Published September 08. 2013 4:00AM
Indianapolis - The Connecticut Sun faltered early in the fourth quarter and lost to the Indiana Fever on Saturday, 69-60, before 9,926 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
It was Connecticut's eighth loss in nine games.
Kelsey Griffin had 14 points and seven rebounds for the Sun (8-23) and Tan White scored 13. Renee Montgomery added 10 points and Mistie Bass had 11 rebounds.
Connecticut had only eight available players. Starters Tina Charles (knee), Kelly Faris (foot), Allison Hightower (knee) and Kara Lawson (knee) didn't play due to injury. All have been shut down for the season.
"I think we did a good job overall, considering we played back to back with only eight players," White said. "They out rebounded us in the fourth quarter. That was the difference. We gave 100-percent, considering. We did a good job considering the fourth quarter, their rebounds and and-one plays. Overall, I'm happy with what we did."
Tamika Catchings had 15 points, six rebounds and four steals for the Fever (14-16), which qualified for the playoffs for the ninth straight season. Jessica Breland, who played for the Sun in 2011, added 12 points and nine rebounds.
Montgomery's jump shot tied the game at 44 with over a minute left in the third quarter.
Indiana responded with a 16-6 run to pull ahead, 60-50, with five minutes, 31 seconds left in the game. The Fever outrebounded the Sun, 11-1, in the first six minutes of the fourth quarter.
"The fourth quarter, the backboard hurt us," Connecticut coach Anne Donovan said. "They went on an 11-1 run and eight of them were offensive boards. Both teams were on back to back games. Indiana had better focus in the fourth quarter."
Connecticut continued its bad habit of starting slow as Indiana scored the game's first 10 points.
The Sun gradually chipped away at their deficit. Iziane Castro Marques made two free throws, followed by a Griffin jumper, to give Connecticut a 38-37 lead with less than four minutes left in the third quarter.
Indiana's Elena Larkins made a jumper moments later for Indiana, and the Sun never led again.
Connecticut plays host to the Atlanta Dream on Wednesday.