Despite a 13-point lead with 5:35 remaining and the return of star Tamika Catchings to the roster, the Indiana Fever (8-10) found themselves on the end of another disappointing finish. After Briann January hit a corner-three pointer to put Indiana up by two points with six seconds to go, the Stars Kayla McBride (14 points) returned the favor with :01 to go to give the Fever a 71-70 loss to San Antonio.
“Obviously there at the end, we had a defensive breakdown,” said Fever Head Coach Lin Dunn. “Even though we talked about switching on all the screens after the ball came in, which if we contest that shot, it doesn’t happen. When you don’t do what you’re supposed to do, you get shot in the foot and that certainly hurt us there.”
The Fever once again looked to be in good position through the contest, with guards Shavonte Zellous (16 points) and January (12 points) ultimately putting Indiana in good position to win the game. But then midway through the fourth quarter an avalanche of turnovers, bad decisions, and easy possessions for San Antonio ultimately flipped the game around.
“We can’t lose our focus against a really good team when we’ve got the lead,” said Dunn. “In crunch-time, I think we had a (double-digit) lead there with four or five minutes left, we need to win that ballgame.”
One positive for the Fever came in the play of Tamika Catchings. Despite making only one field goal on the night, Catchings had six points, seven rebounds, and four assists in 20 minutes of play.
“I feel good, just a little winded,” said Catchings.
“That’s to be expected. It’s just a matter of getting back into rhythm. I’m excited to get back on the court with the team. I feel like we did a lot of good things on the court tonight, and we definitely put ourselves in position to win. It’s just down the stretch, we have to do better. We’ve been talking about that, whether I’m on the court or not. That’s been something we’ve been struggling with.”
The Fever return to action Tuesday night in Tulsa.