INDIANAPOLIS — Jessica Davenport scored 19 points to lead the Indiana Fever to an 84-70 victory over the Chicago Sky on Saturday night.
Katie Douglas had 15 points, Briann January added 14 and Tamika Catchings 12 to help Indiana (5-3) snap a three-game losing streak and improve to 21-5 all-time against the Sky.
“Today we just talked about taking every single quarter,” Catchings said. “Ten minute quarters. Ten minute games like we do in practice. ... Our bench was huge and (Jessica Davenport) had an amazing game tonight going against Sylvia (Fowles).”
Catchings shot 3 for 12 from the field, but made 6 of 8 from the line to pass Lisa Leslie atop the WNBA’s career free throws made list with 1,478.
Davenport broke her own franchise record for field goals made without a miss, going 9 for 9, and also made her only free-throw attempt. She was previously 8 for 8 against Connecticut on June 11, 2010.
“Just wanted to be aggressive,” Davenport said about guarding Fowles. “Just try to crowd her and make it difficult. You’re not going to be able to completely stop her because she’s a great player. But we just wanted to make it as difficult for her as possible.”
Fowles scored 26 points to lead Chicago (7-2). Swin Cash added 15 points and Courtney Vandersloot had 12. Epiphanny Prince, the league’s leading scorer at 24.3 points per game coming in, had seven points before leaving late in the second quarter with a right foot injury. She was on crutches after halftime.
Tammy Sutton-Brown’s layup with 1 1/2 minutes gone in the third quarter gave Indiana a six-point lead, its biggest of the game at the time. The Sky came back and took a 48-46 lead on Vandersloot’s 3 near the midpoint of the period.
Douglas’ 3 less than a minute later tied the score at 49 and started a 15-5 run that gave the Fever a seven-point lead with 1 1/2 minutes to go in the third.
Chicago made another run, scoring six consecutive points to pull to 66-65 with 7 1/2 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter.
The Fever then pulled away for good as Jeanette Pohlen hit a 3 less than 30 seconds later to start a 12-0 run that put them ahead 78-65 on Davenport’s layup with 2:24 to go. Davenport’s layup with 1 minute left gave Indiana its biggest lead, 84-68.
“I just thought it was a great kind of gut-check win for us,” Fever coach Lin Dunn said. “We got great help from the bench, especially Davenport. We moved the ball. We shared the ball. We defended at a high level.”
The Fever closed the first half with a 13-1 run to take a 42-38 lead at the break.
Fowles had 16 points on 7-for-9 shooting in the opening 20 minutes, and Cash added nine points for the Sky. Douglas led Indiana with nine points and January had eight.
Chicago made 12 of its first 13 shots and led 37-29 after Cash’s 3-pointer with 3:42 remaining in the first half.
“We did some good things in the first half to give ourselves a chance to win,” Sky coach Pokey Chatman said. “Epiphanny going down didn’t help. Second half, we didn’t contain them the way we needed to. We need to work on defense without fouling and hopefully we’ll get on the other side of the coin.”
Douglas then made two 3s around a layup by January to tie score, and Catchings hit two free throws with 1:03 left in the half to put Indiana ahead 39-37 for its first lead since early in the first quarter.
Fowles made a free throw with 50.6 seconds left in the half — Chicago’s first points in nearly 3 minutes — and Douglas made a 3 about 23 seconds later to give the Fever their four-point lead.