June 18, 2005

Tamika Update

June 18, 2005 - Mystics 88, Fever 78, 2OT

Tamika Catchings led the Fever (7-4) with 20 points and 15 rebounds. The Mystics led 64-61 after Melvin made 1-of-2 free throws with 42.1 seconds to play in regulation, but Catchings sent the game into overtime with a 3-pointer.

June 16, 2005 - Indiana 60, Charlotte 57

Tamika Catchings may be shooting poorly, but she's still making all the big plays for the Indiana Fever.

Catchings scored 12 points, including two free throws with 1.1 seconds left, to lead the Fever to a 60-57 win over the Charlotte Sting on Thursday night.

Trailing by one with 4.3 seconds left, the Sting's Dawn Staley inbounded the ball to Tangela Smith, who dribbled it off her foot. Catchings picked it up, was fouled, and made both free throws.

Charlotte (1-8) had a final chance to tie, but Tully Bevilaqua stole Staley's inbounds pass, preserving the Fever's third straight win.

Catchings, who was 4-of-14 from the field, is shooting just 31 percent this season.

``Certainly I'd like to see Tamika shoot the ball well,'' Fever coach Brian Winters said. ``But last night she didn't shoot it great, and she had 16 boards and eight assists, plays 40 minutes, and we beat Detroit. Tonight she guards people, makes her free throws. She fills up the box score.''

June 15, 2005 - Indiana 84, Detroit 79, OT

Tamika Catchings regained her scoring touch and helped the Indiana Fever to the best start in their six-year history.

Catchings had 20 points and a career high-tying 16 rebounds, for her first double-double of the season, to lead the Fever over the Detroit Shock 84-79 in overtime Wednesday night.

Catchings, who averaged 10.3 points while shooting just 6-for-39 in her last three games, made her first four field goals and added eight assists and six steals. She finished 5-for-14 from the field and 9-of-11 on free throws.

``She had a tremendous game, especially rebounding the ball,'' Indiana coach Brian Winters said of Catchings' effort against a team that went into the game leading the WNBA in rebounding. ``Eight assists and just two turnovers. There was a lot of great performances from a lot of people.''

Catchings had plenty of help as the Fever survived a 32-point performance by the Shock's Deanna Nolan.

Rookie Tan White scored 20 points and fellow reserve Ebony Hoffman added a career-high 16. Hoffman also had seven rebounds, falling one short of her career high, as Indiana (6-3) remained undefeated in five home games and, moved past Detroit (5-3) into second place in the Eastern Conference.

Elaine Powell added 14 points and seven assists for Detroit, which lost to Indiana for the third straight time.

``We played hard enough to win, but we still have some issues to solve as a team,'' Detroit coach Bill Laimbeer said.

With the Fever trailing 71-66 with 1:36 left in regulation, Hoffman hit a turnaround jumper and then fed Catchings for a layup to bring Indiana to within one with 56.5 seconds left. After Catchings blocked a shot by Stacey Thomas, Cheryl Ford missed a pair of free throws for the Shock with 21.4 seconds left.

Kelly Miller hit a 3-pointer to give Indiana a 75-73 edge with 3.4 seconds to go.

``Kelly has been making them all year. She's shooting great,'' Winters said.

Catchings drew a triple-team and passed to Kelly who hit the big shot.

``That's what it takes,'' Winter said.

Detroit tied the game on a short jumper by Chandi Jones as time expired to send the game into overtime.

``It was a broken play, but she came up with the big shot,'' Laimbeer said.

In overtime, Nolan put Detroit ahead for the final time at 79-77 with 2:48 remaining. Following a free throw by Tully Bevilaqua that cut Indiana's deficit back to one, Hoffman grabbed her final rebound and put up a short jump shot to give the Fever an 80-79 edge with 1:46 left.

Indiana sealed the victory as Catchings and Miller each made two free throws in the final 27 seconds.

The Shock hit just 2 of 8 shots from the field in the extra period.

White hit 11 of 13 free throws as the Fever outscored Detroit 25-14 from the line.

``Fouls played a big part, and the whistle just seemed all night not to be in our favor,'' Laimbeer said.

Indiana overcame an early 11-point deficit to lead 40-36 at halftime.

The Fever got back into the game to take its first lead at 21-20 with a 14-2 run. White sparked the run with nine points, including a 3-pointer and six free throws.

``Those are the types of games where you have to figure out if your team has enough poise to win, and we did a lot of awful good things,'' said Winters, who saw his team outrebound Detroit 35-30. ``We switched defenses ... executed our out-of-bounds plays.''

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