- The Washington Times - Sunday, June 1, 2003

INDIANAPOLIS — Chamique Holdsclaw surpassed 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds in her WNBA career, but they were not enough to stop the Indiana Fever from beating the Washington Mystics 71-60 yesterday.

Holdsclaw had 17 points and 12 rebounds. She entered the game nine points and two rebounds shy of the marks. She is the 14th player in the seven-season WNBA history to score 2,000 points and the ninth to record 1,000 rebounds.

However, the Fever, led by Stephanie White, Tamika Catchings and Niele Ivey, didn’t let Holdsclaw and Mystics celebrate at Conseco Fieldhouse.

White scored 13 points, Catchings had 15 points and 11 rebounds and Ivey scored a career-high 14 points.

“To have a game like this after a long layoff feels good because I worked really hard to get here,” White said.

White started for the first time since June 28, 2000, and played for the first time since the 2001 season. She sat out last year while recovering from surgery on her left ankle and right knee and wasn’t guaranteed a roster spot in training camp.

Coach Nell Fortner went with a smaller lineup to match up better with Washington’s quick transition game and told White in practice she would start.

“I feel really good and I’m having a lot of fun,” White said. “There are always things I want to do to improve my game, but I’m back physically to where I want to be.”

So is Ivey, who was sluggish last year after giving birth two months before the season. She started 23 of the first 24 games, but eventually fell out of the rotation and averaged only 2.8 points.

“I just wanted to be physically prepared for this season. That’s what I was focusing on,” Ivey said.

Both worked on their 3-point game, with Ivey hitting all four of her attempts and White going 3-for-6.

Murriel Page led Washington with 19 points as the Mystics shot 39 percent from the floor.

“We missed a lot of easy shots and it’s the little things that can add up to a loss,” Holdsclaw said.

Ivey hit a 3-pointer early in the second half, giving Indiana (1-1) a 43-39 lead. Washington (1-1) scored five straight points, including a 3-pointer by Stacey Dales-Schuman, pulling within one.

White and Natalie Williams, a three-time All-Star acquired in the offseason, scored consecutive baskets and White made a 3-pointer to push the lead to 52-46. The Fever took their first double-digit lead of the half on a 3-pointer by Ivey.

Ivey played 33 minutes off the bench after rookie point guard Coretta Brown was slowed by a knee injury.

“My shot felt good,” Ivey said. “I’ve been working hard on it, trying to build confidence with it.”

The Fever went 8-for-18 from 3-point range while the Mystics were only 3-for-10.

Two free throws by Ivey snapped a tie late in the first half and started a 10-0 run that put Indiana ahead 35-25. White and Ivey sank consecutive 3-pointers during the spurt and helped the Fever take a 36-29 lead at halftime. White and Ivey each sank two 3-pointers in the half.

“I don’t know if I’ll start again, but I’m just enjoying every moment I’m out there,” White said. “I’m just enjoying being on the court again.

Notes — The Mystics visit the New York Liberty today at 4 p.m. … The Fever announced a sellout crowd of 18,345, but Conseco Fieldhouse was barely half full…. The Fever won their third straight against Washington.

… After missing their first seven shots, the Fever shot 48 percent the rest of the game. … Pacers forward Ron Artest was at the game. … Williams scored 12 points and Kelly Schumacher added 10 for the Fever.

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