Fever F Catchings named WNBA Player of Week
For the third time this season, Indiana Fever forward Tamika Catchings has been named WNBA Player of the Week.
Catchings earned her latest weekly honor - the eighth of her career - on Monday after combining for 41 points and 24 rebounds in wins over Washington and Charlotte.
A leading Most Valuable Player and Defensive Player of the Year candidate, Catchings is the only player in the league ranked in the top 10 in scoring, rebounding, assists and steals.
Catchings has helped the Fever win a club-record 19 games and reach seven games above .500 for the first time in team history.
Indiana 69, Connecticut 63
Tamika Catchings scored 18 points and grabbed a key defensive rebound in the closing seconds to lead a rally that gave the Indiana Fever a 69-63 victory Tuesday night over the Connecticut Sun.
The Fever (20-12), who gained homecourt advantage in the first round of the WNBA playoffs, erased a seven-point deficit late in the game. It was the first win at the Mohegan Sun arena for the Fever in their last four visits.
Connecticut (24-8) has already locked homecourt advantage throughout the Eastern Conference playoffs. The Sun have only lost three of 17 home games.
Jurgita Streimikyte hit consecutive jumpers to pull the Fever even at 59 with 2:59 left. Indiana went ahead on two free throws by Tully Bevilaqua on its next possession. Deanna Jackson put Indiana up for good with a layup on an assist by Catchings for a 63-61 lead with 44 seconds left.
Lindsay Whalen then missed an open layup for the Sun and Catchings came down with the rebound. Indiana hit six of seven free throws down the stretch to ice it, including one off a Sun technical that got Connecticut coach Mike Thibault ejected with 31 seconds remaining.
Kelly Miller finished with 15 points for Indiana, and Streimikyte and Natalie Williams scored 10 apiece.
Taj McWilliams-Franklin led Connecticut with 16 points. Nykesha Sales added 14.
The Fever didn't miss much early. Indiana hit its first seven shots, and Williams had three of those baskets. Her 12-footer with 13:56 left gave the Fever their first lead at 16-15.
But the Sun got a lift from reserve forward Ajsha Jones, who hit consecutive shots in a 9-2 surge that gave Connecticut a 37-32 halftime lead.