INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Kayla McBride hit a 3-pointer with 1.8 seconds left to give the San Antonio Stars a 71-70 win over the Indiana Fever, spoiling the season debut of Tamika Catchings.
Indiana led by 13 with just more than 5 minutes left before the Stars rallied. The Fever trailed 68-67 with 6.8 seconds left when Briann January hit a 3-pointer to give them the lead.
McBride answered from the wing for the winner. The rookie finished with 14 points.
“We were just trying to create some motion and I was there to shoot it,” said McBride, who finished with a team-high 14 points. “Our defense was what did it for us. We were down with four minutes to go and just got stop after stop.”
Playing in her first contest of the season after missing the first 17 games with a sore back, Catchings finished with six points, seven rebounds, four assists, two steals and three blocks. She had one last chance for the Fever, but she was double-teamed after taking the inbounds pass and never got off a shot.
Saturday’s loss was the fourth straight home defeat by the Fever after leading in the second half. It was the fifth defeat this season in which Indiana possessed a double-digit lead.
While it is a startling trend, Fever coach Lin Dunn is hopeful that having the experienced Catchings back on the floor will help the team avoid the recent late-game collapses.
Dunn said there is one key theme that has played out in the recent stretch of frustrating defeats.
“Bad decisions,” Dunn said. “We’re not doing a good enough job in crunch time of taking care of the basketball. We’re still learning the hard way.”
For Catchings, just being back isn’t good enough.
“When we look at what kind of team we want to have down the stretch, we want to win a championship,” Catchings said. “Every game we have to look at what we did and continue to get better.”
Danielle Adams scored 13 for San Antonio and had four blocks. Danielle Robinson and Sophia Young-Malcolm each had 10 points for the Stars (10-9).
Shavonte Zellous led Indiana (8-10) with 16 points.