Indiana Fever forward Tamika Catchings, in the midst of her 16th and final WNBA season, still has plenty left in the tank.
Catchings is coming off a 26-point, five-rebound, four-assist effort in a 95-83 win at the Chicago Sky on Wednesday afternoon, a performance that also served as a tribute to her college coach, Tennessee's Pat Summitt.
Catchings, whose entire pro career has been with Indiana, has scored at least 23 points in four of the past seven games. She is averaging a team-best 13.8 points per game as the Fever (7-9) play host to San Antonio (3-12) on Friday night.
Her performance against the Sky came one day after Summitt died. Catchings pointed a finger toward the sky after she scored Wednesday.
“I'm very happy,” she said on WNBA.com. “Really, my motivation was two-fold. First, just for Pat, I wanted to play well for her. Second, I wanted to do well, playing back here in Chicago for the last time.”
San Antonio has been struggling, especially on offense and on the road.
The Stars average a league-low 73.7 points per game and is also last in shooting percentage (40.5).
They opened a three-game road trip Wednesday afternoon with an 84-67 loss at Washington, dropping to 0-7 away from home. San Antonio trailed by as many as 30 points in the second half.
Guard Kayla McBride is the Stars' go-to scorer. She averages 17.8 points per game, ranking seventh in the WNBA. She doesn't have a lot of help, though, as forward Dearica Hamby is the only other double-digit scorer at 10.4 points per game.
Rookie guard Moriah Jefferson has been a bright spot, averaging 9.5 points and 4.3 assists.
Indiana has scored more than 90 points in two consecutive games, having made 51 of 55 free throw attempts in that span. Guard Erica Wheeler, having moved into the starting lineup in the past games, has reached double-digit points in the past three outings.
This will be the second of three meetings this season between the Fever and Stars. Indiana won 84-75 in San Antonio on June 17, as Catchings had 23 points, five steals and two blocks.