Sacramento Chills Fever, 65-51
June 7, 2005 at ARCO Arena (Sacramento, Calif.)
Just like at Seattle on Saturday, Indiana trailed by double figures much of the game only to come back and make things tight midway through the second half. Sacramento led by as many as 17 points, helped by two long Indiana scoring droughts. Sacramento (5-1) shot 44 percent for the game, but was shooting at a 55 percent clip early in the second half while the Fever (4-3) struggled to shot just 29 percent.
Yolanda Griffith led four double-figure scorers for the Monarchs, pouring in 22 points and adding a game-high nine rebounds. Ticha Penicheiro added 15 points and four assists for Sacramento. DeMya Walker scored 12 points and Nicole Powell added 10.
Indiana's Tamika Catchings led the Fever with 13 points, but did not score her first field goal until 5:06 remained in the contest. She made 9-of-14 free throw attempts, but was 0-of-7 from the floor until her driving layup brought the Fever within six, 51-45. She finished 2-of-10 from the field and that was as close as the Fever would get.
Indiana led a tight battle in the early going, but turnovers and missed shots turned into a prolonged drought as Indiana went from a 17-16 lead to a 33-18 deficit while going without a field goal for 7:11 late in the opening period. Since Ebony Hoffman's jumper to put Indiana into the lead, the Fever did not score from the field until Kelly Miller's 3-pointer with 1:50 left in the first half ended the drought.
The Monarchs took a 35-23 advantage into halftime, and opened the second half where it left off - scoring eight of the first 11 points and staking claim to a 43-26 lead, its largest of the game.
The Fever's only basket in the opening run was another 3-pointer by Miller. Her short jumper with 13:26 remaining was just the third Fever field goal in a span of 15:40 that encompassed scoreless stretches on both sides of the intermission.
Yolanda Paige hit a 19-foot jumper to cut the lead to 11, and back-to-back buckets by Ebony Hoffman - sandwiched around four straight free throws by Catchings - cut the deficit to nine, 50-41. Deanna Jackson's second basket of the flurry brought Indiana within seven, and Catchings' layup one minute later cut the gap to six.
Indiana's 17-8 scoring run took over 12 minutes, however, and Sacramento free throws sealed the game down the stretch.
Sacramento, after going 3-1 on a season-opening road trip, returned home and its two games at ARCO Arena by a combined 42 points. The Monarchs routed Los Angeles on Saturday, 81-53.