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Starzz Top Fever, 79-71

June 19, 2002

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) _ Utah guard Marie Ferdinand scored a career-high 27 points and backcourtmate Jennifer Azzi added a season-high 18 to lead the Starzz to a 79-71 victory over the Indiana Fever on Tuesday night.

Azzi made four free throws over the final 40 seconds to put the game out of Indiana’s reach. She finished 4-of-5 from 3-point range and had six assists.

Ferdinand was 11-for-18 from the field.

``I guess it was just one of those games that players have,″ she said. ``I don’t think it was one of those games where I was on fire. I just had a lot of good looks.″

Indiana coach Nell Fortner was impressed with Ferdinand.

``We just don’t have anybody with quickness to keep up with her,″ Fortner said. ``I don’t know anybody who has what it takes to guard her.″

The Starzz (6-3) controlled the tempo by dominating the boards with a 41-27 rebound advantage. Utah had 13 offensive rebounds and 24 second-chance points.

Forward Natalie Williams led Utah with nine rebounds.

``The statistic that speaks to me the loudest is what we did on the boards,″ Starzz coach Candi Harvey said. ``Natalie owned the boards tonight and was a huge difference for us.″

The Fever (4-5) led by as many as 11 points in the first half by running against the bigger Starzz, but Utah adjusted defensively and pulled within two points at halftime.

``We regrouped. We turned it into a halfcourt game,″ Harvey said. ``That’s one of the best comebacks that I’ve seen our team have.″

Indiana rookie Tamika Catchings was quieted by the defense of Adrienne Goodson. Catchings finished with 14 points and 11 rebounds.

Starzz center Margo Dydek recorded her fourth-straight double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds.

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