Brunson leads Monarchs past Fever, 67-62Aug 21, 2009 - 5:12 AM SACRAMENTO, Calif.(AP) -- The Indiana Fever had a chance to clinch the league's first playoff berth this season. Instead, they suffered a disappointing loss against the team with the worst record.
Rebekkah Brunson had 16 points and 10 rebounds, and the Sacramento Monarchs rallied in the closing minutes to beat the Fever 67-62 and win at home for the second time in eight games.
Nicole Powell had 14 points and 10 rebounds and Hamchetou Maiga-Ba scored 10 points for the Monarchs (8-18).
Katie Douglas scored 21 points and Tamika Catchings added 16 points and nine rebounds for the Fever (19-6).
"It's very disappointing because not everyone came ready to play 100 percent tonight and it showed," Catchings said. "We weren't overlooking them, our motto all year has been one game at a time. Sacramento is probably one of the best worst-record teams in the league."
Indiana, which lost for the sixth straight time at Arco Arena, still has the league's best record. The Fever's lead in the Eastern Conference was cut to five games on second-place Atlanta with nine games remaining.
"I thought we were a little complacent overall," Indiana coach Lin Dunn said. "I was real disappointed in crunch time that we didn't take care of the ball better. They did a good job with their defensive pressure, but there is no reason to have 24 turnovers."
Trailing 60-54 with 3:12 remaining, the Monarchs scored 11 consecutive points, including Ticha Penicheiro's first 3-pointer of the season that gave Sacramento a 65-60 lead with 52 seconds left. It was the veteran point guard's only basket all game.
"I realized the shot clock was going down, so I had to shoot it, so I'm just glad it went in," said Penicheiro, who took only two shots and had five points and six assists in 31 minutes.
The Monarchs outscored the Fever 21-12 in the fourth quarter and dropped them to 4-4 against the West. Indiana also had a season-high for turnovers, including several in the final minutes
Trailing 65-62 in the closing seconds, the Fever looked to set up Douglas for a 3-pointer, but several defenders converged to prevent a shot and she passed inside to Tammy Sutton-Brown, who missed a short shot.
"I've been here for seven years and tonight we played Monarchs basketball," Walker said. "We took them out of things they like to do. When we play like that we can beat anyone."
Douglas scored six points in the third quarter, including a 3-point shot that gave the Fever its first lead since the opening period. Indiana outscored the Monarchs 20-12 and led 50-46 going into the fourth.
Despite shooting only 35 percent, the Monarchs were still able to head into halftime with a 34-30 lead. Both Catchings and Douglas scored 11 points for the Fever, who had 16 turnovers that led to nearly half of Sacramento's points.
Off to a slow start and down by four points after one quarter, the Fever committed 12 turnovers in the game's first 14 minutes and saw the Monarchs score 10 straight points to take a 25-15 lead.
The Monarchs honored Yolanda Griffith throughout the game. Griffith, who spent nine seasons in Sacramento, played in Seattle last year and then signed with Indiana in the offseason but was injured in the season-opener and has announced her retirement.
SACRAMENTO 67 FINAL
Aug 21 12:03 AM
SACRAMENTO 19 END, 1ST QTR
Aug 20 10:30 PM
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