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Sutton-Brown leads Fever past Connecticut
Posted Jul 2 2009 9:25PM
INDIANAPOLIS(AP) Indiana held Connecticut to just 30 points and 34 percent shooting in the first half. Still, Fever coach Lin Dunn wasn't satisfied, urging her team to tighten its defense even more in the second.
The Fever responded by holding the Sun scoreless for nearly five minutes to start the third quarter and cruising to a 67-53 win Thursday night for a franchise-record seventh straight victory.
Dunn cited strong defense as the most consistent factor during the streak, which has given Indiana the WNBA's best record. The Fever gave up 87 and 96 points in two losses to start the season, but have allowed an average of just 64 points since.
"Defend, defend and defend, and then if you defend, you're going to have opportunities to score off your defense,'' said Dunn, who was unaware that the win streak was a team high.
"I don't keep up with records,'' she said. "I didn't know that. Whoop-de-doo. Way to go. The only thing that matters is the first quarter of the next game.''
Tammy Sutton-Brown had 10 points and 11 rebounds in the first half to help Indiana take a 37-30 halftime lead. She finished with 14 points, 14 rebounds and five blocks.
"I've concentrated on shooting outside with confidence and knowing I can shoot the ball,'' Sutton-Brown said. "I think it is maturing and growing with the game, just being smarter.''
Katie Douglas scored 14 points and Tamika Catchings and Ebony Hoffman each scored 10 for Indiana (7-2).
Lindsay Whalen scored 11 points and Asjha Jones added 10 for the Sun (4-4), whose three-game winning streak ended.
"The two teams are similar in styles of play,'' Connecticut coach Mike Thibault said. "They were better tonight. They were more aggressive and had more rebounds than us.''
Connecticut shot 32 percent overall in managing a season-low point total.
"We didn't have the ball reversal that we normally get and couldn't get back into an offense,'' Jones said.
Indiana assigned 36-year-old point guard Tully Bevilaqua to Whalen for most of the second half. Whalen had 11 points at halftime, but went scoreless on 0-for-3 shooting after the break.
"She was the leading scorer in the first half, and we specifically talked about how that is not good,'' Dunn said. "We were letting her get to the rim, we're letting her get to the paint. And I give a lot of credit to Tully. She really took that on as a challenge.''
The Fever offense clicked on a night in which its top two scorers, Douglas and Catchings, combined to make just 7 of 18 shots.
"The thing about this team is, it doesn't matter who scores, it doesn't matter who gets the credit,'' Dunn said. "What matters is that we play well together and that we win.''