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Catchings helps Fever beat Shock 66-54
Posted Jun 19 2009 9:55PM
AUBURN HILLS, Mich.(AP) The Detroit Shock had a new coach and a returning All-Star, and it wasn't enough to beat the Indiana Fever.
Tamika Catchings scored 15 points Friday night and the Indiana Fever beat Detroit 66-54 in Rick Mahorn's debut as Shock coach.
"As a team, we anticipated an emotional game,'' said Katie Douglas, who added 13 points. "It's a big day for them having Mahorn - Bill Laimbeer has been here for so long, that we knew they were going to come out with a lot of mixed emotions, and that we would have to weather the storm.''
Mahorn took over as the defending champions' coach after Laimbeer's abrupt resignation earlier in the week. Laimbeer had won three championships in the last six seasons.
"There were mixed feelings - Bill had a great legacy here, and he's left big shoes to fill,'' said Mahorn, who has Laimbeer's top assistant for the last two titles. "We've got a lot of work to do, but I know we've got the players to contend for another championship.''
Mahorn couldn't do much to prevent his team from slipping to 1-3. Detroit shot 29.5 percent for the game, and turned the ball over 21 times.
"That's a good veteran team, and their defense had us back on our heels all night,'' Mahorn said. "We've had nine days off, and it showed. We didn't have any timing tonight.''
The Shock also had All-Star Cheryl Ford in the lineup for the first time since she tore her right ACL last July, but she finished with seven points and two rebounds in 20 minutes.
"I'm not happy, because we lost - I don't like losing,'' Ford said. "The first five minutes were a little rough, but then I got things going. I'm just disappointed that we had 21 turnovers - you can't win like that.''
Catchings doesn't expect Sunday's rematch to be as easy.
"With Cheryl coming back, it is going to take her a couple games to get re-adjusted - she'll do better on Sunday, I'm sure,'' she said. "I know they are excited as a team about Coach Mahorn taking over, and I'm excited for him. I know he'll be a great coach.''
Deanna Nolan led the Shock with 13.
"That was one of those nights where we were relying on our defense to win the game,'' Nolan said. "It kept us in it, but we just didn't score.''
Detroit led 27-25 at the half, but the Fever started the third quarter with a 20-5 run to take a 13-point lead.
The margin was 52-38 at the period's end, as both Catchings and Douglas had nine points in the quarter for the Fever.
"We didn't settle for long shots, we pounded the ball inside and we didn't turn it over,'' Indiana coach Lin Dunn said. "They feed off turnovers, so only have 12 was key for us.''