Catchings Delivers, Fever Get Big Win
It was an emotional night for the Indiana Fever as the night begin with a ceremony to celebrate the retirement of head coach Lin Dunn. Dunn has been coaching for 44 years and has led the Fever to 7 straight playoff appearances, including a WNBA championship in 2012. 10,625 fans were in attendance to witness the Fever’s last regular season game against the Chicago Sky. The Fever jumped on the Chicago Sky early out of the gate leaving no disappointment of the previous game letdown. The Fever came out aggressively to begin the game, by putting excellent ball pressure on the Sky. The Sky committed 4 turnovers, leading to 11 of the Fevers 32 points. Tamika Catchings started out the game hitting all 4 of her field goals in the 1st quarter. Briann January also had 8 points making 3 out of 4 field goals. The 1st quarter ended with a foul on Karima Christmas with 0.01 left, the score would be the Fever 32 and Sky 16.At the start of the second quarter things would continue to go the Fevers way as January scored 6 points and the Sky shot just 33% in the 2nd quarter. The only downfall for the Fever in the 1st half was the fact that Catchings picked up 3 fouls all in the 2nd quarter. Catchings 3rd foul would be with just 0.06 seconds left to go in the half. The Fever led 44 to 31 going into the 2nd half. To begin the second half the Chicago Sky came out and made two field goals cutting the Fever lead to 8. The Sky would go on to score 21 points in the 3rd quarter, while the Fever scored just 10. Elena Delle Donne scored 7 points for the Sky as the cut into the lead even more. Allie Quigley would score 5 points to end the 3rd quarter as the Sky trailed the Fever 52-54. The 4th quarter, was all about Tamika Catchings. She would score 10 points in the 4th quarter including an amazing reverse lay-up that would give the Fever a 69-65 lead, with 55.5 seconds to go. Quigley would score on a 16 ft. jump shot, making the score 69-67 Fever. Tamika Catchings would come through again for the Fever, scoring on two free throws with 14.3 seconds left.
Quigley would miss a jump shot, with 10.9 seconds left in the game, the Fever would run the clock out. The Final Score of the game was 71-67 Indiana Fever with the win.Tamika Catchings would lead all players in scoring with 25 points and rebounding with 9 in the game. Allie Quigley led the Sky in scoring with 17 points and Delle Done scored 14. The win gives the Fever the 2nd seed in the East at 16-17, with one game left on the road Sunday against the New York Liberty . The Sky drop to the 4th seed in the East at 16-18 and have a home game Sunday against the San Antonio Stars.
Post Game Quotes
Head Coach Lin Dunn (Thoughts on the game) ” I just think we have been real focused the last three or four games with whatever we had to do, one to get in the playoffs and two to get the highest seed we could get. I thought we played with a lot of energy, a lot of intensity. We got great help from people off the bench. We knew it would be a battle tonight, which it was. Even though we got ahead of them early we thought they would make a comeback. They’re too talented, they’re too good.”
(On Pre-game Ceremony) “The pregame ceremony was awesome, it was touching, it was overwhelming. To see the banner that they raised, the computer, the two round trip tickets anywhere in the world… My gosh. Now you see what kind of classy people who I work for. Just grateful that I’ve had the opportunity to be here for 10+ years.”
Tamika Catchings (On how team played) ” I thought we came out really focused, again. I think that’s become the word that I keep using over and over and over. We’re clicking at the right time. It’s so much fun to be a part of when everybody is playing together. Offensively and defensively we’re moving the ball and general flow throughout the team. The energy is high. I think we came out especially for tonight wanting to do it for Lin, celebrating her last home regular season game. But now we’re not finished yet. We just have to keep it rolling.”
Chicago Sky’s Head Coach Pokey Chatman (Did pregame ceremony contribute to slow start?) “No I wish I could say it was that simple. I like to give teams credit. They haven’t had as much success this past year at home as they’d like. Chicago Sky’s Elena Delle Donne quote on loss. “They came out off the bat really great. We knew they were going to have energy with it being Coach Dunn’s last regular season game. We didn’t show a lot of fight down the stretch. We weren’t able to excute properly and obviously Catch (Tamika Catchings) was also making phenomenal plays.”
Chicago Sky’s Elena Delle Donne (On team loss) “They came out off the bat really great. We knew they were going to have energy with it being Coach Dunn’s last regular season game. We didn’t show a lot of fight down the stretch. We weren’t able to execute properly and obviously Catch (Tamika Catchings) was making phenomenal plays.