- The Washington Times - Friday, September 18, 2009

In each regular-season game against the Indiana Fever this season, the Washington Mystics’ fate came down to the fourth quarter. So it really wasn’t a surprise that the same was true Thursday night in Game 1 of the teams’ best-of-three Eastern Conference semifinal series.

And as was the case four times in the regular season, the veteran Fever owned the decisive period en route to a 88-79 victory at Comcast Center.

Washington took a 58-56 lead into the fourth quarter, but that was when the Fever were at their best. Indiana scored the first 11 points of the period to take control and fought off a late charge from Washington to secure the win.

MVP candidate Tamika Catchings continued her mastery of the Mystics. She averaged 20.5 points in the four regular-season games against Washington and poured in 26 points in Game 1.

Although Washington led most of the game, Catchings kept the Fever close until her teammates surged in the fourth. And when the Mystics drew within 79-76 with 1:59 remaining, Catchings silenced the crowd with a clutch three-point play.

The Mystics will try to stave off elimination Saturday night in Indiana.

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