The Indiana Fever are facing an uphill battle in their attempt to repeat in the East, let alone the WNBA. This is in part because the East's worst teams from a year ago, including their next opponent in the Washington Mystics, seem to be new and improved.
Just the Facts, Ma'am: Indiana started strong, but New York finished stronger, outscoring Indiana 14-8 in the overtime to take a 75-68 win. The Fever's Tamika Catchings led all players with 21 points, eight rebounds, and five steals. Shavonte Zellous had 15 before fouling out in the extra period, while Briann January had 13 points and a game-high five assists. Essence Carson led New York with 21 points. Cappie Pondexter had 17, 11 in the fourth quarter and overtime; Alex Montgomery added 6 of her 13 overtime.
For screens, thundersticks, the Katie who walks alone, floor care, relief, stupidity, physicality, and cardiac issues, join your intrepid and salty blogger after the jump.
The game started out with a 10-0 run by the Stars, but after that it was basically all Fever all the time as Indiana came out with a solid victory.
For Indy, Tamika Catchings and Shavonte Zellous had 19 points each, Katie Douglas had 18 points and four dimes, and Erlana Larkins grabbed 12 boards and had 3 assists in addition to 8 points. For San Antonio, Shenise Johnson led the Stars wtih 14 points off the bench.
If you were wondering about how many threes were taken today given that the new near NBA length three is in use now, there were a good number. Indy made 5 of 16 shots, and San Antonio made 5-19 shots so the percentage was a bit low for them especially. Still, it's good to see that in the first regular season game for these teams, they weren't hesitating to take the shots at all which was a concern with some people in regards to the new line being used.
Today, the Indiana Fever announced that it signed forward/center Laura Harper. Harper was the 10th pick in the 2008 Draft and was picked up by the Sacramento Monarchs where she played for two seasons until the team folded. She was then picked up by the San Antonio Silver Stars but injuries set her back from playing in the 2010 and 2011 seasons. In 2012, she was on the Washington Mystics training camp roster but was cut before the season.
Harper is best known in her college days from the University of Maryland, where she was named the 2006 NCAA Tournament's most outstanding player in the Final Four when the Terrapins won the national championship against Duke. Some of Harper's teammates on the championship team include Crystal Langhorne, Kristi Toliver, and Marissa Coleman.
The Indiana Fever announced that Tamika Catchings, Shavonte Zellous, and Briann January re-signed with the team. Fever President and GM Kelly Krauskopf had this to say on the signings:
Re-signing our own free agents was a top priority for me this offseason. I wanted to keep our nucleus of players intact from the championship team.
Tamika has been the cornerstone of the franchise. I would like for her to finish her career – whenever that may be – in a Fever uniform. Re-signing Tamika was obviously a high priority, along with Bri and Shavonte who were so vital to winning the championship last year.
This move ensures that most of the 2012 WNBA championship team's nucleus stays intact for 2013 as the Fever defends its title. These signings should not come as a surprise to anyone.
Thanks to Shannon Cotterell (Twitter @SGC72) for the note!
The 2012 Indiana Fever, led by forward Tamika Catchings and guard Katie Douglas helped lead the team to a 22-12 regular season record, good enough for the 2nd seed in the Eastern Conference Playoffs. From that time on, the Fever would go on a remarkable run, and despite injuries to Douglas and reserve guard Jeanette Pohlen along the way, they went on to win the 2012 Finals against the Minnesota Lynx, three games to one. For 2013, the Fever will try to win it all again. Can they do this without the perceived star power that some Western Conference teams have?
Earlier this year, Indiana Fever forward Tamika Catchings was selected to be part of the Allstate Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Good Works Team® panel, which will recognize women's college athletes for their service accomplishments beyond their athletic careers. In a recent interview with Swish Appeal, Catchings discussed that program as well as winning her first WNBA title, her thoughts on former Tennessee Lady Vols coach Pat Summitt, her current WNBA coach Lin Dunn, and whether she'd win a game of horse with NBA All-Star LeBron James.