Fever Stays Hot In Charlotte

STAR OF THE GAME
TAMIKA CATCHINGS
Early second-half foul trouble plagued Catchings and kept her out of action for seven-and-a-half minutes of see-saw play. But her return to the lineup fueled Indiana's resilience down the stretch as the Sting led just once, by two points, in the game's final seven minutes. Catchings led Indiana with 12 points and four assists. She had seven points at the break, guiding the Fever to a seven-point halftime advantage.
UNSUNG HERO
NATALIE WILLIAMS
The Fever's veteran center registered a season-high 10 rebounds while powering Indiana to a 32-21 rebound advantage against the physical, half-court oriented Sting. She added nine points and a pair of steals while becoming just the third player in WNBA history with 1,700 career rebounds (1,703).
QUOTABLE
BRIAN WINTERS
On a hard-fought road win:
“They are never easy on the road, but you take them any way you can get them. This was a tough win and we found a way to win. And that’s what you look for when you are on the road.”

On beating Charlotte:
“[Charlotte] plays the type of style where you know the game is going to be in the 60s. It’s always going to be a one or two possession game when you play them, and you know it’s never going to be easy. We had some very tough breaks and things didn’t always go our way, but we found a way to win.”

On two wins in two days:
“We showed some mental toughness tonight, after playing a very physical, demanding overtime game just last night in Indianapolis. We knew that we had to have this win, and we knew we were going to face some struggles. Once again, our bench came through for us. We are showing that we are a very deep team and when you play back-to-back games like this, that depth really is valuable. We had to be mentally tough and we needed some big plays. And we got that the past two nights.”

TAMIKA CATCHINGS
On keys to tonight's win:
“We played great defense, we tried to limit Sheri Sam’s touches and Allison Feaster’s three -pointers. In addition playing great team defense, we also tried attacking them from the inside.”

HIDDEN NUMBERS
Points in the paint:
Fever 24, Sting 20
Fast-break points:
Sting 13, Fever 6
Second-chance points:
Fever 13, Sting 9
Points off turnovers:
Sting 15, Fever 14
Starters scoring:
Sting 49, Fever 42
Bench scoring:
Fever 18, Sting 8
RELATED LINKS
Box Score | WNBA Recap
GAME REPORT
Fever 60, Sting 57

June 16, 2005 at Charlotte Coliseum (Charlotte, N.C.)

CHARLOTTE—-Tamika Catchings’ steal and two free throws with 1.1 seconds to play sealed a see-saw victory as the Indiana Fever won for the first time in six seasons at Charlotte Coliseum, defeating the Charlotte Sting 60-57.

Indiana (7-3) had lost eight straight road games to the Sting, but this time won its third straight game overall while sending Charlotte (1-8) to its fifth straight defeat.

Catchings led Indiana with 12 points and Tan White scored 10 points off the bench. Veteran center Natalie Williams scored nine points and had 10 rebounds as the Fever won for the second time in as many nights. Indiana concludes a stretch of three games in four days when it travels to Washington on Saturday.

Clinging to a 58-57 lead, an errant pass into the lane from Tully Bevilaqua gave the ball to Charlotte with a minute to play, but the Fever defense forced a shot-clock violation after a block by Deanna Jackson. Catchings missed a turnaround jumper after milking the game clock inside 10 seconds, and the Sting had a final opportunity with 4.3 seconds left. On the ensuing inbounds play, Catchings stripped Tangela Smith at the top of the key, and was tied up as officials reviewed tape to determine how much time remained.

After what became the Fever's third straight game - all wins - with an official's video review in the final seconds, Catchings was awarded two free throws with 1.1 seconds remaining. Her free throws sealed Indiana's second win in less than 24 hours as Charlotte was unable to get a final shot.

The Fever continued its best start in franchise history by winning for the seventh time in its first 10 games, and moving four games above .500 for the first time ever. Indiana remains unbeaten against the WNBA's Eastern Conference, raising its conference record to 5-0, and remained only percentage points behind front-running Connecticut (6-1).

Indiana used a 14-5 run to command a 29-22 lead at the intermission, but four Fever fouls in the opening 90 seconds of the second half (three by Catchings) helped erase the margin. Allison Feaster's 3-point basket with 18:28 to play knotted the game at 29 and signaled the start to a virtual tug-of-war that included six lead changes and four ties the rest of the way.

Tammy Sutton-Brown’s three-point play tied the score at 53 with 3:51 to play, but Fever point guard Tully Bevilaqua broke the tie with a 3-pointer from the corner and Indiana never relinquished its lead.

Second in the WNBA in 3-point percentage while shooting 11-of-16 from beyond the arc, Bevilaqua made the most of her five points, four rebounds and four assists.

It was Feaster's long-distance shooting, though, that threatened the Fever's win streak. She finished 4-of-5 from long range, but after her fourth bomb with 10:39 remaining forced a 41-41 tie, she did not score again - thanks in part to a defensive switch and increased pressure from Jackson. In 22 minutes, Jackson joined White off the bench to add six points, two rebounds, a steal and the decisive block in the final minute.

Feaster led the Sting with 14 points. Smith and Sheri Sam each added 11 for Charlotte.

The game also pitted the second meeting in the season's first month between the WNBA's top two rookie draft picks - Indiana's White and Charlotte's Janel McCarville. White's fifth double-figure scoring game came on 3-of-7 shooting in 22 minutes. McCarville missed all four of her shots and scored two points in 15 minutes. In the season opener on May 22, White scored seven points to lead to the Fever to a 68-58 victory over the Sting. McCarville scored two points in just seven minutes before leaving with an injury.


FEVER NOTEBOOK
  • Indiana travels to Washington to conclude a stretch of three games in four days, battling the Mystics on Saturday. The Fever opens a five-game homestand when Indiana returns to Conseco Fieldhouse for Breast Health Awareness Night, presented by St.Vincent Health, on Friday, June 24 against the Minnesota Lynx.
  • The Fever is 7-3 after 10 games for the first time in franchise history. With that mark, Indiana is just percentage points behind the division-leading Connecticut Sun, which is 6-1 on the season.
  • With a mark of 5-0, the Fever is the only team undefeated among Eastern Conference opposition.
  • The Fever is also 5-0 at home for the second time in its history and the first time since winning its first eight home games of the 2003 season.
  • Two assists shy of a triple-double one night earlier, Catchings has combined for 32 points, 20 rebounds, 12 assists, seven steals and a block - between two games in two cities in a 24-hour span.
  • One night after hitting 7-of-14 3-pt FG for its first game of 50+ percent from long range this season, the Fever shot 7-of-15 from long range against the Sting.
  • Tully Bevilaqua was activated from the injured list before Thursday's game. The Fever is 6-1 in the seven games in which Bevilaqua has started.
  • The leading rebounder and second-leading scorer in U.S. women's professional basketball history, Natalie Williams surpassed and approached a pair of WNBA milestones on Thursday. She became the third player in WNBA history to haul in 1,700 rebounds in her career (1,703). She is two points shy of becoming the 12th player in league history to score 2,700 points in her WNBA career (2,698).