Catching Leads Fever Past Sting 62-53
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) _ Tamika Catchings had 18 points and matched her career high with 16 rebounds to lead the Indiana Fever to a 62-53 victory over the Charlotte Sting on Saturday night.
Natalie Williams added 11 points and 10 rebounds for Indiana, and Kelly Miller had 13 points.
Charlotte trailed for most of the game but managed to pull within six points late with Sheri Sam scoring nine of her team-high 15 points in the second half.
Sam scored nine straight points early in the second half, reducing a 10-point deficit to 45-41 on two free throws with 13:44 to play.
Charlotte later pulled within two, 51-49, on a three-point play by Tangela Smith with 9:06 left. Tully Bevilaqua responded with a 3-pointer for Indiana, and the Sting never drew closer than three points again.
Charlotte didn’t get a field goal in the final 4:46 as Indiana closed the game with 8-2 run.
Indiana had a 39-22 rebounding advantage, with Catchings pulling down a season league-high 10 offensive rebounds. The Fever had 21 offensive rebounds total.
The win allowed Indiana (19-12) to extend its franchise records for victories in a season and at home (13). Charlotte (4-27) has lost 18 consecutive road games. It’s last road win was Sept. 8 at Minnesota last season.
Indiana also maintained its one-game advantage over the New York Liberty in the battle for second place in the WNBA’s Eastern Conference.
The Fever opened a 10-point lead in the game’s first seven minutes but saw the Sting pull to 18-14 before going up 33-22 with six consecutive points late in the half.
Catchings had 12 points and eight rebounds in the first half, which ended with the Fever holding a 35-26 advantage.