INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Tamika Catchings scored 16 points to help the Indiana Fever defeat the New York Liberty 91-68 on Saturday night.
Roneeka Hodges scored 15 points, Jeanette Pohlen added 12 and Katie Douglas had 11 for Indiana (4-0). The Fever made 13 of 26 3-pointers while New York made 5 of 17. The Fever made 22 of 27 free throws and committed just 12 turnovers.
Indiana’s reserves outscored New York’s 52-18.
Plenette Pierson scored 24 points on 10-for-13 shooting for the Liberty (0-5). Cappie Pondexter, New York’s leading scorer, finished with 13 points on 4-for-15 shooting. Pierson and Pondexter were the only Liberty players to score in double figures.
New York’s past four losses have all been by double digits, by a combined 82 points. The teams play again Sunday at New York.
Indiana, which entered the game as the No. 2 scoring team in the league, shot 47 percent from the field.
The Fever shot just 6-for-19 from the field in the first quarter but made enough free throws to tie the score at 20 by the end of the period.
Indiana heated up in the second quarter making 10 of its 16 shots to take a 49-36 halftime lead. Catchings scored 14 points in the first half and Hodges scored eight off the bench in the second quarter. The Fever made 6 of 13 3-pointers in the first half.
New York cut Indiana’s lead to nine points early in the third quarter before the Fever took control. A 3-pointer by Shavonte Zellous pushed Indiana’s lead to 60-45 and forced the Liberty to call a timeout.
Catchings disagreed with a foul call, then made contact with an official and was issued a technical foul. New York made all three free throws to cut Indiana’s lead to 12.
The Fever made 5 of 7 3-pointers in the third quarter and led 75-61 at the end of the period. Four different Indiana players — Douglas, Zellous, Erin Phillips and Hodges — made at least one 3-pointer in the quarter.
Pohlen made a 3-pointer to push the lead to 82-61 and force another timeout by New York. The Liberty went scoreless for the first 5:22 of the fourth quarter and missed their first six shots. The Liberty scored just seven points in the final period.
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