June 02, 2005

Fever Holds on for 61-60 Win Over Monarchs

INDIANAPOLIS - Rookie guard Yolanda Paige, shooting free throws for an injured teammate, made one of two shots as the Indiana Fever held on for a 61-60 victory over the Sacramento Monarchs on Wednesday night.

Tully Bevilaqua was fouled hard by Ticha Penicheiro as she drove for a fast-break layup with 52.4 seconds to play and the score tied 60-60.

When Bevilaqua was taken to the training room with an apparent knee sprain, Monarchs coach John Whisenant was allowed to pick any Fever player to shoot the free throws. He chose Paige, but she made one shot.

"I didn't think they were going to pick me, so I went back and sat down," said Paige, who played just eight minutes and scored the one point.

She said coach Brian Winters made her nervous by telling her what offense to run if the Fever got the ball and what defense to use if it didn't.

"Not to be rude, coach, but I'm trying to focus," she said she was thinking.

Teammate Tamika Catchings, who scored 18 points, told her not to worry about Winters' instructions and just shoot the free throws.

"I missed the first one, which I thought I would make," Paige said. "I prayed for the second one to go in."

Both teams had possessions as time wound down, but came up empty. Penicheiro struggled all night, missing a late shot and going just 1-for-8 from the floor.

The Fever (4-1) are off to their best start. Reserve rookie guard Tan White added 17 points.

"Yolanda made one big free throw, and down at the end, we made stops," Winters said. "When you can do that under duress, it bodes well for you down the road."

DeMya Walker scored 12 points, and Yolanda Griffith and Kristin Haynie had 10 each for the Monarchs (3-1).

"We wanted this one, but we'll take 3-1," Whisenant said. "The turnovers were the keys to our loss. Give Indiana some of the credit for the pressure."

The teams combined for just 11 points over the final seven minutes.

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