Even though the setting was different, the story remained the same. The Indiana Fever continued, and completed, their season-long dominance over the Washington Mystics Saturday night in downtown Indianapolis. In front of an electrified crowd at Conseco Fieldhouse, the darlings of the Indianapolis sports world secured a trip to the WNBA’s Eastern Conference Final with a 81-74 overtime win Bevilaqua standing tall.
This was the sixth time that the Fever faced off against the Washington D.C. team this season (4 regular season, 2post-season) and all six contests ended with the Fever on top. A feisty Mystics team did not go down without a fight however. They gave the Circle City ladies all they could handle, and for most of the second half, it seemed they would be too much.
After coming out of the blocks hot, hitting five of their first seven shots, the Fever struggled to find a rhythm the rest of the way. They shot a not so impressive 32.4 percent the rest of the game. Even with this poor performance on offense, the Fever kept it close with tough defense lead by their spark plug point guard Tully Bevilaqua.
The Fever were given solid performances by Tammy Sutton-Brown with 16 points, and Katie Douglas, who dropped in 13 points for Indiana. The star of the show once again was perennial all-star Tamika Catchings. She bolstered her already impressive case for bringing this year’s WNBA MVP award to Indianapolis by giving the Fever 24 points, 16 rebounds, 5 assists, 4 steals and 4 blocks while saving a baby from a burning building. OK we might have added that last one but she was still amazing
Catchings’ biggest buckets came with 2.6 seconds left in the game, when she hit two clutch free throws to tie the score and send it to overtime. The two teams seemed destined for a second overtime period before Sutton-Brown put home a layup with only 1:18 remaining in the extra frame. The Indiana Fever added another five points to ice the game and secure their place in the Eastern Conference finals against reigning WNBA champions, the Detroit Shock. The conference finals get under way Wednesday night in Detroit before coming back to Indy on Friday night.
Be sure to check back on Wednesday afternoon as we preview the Fever’s upcoming series with the Shock.