First-place Fever hand Sun first home loss
UNCASVILLE, CT. (AP)
Douglas, the Fever's All-Star guard, remained at home with a fever. But her teammates moved back into first place in the Eastern Conference with a 69-58 victory over the Connecticut Sun.
Tamika Catchings scored 16 points and the Fever (12-6) moved a game in front of Connecticut (10-6).
It was Connecticut's first loss at home this season after seven straight wins.
Shannon Bobbitt scored 13 points for the Fever, who held Connecticut to 31 percent shooting from the floor (22-72). Indiana survived 33 percent shooting (22-67) by outrebounding Connecticut 48-39.
"It's definitely going to be harder without Katie because we rely on her a lot, offensively and defensively," Catchings said. "I think anytime we have someone go down, someone else has to step up. I thought Shannon did a great job tonight."
Bobbitt and Catchings each made free throws in the final minute to seal the win for the Fever. Jeanette Pohlen, who started in place of Douglas, added 10 points. Jessica Davenport had 10 points and 10 rebounds off the bench.
"We have a lot of confidence in Jeanette Pohlen. We think we got a great draft pick. We think she is a great shooter and she's a lot like Katie," Indiana coach Lin Dunn said. "She's a shooting guard, defends, runs the floor and knocks down the 3. She has a lot of playing time in big games. We lost (Briann) January and today Katie, but you've got to play with what you've got. We have a lot of confidence in our bench."
Connecticut, which trailed by as many as 17, got as close as four in the fourth period.
Tina Charles led Connecticut with 13 points and Renee Montgomery added 10.
"It seems about twice every year we I don't think we can shoot any worse than what we do. We wasted a really good defensive effort. We had an opportunity. Indiana was missing their leading scorer. I thought we played terrific defense but we couldn't make a shot to save our life," Connecticut coach Mike Thibault said.
Catchings made a 3-point field goal with three minutes remaining in the second period to give the Fever their biggest lead of the first half at 34-17.
Connecticut, which shot 27 percent (9-for-34) in the first half, scored the last eight points of the first half to pull within 34-25 at halftime. The Sun missed all nine three-point attempts in the half and committed 10 turnovers.