Catchings helps Fever beat SunAug 16, 2010 - 12:51 AM UNCASVILLE, Conn. (AP) -- Tamika Catchings scored 26 points to help the Indiana Fever beat Connecticut 79-66 on Sunday, eliminating the Sun from playoff contention for the second straight season.
Indiana (21-10) increased its lead in the Eastern Conference to 1 1/2 games over idle New York. The Fever closed the game on an 18-3 run over the final 5 1/2 minutes.
"All we are focused on is the fact that we control our own destiny. We don't have to worry about somebody else helping us," Indiana coach Lin Dunn said. "We don't have to hope somebody beats somebody to help us. We are in the position that if we win our ballgames and take care of business, then we can win a championship. It's a great position to be in."
Tina Charles led Connecticut with 18 points and 13 rebounds. Charles, who has 368 rebounds this season, set WNBA single season records for most rebounds in the season, surpassing Cheryl Ford's previous mark of 363. Charles also set a single season record with her 20th double-double.
"It's definitely bittersweet," Charles said. "We lost and we're not in the playoffs."
Renee Montgomery added 12 points and Asjha Jones scored 11 for Connecticut (15-16).
Jones made a free throw with 5:36 left to give the Sun a 63-61 lead. Jessica Davenport scored six straight points for the Fever, including a foul line jumper with 4:36 left to give Indiana the lead for good.
"We knew Connecticut was going to come out fighting like there was no tomorrow. They did a really did a good job," Catchings said. "The third quarter was huge for them, but for us it was not so good. In the fourth quarter, we just found a way to pull out that win."
Davenport scored eight of her 10 points in the final 6:21. She entered the game after Ebony Hoffman fouled out.
Katie Douglas scored 10 for the Fever.
The Sun used a 13-3 run at the end of the third period to take a 54-50 lead heading to the fourth period.
"This was the perfect example of the difference between two teams in their stages of maturity," Sun coach Mike Thibault said. "Indiana played with poise at the end."
CONNECTICUT 66 FINAL
Aug 15 7:10 PM
CONNECTICUT 18 END, 1ST QTR
Aug 15 5:30 PM
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