May 25, 2005

Fever (2-0) at Liberty (0-1)
Game Info: 7:30 pm EDT Thu May 26, 2005

With Tamika Catchings leading the way, the Indiana Fever seek the first 3-0 start in their history when they visit the New York Liberty.
Indiana lost its final four games to miss the playoffs last season, but has opened 2-0 for the first time since 2002. That's due in large part to Catchings, who's averaging 18.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 1.5 steals per game to lead the Fever.

Catchings scored 22 of her 28 points in the second half to lift Indiana to an 83-76 win over the Phoenix Mercury on Tuesday.

The fourth-year forward made a franchise-record 15 free throws -- 13 after halftime -- and tied the team mark for most points in a half. Catchings had just six points on 2-of-8 shooting before the break.

``When your shots aren't falling and you're a shooter, the best thing to do is get to the free-throw line,'' Catchings said. ``Once you get to the line a couple of times, you get used to shooting it.''

Catchings, who finished with nine rebounds, hit three free throws in the final 18.8 seconds.

``One thing my dad always told me is that the last three minutes need to be your time to shine,'' Catchings said.

Natalie Williams added 12 points, and Kelly Schumacher and Jurgita Streimikyte each scored 10 for the Fever. Williams and Streimikyte are tied for second on the team with 10.0 points per game.

New York lost its opener 78-71 to the Detroit Shock on Sunday.

Becky Hammon had 15 of her 24 points in the second half, but New York shot 31 percent from the field. Vickie Johnson added 16 points and Ann Wauters had 14 for the Liberty.

Hammon's jumper made it 70-68 with 1:02 remaining, but the Liberty never got any closer. New York went nearly five minutes without scoring until Johnson made two free throws with 8:49 left.

``We dug ourselves a hole,'' Hammon said. ``We had to fight, scratch and claw just to get back into it. We just didn't shoot the ball well.''

The Liberty shot 9-of-34 in the first half, including 2-of-12 from 3-point range, and were outscored 18-8 in the paint.

Crystal Robinson was held scoreless and was 0-for-10 for the game.

Robinson has 499 career rebounds, and is looking to become the seventh player in Liberty history to reach the 500 mark.

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