By Tom Rietmann | July 10, 2012

INDIANAPOLIS -- In a time of need Tuesday, the Indiana Fever turned to a couple of old reliables.

Tamika Catchings and Katie Douglas combined for 16 of the Fever's 18 points in the fourth quarter in Indiana's 84-82 victory over the New York Liberty at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. And Catchings, fresh off a session with her shooting coach, calmly sank a pair of free throws with 8.4 seconds left to gain the victory.

“We had to go to our big dogs,” said point guard Briann January, referring to the veteran Catchings and Douglas. “We had faith they'd pull us through.”

The victory lifted Indiana to a 10-6 record ahead of Thursday night's matchup against Los Angeles, which will be the Fever's final game before the WNBA's month-long Olympic break. But getting past New York wasn't easy as the Liberty's Cappie Pondexter scored 33 points on 13-of-19 shooting.

As Fever Coach Lin Dunn said, Pondexter makes a habit of producing “all-world” performances. But Indiana's defense stopped Pondexter from even touching the ball when it mattered most -- on New York's final possession after Catchings' two free throws. Essence Carson forced up the final shot against a strong defensive effort by Tammy Sutton-Brown, missing badly.

“What a great game,” Dunn said. “I'm really proud of what we were able to do today.”

The Fever, with some crisp passing and movement, manufactured open shots and hit 52.5 percent from the field (32-of-61). Indiana, on a league-record pace from the 3-point arc, connected on 9-of-18 there. Catchings totaled 23 points, Douglas 20. Shavonte Zellous contributed 12 points.

Indiana went into the fourth quarter with a 66-59 edge. But with Pondexter getting red-hot, the Fever needed Catchings and Douglas to respond in kind.

Which they did.

“I'm always talking to Catch and she's always talking to me about what we can do to get ourselves involved,” said Douglas. “The whole team did a good job of sustaining and keeping our composure (in the fourth quarter).”

However, Pondexter kept firing and tied it at 70-all with a 16-foot fadeaway jumper with 6 ½ minutes remaining. It set up a back-and-forth finish.

Four straight 3-pointers -- two apiece by Catchings and Douglas -- put the Fever at 82 points before Pondexter answered with a trey that pulled the Liberty even.

After Catchings chased down an offensive rebound following a January miss, the Fever star was fouled by Leilani Mitchell. Her free throws with 8.4 seconds left were perfect.

“When the game is on the line, I want Tamika Catchings at the free throw line,” Dunn said.

Added Douglas about Catchings: “She's the (reigning) MVP of this league for a reason.”

On Monday, Catchings spent some time with her shooting coach, Marvin Harvey, who visited her after the Fever's practice. Catchings said Harvey worked mostly on some mental aspects, with few alterations to her form.

Catchings, who had gone 3-of-15 and 5-of-15 in a couple of recent games, responded with 9-of-15 shooting against the Liberty. She hit both of her 3-point attempts.

Afterward, she was accepting little credit, instead praising her team's poise, its fluid ball movement and the defense of Sutton-Brown on the final possession.

“Just continuing our quest to be a good team,” Catchings said.

Postgame Notes:

  • With today’s win the Fever has won six of nine games since a three-game losing streak in early June.
  • With today’s win, the Fever improved its record to 10-6 and is four games above .500 for the first time since it started the 2012 season 4-0.
  • Indiana has won for the fifth time in its last seven games with New York. The Fever has won 16 of its last 18 home games against the Liberty.
  • Including the 84-82 win today, the Fever is now 3-2 in games decided three points or less and it has won each of its last two games by two points.
  • Including 4-7 in the fourth quarter, the Fever shot 9-18 from 3-pt range today. Indiana has made at least eight 3-pt FG in 12 of 16 games this season.
  • For the season, Indiana has averaged 8.63 3-pt FG, well on its way to breaking the WNBA record of 8.32 3-pt FGM/game set by the 2007 Phoenix Mercury.
  • Overall, the Fever shot 32-61 FG today (.525), hitting 50+ percent from the field for just the second time this season.
  • Cappie Pondexter’s game-high 33 points today represent the first 30-point game by an opponent player this season.
  • Erlana Larkins led the Indiana bench with a career-high tying three assists and the team totaled 18 assists. Of the 10 players in uniform for Indiana today, nine had at least one assist and five had two or more.
  • The Fever scored 34 points in the paint today, snapping a streak of five straight games with no more than 28 points in the paint. New York scored just 24 points in the paint, matching the second fewest by an Indiana opponent in 2012.
  • To go with 20 points and a team-high seven rebounds, Katie Douglas also matched her season-high with two blocked shots against the Liberty.
  • In outscoring the New York reserves, 17-11, the Indiana bench shot 8-11 from the floor.
  • With nearly half as many offensive rebounds as the Liberty (7-13), Indiana outscored New York, 18-14, in second chance points.