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Catchings, January lead Fever past Mystics
Posted Sep 6 2009 7:25PM
INDIANAPOLIS(AP) Tamika Catchings scored 20 points and reserve rookie Briann January added 16 and fueled a fourth-quarter surge as the Indiana Fever beat the Washington Mystics 72-61 Sunday.
Tammy Sutton-Brown had 13 points and 11 rebounds and Katie Douglas returned from an ankle injury to score 12 points for the Eastern Conference champion Fever (21-10), who snapped a three-game skid in their regular-season home finale.
Crystal Langhorne scored 13 points, Lindsey Harding 12 and Marissa Coleman 11 for the Mystics (15-16), who dropped into a tie for fifth with Connecticut - one-half game behind Chicago.
"Tonight, we were really focused,'' Catchings said. "Our energy level was a lot higher than in the last four games. Having Katie back was good.''
The Fever trailed 50-49 after three quarters, and led by three before scoring eight straight points - six by Catchings and two by January - to stretch the advantage to 66-55 with 2:23 to play.
"That's Fever basketball - drive and kick, create something,'' January said. "We have so many scorers. That's what I was trying to do.''
Washington made 4 of 26 shots in the fourth quarter.
"We just weren't following,'' Mystics coach Julie Plank said. "We had 11 offensive boards and scored five second-chance points. We finish, we win the game.''
Douglas scored six points and Catchings four as the Fever took advantage of six turnovers and five missed shots by the Mystics to jump out to a 16-2 lead over the first 6:05 of the game.
The Mystics followed with an 18-7 tear that cut the deficit to 23-20 with 6:30 remaining in the half.
Harding hit an 18-foot jumper to give the Mystics their first lead, 50-49, with 33.6 seconds left in the third quarter.