Conn. Sun top Fever behind McCray's 22 points

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Conn. Sun top Fever behind McCray's 22 points

UNCASVILLE, Conn. (AP) -- Danielle McCray is beginning to show why she was such a high draft choice.

McCray scored a career-high 22 points in her second career start Sunday, leading the Connecticut Sun to a 76-71 win over the Indiana Fever.

"When we drafted her we felt she had a chance to be a really good player but when you come in as a rookie I think it's important to give them as much as they can take and let them find their way and then when you know matured, then you kind of let them have more," Connecticut coach Mike Thibault said.

The Sun took McCray as the seventh overall pick in the first round of the 2010 draft. She missed last season with a knee injury she sustained during her senior year at Kansas.

"My teammates found be on the weak side and when I had the ball, I knocked it down. They were cheating inside because when we have a good post player like Tina Charles, the other team is going to double-team her," McCray said. "So when they were doubling on Tina, Coach Thibault put me on the back side and I knocked the shots down."

Tina Charles added 18 points and 10 rebounds for the Sun (8-5) who are the lone team in the Eastern Conference undefeated at home (6-0).

Tamika Catchings led Indiana with 18 points and 14 rebounds.

Indiana (10-5) trailed 72-65 with 39 seconds remaining before Jessica Davenport made two free throws. Catchings stole the ensuing inbounds pass and assisted on Katie Douglas' basket to cut it to 72-69 with 34 seconds left.

Connecticut guard Renee Montgomery made one of two free throws to push the Sun lead to four at 73-69. Catchings made a layup with 18 seconds left to make it 73-71 before Kalana Greene made one of two free throws to make it 74-71 with 18 seconds left.

The Fever had a chance to tie the game with a 3-pointer, but Catchings threw an errant pass to Douglas that went out of bounds with 7.7 seconds left.

Kara Lawson's two free throws sealed it with 6.9 seconds remaining.

Montgomery added 10 points for the Sun, including six in the fourth period.

Douglas had 12 points and Davenport 10 for Indiana, which has lost two straight.

"Yeah, its a little bump, but we know that nothing is going to be gift wrapped and handed to us. We know that we are one of the most hunted teams in the WNBA and we are going to have to fight on the road even more," Douglas said. "We would like to regroup and gather and go to Atlanta, a team we have not seen all season, we can make the adjustments we need to make and be ready to go on Tuesday."

-Associated Press

Injury report: Amendola out for Ravens game, Bennett questionable

Injury report: Amendola out for Ravens game, Bennett questionable

Wide receiver Danny Amendola was officially listed as out on the injury report for the Patriots' Monday night home game against the Baltimore Ravens.

Amendola injured his ankle on a punt return against the Los Angeles Rams last Sunday. It will be the first game he's missed this season. The Patriots signed veteran wide receiver and kick returner Griff Whalen during the week.

Tight end Martellus Bennett (ankle, shoulder) is among the Pats listed as questionable, along with special teams ace Matt Slater (foot), who missed the Rams game, safety Jordan Richards (knee), linebacker Elandon Roberts (hamstring) and cornerback Eric Rowe (hamstring).

Whalen, part of Colts' infamous fake punt play, settles in with Patriots

Whalen, part of Colts' infamous fake punt play, settles in with Patriots

FOXBORO – Griff Whalen was at the epicenter of one of the stupidest, funniest, most “did that just happen?!” plays in NFL history.

So indescribable it never even really earned a name, it was the fourth-down gadget play the Colts tried to run against the Patriots on Sunday Night Football in the first meeting between the teams after Indy ran to the principal’s office to start Deflategate. 

Whalen was the center on that play (I tried to call it “Fourth-and-Wrong” but it didn’t take) and the millisecond between him snapping the ball and the three players processing that the ball had indeed been snapped is perhaps my favorite moment of the past several seasons. 

Whalen is a Patriot now, brought in this week in the wake of Danny Amendola’s knee injury presumably to fill Amendola’s role as a punt returner and wideout. The Colts released him last January, the Dolphins picked him up and cut him at the end of training camp and the Chargers had him on their roster from mid-September until releasing him last month after eight games, two catches and 22 yards. He returned kickoffs for San Diego but no punts since 2015.

The primary area of need for the Patriots is on punt returns. Rookie Cyrus Jones’ transition to appearing comfortable remains glacially slow. It was Jones’ muff last week that brought on Amendola in relief. When Amendola hurt his ankle on a late-game return, the Patriots were forced to decide between Jones, wideout Julian Edelman (who doesn’t need extra work) and making a move.

Whalen is a move they made.

The slight and baby-faced Whalen indicated he had fielded some punts in practice, saying it went, “Fine.” Punt returns are something he’s done “since I was a kid.”

His first impression of the team was, "A lot of what I expected to see. A lot of detail. A lot of effort in practice. Good coaching all-around. I am excited to be here. I was excited to come into a good team that I’d gone against a few times. Hopefully come in and help out the team with whatever I can.”

I asked Whalen if he saw much of the commentary or creativity last year’s failed play spawned.

“I wasn’t paying too much attention,” he said. “When it’s during the season guys are pretty locked in on what they’re doing inside the building. But I heard more about it later on afterwards.”

Asked if he’d heard anything about the play since being here, Whalen replied, “I haven’t. Kinda was [expecting it].”

The Patriots will be hoping Whalen remains as productive for them on fourth down this year as he was in 2015.