Best of 2016: Top 16 Moments

Best of 2016: Top Plays

1. Runaway Win, Retirement Ceremony & Record Crowd for Catchings’ Final Home Game, Sept. 18:
An arena white-out, numerous tributes to No. 24 and a postgame ceremony bookended a 16-point, 7-rebound performance from Tamika Catchings on the court. The 16-year veteran and all-time WNBA rebounds and steals leader also tallied a pair of takeaways in the runaway win – an 83-60 rout of the Dallas Wings that was the Fever’s largest margin of the season. The crowd of 17,704 was the second-largest regular season home audience in franchise history.

2. This One’s for Pat, Catchings Scores 26 in Her Final Game at Chicago, June 29:
In her final road game at Chicago and just hours after the passing of Pat Summitt, Tamika Catchings’ college coach, mentor and friend, Catchings sparked a 95-83 win at Allstate Arena by pouring in 26 points on 7-of-11 shooting. She made nine consecutive free throw attempts and added three 3-pointers while pointing to the heavens after each bucket.

3. Record Shooting and Score Help Fever Past Liberty, Sept. 1:
The Fever used a franchise-record 40-point first quarter to make quick work of East frontrunner New York, 98-77 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. The historic start tied a WNBA record for most points in a quarter. Indiana also set a franchise mark for most points in a half (63) while connecting on a season-high 14 3-pointers, just one shy of another club record. Marissa Coleman had a season-high four 3-pointers in the assault. Shenise Johnson came off the bench to contribute a team-high 21 points with three 3-pointers.

4. Double-Double Ends Catchings Career As Fever Bow From Playoffs, Sept. 18:
Tamika Catchings’ only double-double of her final season came during the final game of her career. She scored 13 points and added 10 rebounds in a first-round playoff defeat to the Phoenix Mercury, 89-78. Indiana led at intermission, 38-35, but surrendered 54 second-half points in a game that saw her legendary career close as the WNBA’s career leader in postseason points, rebounds and steals.

5. Coleman and Kizer Light Up the Garden Prior to Olympic Break, July 21:
In what was perhaps the season’s most dominant offensive performance by a Fever player, Lynetta Kizer shot 10-of-14 from the floor to finish with a career-high 21 points in a convincing 82-70 win at Madison Square Garden. Kizer’s 10 field goals, mostly mid-range jumpers, were the most by a Fever player in the past two seasons. Coleman, meanwhile, rallied Indiana off the bench with four 3-pointers and 14 points, all in the second half.

6. Johnson’s Five Threes Help Topple Storm in Seattle, July 10:
The Fever trailed 50-44 at halftime, but an 11-3 third-quarter run recaptured a 55-53 lead and Indiana rolled to a 93-82 road victory over the Seattle Storm. Tamika Catchings scored 15 points in her final visit to the Northwest, but Shenise Johnson paced six Fever players in double figures with 18 points and a sharpshooting effort that included a career-best five 3-pointers.

7. Defense Rises in D.C. as Fever Clinch 12th Straight Playoff Berth, Sept. 11:
Indiana raised its defensive energy in the second half, and road the scoring efforts of backcourt mates Erika Wheeler and Briann January, to get at valuable road win at Washington and clinch the club’s WNBA-record 12th consecutive playoff appearance. Trailing 47-42 at intermission, the Fever limited the Mystics to just 26 points in the second half. Wheeler netted 17 points on 5-of-8 shooting, along with five rebounds and three assists. January added 15 points on 6-of-11 shooting with four assists.

8. Season-High and Late Scoring by January Lift Fever Past Sky in Playoff Chase, Sept. 9:
In front of 10,533 on Breast Health Awareness Night, Indiana outlasted Chicago in a 95-88 shootout at the Fieldhouse. The victory moved the Fever to the .500 mark of the season, tied with the Sky, and kept the club in playoff contention. Briann January led Indiana with a season-high 20 points on 5-of-7 shooting, including the Fever’s last seven points in the final minute of play. She added six assists, and backcourt mate Erika Wheeler poured in 16 points with a career-high three 3-pointers. The Fever gained an 88-86 lead before January scored the team’s final points with seven free throws in the final minute.

9. Olympic Legacy, Catchings Secures Olympics-Record Fourth Basketball Gold:
Helping the United States win its sixth consecutive Olympic gold medal at Rio de Janeiro in August, Tamika Catchings earned the fourth gold medal of her Olympic career. Catchings’ feat tied the Olympics Basketball record, men or women, for the most individual gold medals (Sue Bird, Teresa Edwards, Lisa Leslie, Diana Taurasi).

10. Larkins, January, Big Third-Quarter Help Fever Explode Past Mercury in Phoenix, July 8:
Trailing 19-12 after one quarter and 29-28 at intermission, the Fever blitzed the Mercury 30-10 in the third quarter and rode that momentum for a 78-60 road win in Phoenix. Erlana Larkins finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Briann January added 13 points and a career-high six steals.

11. Late Rally Secures Historic Road Win at Dallas, June 25:
Erlana Larkins scored a career-high 19 points and Briann January hit a pair of free throws with 7.1 seconds remaining to help Indiana clinch a 92-87 win at Dallas. The high-octane shootout was Indiana’s first game at the newly-relocated Dallas franchise – and it was the first and only pro appearance by Tamika Catchings in front of a high school hometown audience. Indiana led by as many as 14 points, but saw its lead dwindle to 90-87 with 52 seconds to play. Catchings, January and Erika Wheeler each added 15 points.

12. Catchings Legacy Luncheon and Launch of Legacy Tour, March 22:
A preseason tribute to Tamika Catchings’ career – on and off the court – brought dignitaries, sponsors and season ticket holders into a celebratory atmosphere in the Bankers Life Fieldhouse Entry Pavilion on March 22. With Tony Dungy as a keynote speaker, the preseason luncheon helped launch a new Catchings autobiography, and announce her one-of-a-kind Legacy Tour in which she would donate $2,000 and conduct a postgame meet-and-greet event in every WNBA city during her final season. Over 500 guests attended the private event hosted by the Fever and Pacers Sports & Entertainment. Mayor Joe Hogsett declared it as “Tamika Catchings Day” in Indianapolis. Indiana Governor Mike Pence presented Catchings with the prestigious Sagamore of the Wabash Award.

13. Streaking Rookie Tiffany Mitchell Begins Season in Record Fashion:
Tiffany Mitchell’s 18 points in her pro debut was the second-most by a Fever player, and her eight-game double-figure scoring streak to begin the season was a Fever record. Her double-figure streak was the longest of any rookie besides Seattle star Breanna Stewart, and Mitchell finished her first season with 8.6 points per game and a spot on the WNBA All-Rookie Team.

14. Record Fourth-Quarter Flurry Nearly Knocks Off Sparks, July 6:
Indiana never led in the road contest against 16-1 Los Angeles, but the Fever made comeback attempts throughout, including a record fourth quarter to reduce a 21-point deficit to just one point with 8.1 seconds left. After scoring just 30 points in the first half, Indiana scored 58 second half points – 39 in the fourth quarter. The 39 fourth-quarter points were a franchise record for points in a quarter and tied for the most fourth-quarter points in league history. Indiana packaged a 28-9 run in 6:13 of the final 6:21 of the game. Tiffany Mitchell led Indiana with 20 points, 10 in the frantic fourth period, on 4-for-5 from 3-point range.

15. Mitchell and Johnson End Season with Parallel Free Throw Streaks:
Tiffany Mitchell missed her final free throw of the season to end a franchise-record streak of 42 consecutive free throws, from June 17 to Sept. 18. The Fever rookie finished fourth in the WNBA with a 91.1 free throw percentage, trailing teammate Shenise Johnson who finished the season on a nearly identical streak of her own. Johnson led the league with a 93.8 percent free throw clip, and hit her final 40 free throws of the year to finish with the second-longest free throw streak in a Fever season.

16. Johnson Paces Fever Offense But Miscues Lead to Late Defeat, Sept. 13:
Shenise Johnson scored a career-high 23 points and Indiana shot 52 percent from the floor in one of the season’s most dramatic finishes. A devastating loss, however, impacted Fever playoff hopes in the final week of the season, ending a three-game win streak. The Fever owned a 10-point, third-quarter advantage, but 21 Indiana turnovers overall led to 27 Connecticut points as the Sun rode Indiana’s carelessness to an 89-87 decision. The game was tied early in the fourth quarter at 70 and again at 80, before the Sun pushed ahead in the final moments.

Best of 2016: Buzzer-Beaters

Best of 2016: Tamika Catchings

Best of 2016: And-1s

Best of 2016: Assists