Storm Outdistances Fever, 83-77

STAR OF THE GAME
TAN WHITE
In her first professional start, White scored 26 points with five 3-pointers, three assists, three steals and a pair of blocked shots. White's first basket of the second half gave the Fever its first lead, and her pair of treys in the final minute twice brought Indiana within two possessions. She has scored in double figures in three straight games.
UNSUNG HERO
KELLY MILLER
Miller matched a season-high with 19 points, shooting 7-of-13 from the field and leading Indiana with seven assists. She scored the Fever's first six points of the second half before White's 3-pointer gave Indiana its first lead of the game, 41-40.
QUOTABLE
BRIAN WINTERS
On playing from behind:
“Even though the game wasn’t in our favor most of the night, we were never out of it. We can score some points and we showed several times that we were still in the game. We can hit the 3-pointer and run plays for a lot of people. We are always going to be in every game, but it is always difficult when you fall behind so quickly.”

On adjustments and a deep roster:
“Overall, we have played pretty well, and we have a lot of people who can play. Tan [White] is a very good young rookie who can play, and is only going to get better. Obviously, we have to make some adjustments with Tully [Bevilaqua] out of our lineup, but we have a pretty deep roster and those are adjustments that you have to make during any season.”

On fouls and free throws:
“We fouled too much, too early, in the second half, and we couldn’t overcome the parade to the free throw line. Anytime you give away 20 more free throws to your opponent, it’s going to be a difficult night.”

HIDDEN NUMBERS
Points in the paint:
Fever 38, Storm 30
Fast-break points:
Fever 13, Storm 5
Second-chance points:
Fever 13, Storm 8
Points off turnovers:
Storm 15, Fever 10
Starters scoring:
Storm 75, Fever 61
Bench scoring:
Fever 16, Storm 8
RELATED LINKS
Box Score | WNBA Recap
GAME REPORT
Storm 83, Fever 77

June 4, 2005 at KeyArena (Seattle, Wash.)

SEATTLE — Lauren Jackson had 24 points and 15 rebounds Saturday to lead the Seattle Storm past the Indiana Fever, 83-77, in Women's National Basketball Association play at KeyArena. Jackson scored seven of the Storm's first 13 points while mounting a double-digit first-half advantage, then was perfect on eight second-half free throws to help keep a series of Fever rallies at bay. The Storm's victory, its fifth straight home win all-time against the Fever, overshadowed a glowing performance by Indiana rookie Tan White, whose game-high 26 points were the most by a WNBA rookie this season.

Jackson, the All-WNBA center and 2004 WNBA MVP, shot 6-of-13 from the field and 11-of-11 at the foul stripe overall. Counting 10-of-11 free throws from teammate Sue Bird, who finished with 20 points and seven assists, Seattle (4-1) shot 31-of-37 at the line. Jackson and power forward Janell Burse combined for 39 points and 25 rebounds - overwhelming the Fever's starting center and power forward combo of Natalie Williams and Kelly Schumacher, who combined for just four points and four boards.

Seattle's second half free throw procession began when it entered the penalty just 5:40 into the second half. Burse hit the second of two penalty free throws to snap a 43-43 deadlock, and effectively end what had become a see-saw battle after Indiana overcame an 11-point first half deficit.

The Fever (4-2), playing without veteran playmaker Tully Bevilaqua -- a member of Seattle's 2004 WNBA Championship and honored in pregame ceremonies with the presentation of her WNBA Championship ring -- received a career-high scoring effort from White in just her first pro start. White, the NCAA's leading scorer in 2004-05 out of Mississippi State, shot 10-of-19 for the game including a series of key 3-pointers.

White's pull-up jumper brought the Fever within 30-25 at the half, all but erasing the Storm's early advantage. And after Kelly Miller scored the Fever's first six points of the second period, White's 3-pointer pushed the Fever to its first lead at 41-40. Jackson answered with a 3-pointer to put Seattle back in the lead and Natalie Williams’ only basket knotted the score at 43 with 14:42 remaining. White's six-foot jumper gave the Fever its final lead at 45-44, and Burse scored off an assist from Bird for the game's final lead change at the 13:53 mark. It also touched off an 8-0 Storm run that pushed the lead back to seven.

A top-of-the-key 3-pointer by Tamika Catchings ended the Fever drought, and a Catchings layup brought Indiana within three, 53-50, with 11:36 to play. A short hook shot by Ebony Hoffman followed a pair of Jackson charity shots, but Indiana never got closer and Seattle followed Hoffman's bucket with a 13-2 run. Former Fever star Alicia Thompson hit an 18-foot jumper to cap the run and stake the Storm to what proved to be an insurmountable 68-54 lead with 5:43 left.

The Seattle lead remained in double figures until Miller's jumper and subsequent 3-pointer brought Indiana within six, 74-68, with 2:13 to play. A mid-range jumper by Jackson pushed the gap to eight, before White's 3-pointer at the 1:27 mark brought the Fever within five. Four Seattle free throws and another White bomb kept the margin at six, 80-74, with 18.0 seconds remaining. Following a Storm timeout, Bird hit another pair of foul shots before another White 3-pointer cut the margin to five. Fittingly, Bird ended the scoring with a free throw for the game's final margin.

Miller finished with 19 points to match her high for the season. She also matched a career-high with seven assists. Catchings contributed 12 points, nine rebounds and five assists, despite shooting 3-of-16 overall and 1-of-8 from 3-point range. Playing a career-high 26 minutes after early foul trouble to Schumacher and Williams, Hoffman contributed season-high numbers with eight points and five rebounds off the bench.

Burse added 15 points and 10 boards for the Storm, while Betty Lennox pitched in 13 points and seven rebounds.


FEVER NOTEBOOK
  • Indiana entered the game as the WNBA's first team to reach four wins, winning four of its first five outings and racing to the best start in franchise history. The loss at Seattle thwarted the Fever's efforts to claim its first-ever victory at KeyArena, as well as its first opportunity ever to move four games above .500.
  • White's 26 points were the most by a WNBA rookie this season, and matched the 26 points scored by then-rookie Coretta Brown in 2003 (at Connecticut, 6/26) -- also the most by a WNBA rookie in that season. Only Tamika Catchings in 2002 (four times) has scored more points as a Fever rookie.
  • White's five 3-pointers against the Storm also matched Brown's five treys in the same game at Connecticut, 6/26/03. Catchings' six 3-pointers in 2002 (at Orlando, 7/3), is the Fever's franchise record and best mark by a rookie.
  • White's 3-pointers all came in a regulation. Brown's figure and Catchings' records all came with the help of at least one overtime period. White's five 3-pointers matches five other rookie efforts by Catchings without the aid of an extra session.
  • The Indiana bench got an early workout, including first minutes of the season for Coretta Brown and Jenni Benningfield. Benningfield’s first basket as a pro brought Fever within 20-17, completing a four-point play after a Kelly Miller jumper and missed free throw.
  • Indiana continues its West Coast trip at Sacramento Tuesday, before returning to Indianapolis for Stephanie White Night and a Community Health Network Health Fair on Friday, June 10, when the Fever hosts the New York Liberty (7:00 p.m.).
  • The Fever placed Bevilaqua on the injured list Saturday afternoon, after she sustained a left knee bone bruise in last Wednesday’s win over Sacramento. Bevilaqua, acquired in the offseason as a free agent, was a member of Seattle’s 2004 WNBA Championship team, and was honored in pregame ceremonies with the presentation of her World Champions ring. Coretta Brown replaced Bevilaqua on the Fever’s active roster.