TULSA, Okla. (AP)—Tammy Sutton-Brown made a tiebreaking free throw with 37 seconds to play and Tamika Catchings added a key offensive rebound, assist and a pair of free throws down the stretch to lead the Fever to a 73-70 win over the Tulsa Shock on Saturday night.
Sutton-Brown’s free throw gave the Fever (7-4) the lead for good, 68-67. She missed the second attempt and Catchings, who had a team-high 16 points, came up with the rebound. The reigning WNBA MVP then passed it to Erin Phillips for a 3-pointer from the right wing with 16 seconds remaining.
Tulsa’s Temeka Johnson made a 3 to bring the Shock (1-11) within one with 12 seconds to play, but Catchings added two free throws 3 seconds later for the final margin.
“I guess you could say the final 3 minutes was `Catchings time,”’ Indiana coach Lin Dunn said.
Ivory Latta missed a game-tying 3-point attempt with 3 seconds to go.
Rookie Gloria Johnson scored a season-high 22 points to lead Tulsa. Temeka Johnson added 17 points, Courtney Paris had 10 points and 11 rebounds and Latta also scored 10.
Katie Douglas scored 14 points for Indiana, including a 3 that put the Fever ahead 65-54 with 4:48 remaining.
The Shock then went on a 14-3 run, tying the score at 67 on Johnson’s two free throws with about 53 seconds left.
“I thought they would make a run,” Dunn said. “I knew they would not go away. But we kept our poise and composure. We did what we needed to do to win.”
Indiana held Tulsa to just nine points in the first quarter and led by as many as 13 before taking a 33-22 lead at halftime despite shooting just 32 percent from the field.
The 22 points were first-half season low for Tulsa, which has now lost 17 of its last 18 games dating back to last season.
The game featured the first matchup between Tulsa coach Garry Kloppenburg and the Indiana team for which he served as an assistant from 2008-11. The Fever had 20-win seasons in each of his last three years with the team.
“She (Dunn) has been really supportive,” Kloppenburg said of the Fever’s coach. “She told me that we are going in the right direction and that we just have to hang in there with our younger players. She has been a great mentor for me.”