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Free throws lift Sun over Fever, 82-80 in OT

AP - Sports
Free throws lift Sun over Fever, 82-80 in OT
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UNCASVILLE, Conn. (AP) -- It turned into a spirited seven-on-seven game in the regular-season finale for the Connecticut Sun and Indian Fever.

Despite finishing with their worst record in franchise history (10-24), the Sun sent a near-capacity crowd home happy Sunday with an 82-80 victory in overtime.

Izzy Castro Marques made two free throws with 1.9 seconds and finished with 19 points for the Sun, who won three of their last five games despite several injuries.

Both teams played with seven players. Indiana rested starters Tamika Catchings, Shavonte Zellous and Briann January ahead of the playoffs. Jess Davenport and Jess Breland also didn't dress.

Connecticut played without injured Tina Charles, Allison Hightower, Kara Lawson, Tan White and Kelly Faris.

The Sun returned home from a West coast trip this month on a seven-game losing streak and learned Charles would be shut down for the season.

''No one thought we'd win any games with Tina injured,'' Sun forward Mistie Bass said. ''We won that first one (over Washington) and said 'Hmmm, that felt good.' We've been playing with great heart and passion. It felt like our energy wasn't just an individual energy, but an energy we had for each other.''

Castro Marques finished 7 of 14 from the field and added eight rebounds.

''Izzy is a really determined, proud player and person,'' Sun coach Anne Donovan said. ''It's certainly nice when she can fill it up like that.''

Bass had 16 points and 12 rebounds and Renee Montgomery also scored 16 for the Sun. Kalana Greene had 13 points and Kelsey Griffin added 10.

Karima Christmas led the playoff-bound Fever (16-18) with 21 points. Katie Douglas had 14 points, Erlana Larkins and Jeanette Pohlen scored 12 apiece and Layshia Clarendon added 10.

''Looking ahead to the playoffs, nothing could have been better for this crew,'' said Indiana coach Lin Dunn, whose team will face top-seeded Chicago in the playoffs next week. ''Our backups got some very good time.''

Larkins missed a short jumper at the buzzer for Indiana. Griffin forced overtime scoring with 0.4 seconds left in regulation.

''We played pretty good basketball without Tina on the floor. That's something I need to take note of and probably didn't trust enough,'' Donovan said. ''With Tina shut down, I had no idea we could finish a strong as we did and probably should have had a better clue.''

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