INDIANAPOLIS(AP) The Indiana Fever have found a winning combination - Tamika Catchings' dominating offense and Tully Bevilaqua's scrappy play.
The two led the Fever to a 81-74 overtime victory over the Washington Mystics on Saturday night to sweep their best-of-three Eastern Conference semifinal series.
Catchings had 24 points, 16 rebounds, five assists, four steals and four blocked shots before a noisy Conseco Fieldhouse crowd of 9,655. Point guard Bevilaqua scored six of her 13 points and had three rebounds in overtime to spark the Fever, who travel to Detroit on Wednesday to start the conference finals.
"I call her Mighty Mouse,'' Catchings said of 5-foot-7 Bevilaqua. "Lindsey Harding had five fouls. We wanted to get her out. We didn't get her out, but Tully attacked her, took away some of her offense.''
Tammy Sutton-Brown scored 16 points and Katie Douglas 13 for Indiana, which made five of its first seven shots and then just 18-of-65 the rest of the way to finish at 32.4 percent.
"We did not shoot as well as we have in the past, but we found a way to win,'' Fever coach Lin Dunn. "Tully Bevilaqua sparked us with her defense, had rebounds and showed toughness. Tammy Sutton-Brown was a warrior out there. Tamika Catchings had a magnificent, MVP performance.''
Crystal Langhorne scored 11 of her 15 points in the second half to keep the Mystics in the game. Lindsey Hardin and Alana Beard scored 10 each for Washington, which lost Chastity Melvin and Nakia Sanford to fouls in the game's waning minutes.
"Indiana got some very easy baskets in the paint in the fourth quarter, and that helped them to gain the momentum,'' Washington's Monique Currie said. "Indiana is a veteran team, and they were able to capitalize on our mistakes.''
Catchings, driving the lane, drew a foul and made two free throws to tie it at 69 all, with 2.6 seconds remaining in regulation.
"I'm a competitor,'' Catchings said. "You've got to do what you can do to win the game. The biggest thing for us was we picked up our defensive intensity.''
Beard shot a 10-foot airball from the left side as the fourth quarter expired.
In the overtime, Sutton-Brown scored on a layup with 1:18 to play to break a tie, and the Fever then scored the final five points.