Fever Cruises Past Sting, 63-46, For 13th Win

STAR OF THE GAME
JURGITA STREIMIKYTE
Streimikyte reeled off 11 straight Fever points during one stretch to offset Charlotte's zone defense, and finished with 13 points. She shot 6-of-9 from the floor, added two rebounds and a pair of assists.
UNSUNG HERO
EBONY HOFFMAN
Hoffman scored eight straight Fever points during a stretch in the first half, and matched Streimikyte with Indiana scoring honors, with 13 points. Hoffman's five straight points in the second half fueled the Fever's final nine minutes, outscoring the Sting 12-3. Hoffman shot 4-of-9 from the floor, had five rebounds and a career-high five free throws.
QUOTABLE
BRIAN WINTERS
On the road win:
“Every win is important when you only play 34 games in the WNBA schedule. But especially those on the road, you have to cherish each of those and this was another big win for us.”

On defense, Streimikyte and the bench:
“Our defense is really solid, we’ve got good pressure on the perimeter where they could not get threes off and, for the most part, our intensive defense was really good. We were focused and very energized on defense. Jurgita made a bunch of key shots when [Charlotte] went zone in the second half, and I got a great effort from my bench tonight. When you get good defense, clutch shooting and good play of the bench, that’s a pretty good formula.”

TULLY BEVILAQUA
On playing with energy:
“We knew we had to come out with energy. Obviously it was a back to back for [Charlotte]. We had to push the ball, to wear them out, they kind of had the edge on us with the offensive rebounds and we had to turn that around in the second half.”

TAMIKA CATCHINGS
On the importance of the road win:
“Every single game is important down the stretch. We had a long home stretch, so every game we win on the road now is important in making sure we make the playoffs.”

On keys to tonight's win:
“Charlotte has a very patterned offense so it’s hard to try to disrupt their offensive set. We tried to put a lot more pressure on and off the ball. We did a great job pressuring Dawn [Staley] in the full court. We made other people have to handle being point guard and they’re not used to that."

HIDDEN NUMBERS
Points in the paint:
Fever 30, Sting 24
Fast-break points:
Fever 11, Sting 2
Second-chance points:
Fever 11, Sting 7
Points off turnovers:
Fever 12, Sting 4
Starters scoring:
Fever 38, Sting 38
Bench scoring:
Fever 25, Sting 8
RELATED LINKS
Box Score | WNBA Recap
GAME REPORT
Fever 63, Sting 46

July 23, 2005 at Charlotte Coliseum (Charlotte, N.C.)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Ebony Hoffman and Jurgita Streimikyte scored 13 points apiece to lead the Indiana Fever to a 63-46 win Saturday over the Charlotte Sting.

The Fever (13-7) limited the Sting to a season-worst 27 percent shooting to win for the fifth time in six games. The victory moved Indiana six games above the .500 mark for the first time in its history.

Tamika Catchings added eight points and nine rebounds for the Fever who won by its largest victory margin of the season. Rebounding from its worst loss of the season, 21 points at Minnesota, the Fever has collected its two largest wins including a 13-point decision over San Antonio on Thursday.

Tammy Sutton-Brown had 13 points and seven rebounds and Sheri Sam added 10 points on 4-of-12 shooting for the last-place Sting (3-18), who lost their sixth straight game.

The Fever outscored the Sting 19-5 in an eight-minute stretch to take a 32-19 first-half lead. Hoffman had two putbacks in the spurt and rookie Tan White, the No. 2 pick in the draft, hit a 3-pointer. Hoffman scored eight straight Indiana points during the first half run, then later scored five straight in the second half as Indiana's defense stifled the Sting and allowed just three points in the game's final nine minutes.

Leading 35-25 at the intermission, Indiana got a pair of free throws from Natalie Williams before Streimikyte took charge and scored the Fever's next 11 points. Up by 15 early in the half, Indiana saw its lead dwindle and with 9:06 to play, Sutton-Brown's free throw brought the Sting within eight, 51-43. But Hoffman's second-half flurry pushed the lead to double-digits again and the Fever never looked back.

Sutton-Brown scored another free throw with 5:53 to play, and Teana Miller's layup with 1:42 to go accounted for all of Charlotte's scoring during the final nine minutes.

Indiana, which has held opponents to 60 or fewer points in eight of the last nine games, limited Charlotte's league-worst offense to 5-of-20 shooting in the second half. While limiting the Sting to the second-lowest field goal percentage in Fever history, Indiana's defensive pressure continued to be its dominant trait. In each of its four previous victories, opponents were forced into season-high turnover figures. Saturday, Charlotte's 14 turnovers contributed to 12 Indiana points.

Another key factor for the Fever, whose 9-1 record against the Eastern Conference is the best in the WNBA, has been the play of its bench. Hoffman led four bench scorers against the Sting, outscoring Charlotte's reserves 25-8.

Indiana, which is 2-0 in Charlotte this season after eight straight losses, moved within 2 1/2 games of Eastern Conference-leading Connecticut. The Fever plays at Connecticut on Tuesday.


FEVER NOTEBOOK
  • Tamika Catchings was limited to single-digit scoring for the sixth time in 20 games this season, a stark contrast to just seven times in 100 games prior to the 2005 season. Indicative of the Fever's newfound depth and balance this year, though, is the Fever's record in those games. Prior to 2005, Indiana was 1-6 when Catchings was held to single digits. So far this year, the Fever is 6-0 in those games.