INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- The Indiana Fever have found a way to win
the close ones.
"It seems like all of our games are close. We're not shooting
the ball very well right now, but defense and rebounding are
keeping us in the games," first-year coach Brian Winters said
after the Fever beat the Minnesota Lynx 58-56 Thursday night.
The winning points came on two free throws by Stephanie White
with 1.3 seconds to play, but it was another spotty offensive
performance by Indiana.
The Fever were 18-of-50 (36 percent) from the field, but they
made 21 of 22 free throws.
"We had a definite advantage from the line," Winters said.
"Down the stretch we had to make the right plays."
The Fever, coming off a 61-60 overtime road loss to Eastern
Conference leader Connecticut on Tuesday night, have won three of
their last five games by a total of four points. Indiana, which
entered Thursday's game shooting 39 percent from the field, has had
its last five games decided by 11 points.
Tamika Catchings led a balanced scoring attack for Indiana with
17 points, while Deanna Jackson added 13 and Natalie Williams 12.
Catchings was 3-of-10 from the field, but hit all 11 of her free
Katie Smith scored 18 points and Tamika Williams had 10 for
Minnesota. Williams had eight rebounds for the Lynx, who were just
5-of-7 from the free throw line.
The Fever trailed by as many as five points late in the second
half before going on a 5-0 run to tie the game at 53. A basket by
Catchings and one of two free throws by White gave Indiana a 56-53
lead with 28 seconds left.
After a scramble for a loose ball, Smith hit one of her three
3-pointers to tie the game with 14 seconds remaining.
"That's the last person I wanted to see have the ball at the
end," Winters said of Smith.
It was up to White, who had the only miss from the free throw
line, to win it.
"I just wanted to get up there and hit my foul shots," White
said. "I had missed one a little bit earlier and that gave
(Minnesota) a chance to tie the game up. I have been struggling a
little bit lately with my foul shooting, but I knew that I just
wanted to get up there and shoot the ball."
White was accidentally hit in the head by Minnesota's Teresa
Edwards when both players went diving along the sideline for a
loose ball, sending White to the line.
"I'm not sure what all happened on that play," White said. "I
know that I got knocked in the head a little bit, and I was a
little bit woozy for a few seconds. But I was just happy that I was
able to get up there and hit my shots."
Indiana led by as many as six points in the second half, 40-34,
while Minnesota's biggest lead was at 29-21 with 1:14 left in the