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Feenstra and Shock WNBA Finals-Bound
Liberty alumnus Katie Feenstra scored 11 points and hauled in seven rebounds during Monday night's decisive third game of the Eastern Conference Finals, helping the Detroit Shock defeat the Indiana Fever, 81-65. The Shock will now meet the Phoenix Mercury in the best-of-five WNBA Finals, beginning Wednesday night at 7:30 on ESPN2.
Feenstra, a 6-8 center who starred on the Lady Flames' 2005 "Sweet 16" qualifier, made five of six field goals in 16 productive minutes of action on Monday. Her efforts enabled Detroit to erase a 20-14 deficit after one quarter and win its second-straight contest after dropping game one in Indiana. For the series, the Grand Rapids, Mich., native averaged 6.0 ppg and 6.0 rpg.
Feenstra, making her first career playoff appearance in her third WNBA campaign, has started all six postseason contests for the Shock, who will be making their third WNBA Finals appearance in five years. Detroit, coached by Bill Laimbeer, won WNBA titles in 2003 and 2006.
The Shock, who posted the best record in the WNBA at 24-10, will host the first two games of the Finals at the Palace at Auburn Hills. After Wednesday's series opener, the series will resume Saturday afternoon at 3:30 p.m. on ESPN. Games three and four (if necessary) will shift to Phoenix's US Airways Center. The third game is slated for Sept. 11 at 9 p.m. and the fourth is set for Sept. 13 at 8:30 p.m., both of which will be televised by ESPN2. If necessary, the fifth and final game of the series will return to Detroit on Sept. 16 at 4:30 p.m.
Coach Paul Westhead's Phoenix Mercury enter the Finals having won 15 of their last 16 games, including playoff sweeps of the Seattle Storm and former Liberty associate head coach Olaf Lange's San Antonio Silver Stars. The Mercury, averaging 99 ppg in their four playoff victories, are making their first WNBA Finals appearance since 1998. High-powered Phoenix, headlined by Diana Taurasi, Cappie Pondexter and Penny Taylor, is the only WNBA team to win a road playoff game during the 2007 playoffs.
Detroit won both regular-season match-ups with Phoenix, with both victories coming prior to the All-Star break. The Shock defeated the Mercury at their own run-and-gun style on each occasion. Detroit pulled out an 87-84 decision at Phoenix on June 22 and recorded a 111-82 home victory on July 8. Feenstra contributed eight points and five rebounds to Detroit's season-high scoring output in the contest.
2007 WNBA Finals Summary
Game 1 - Wednesday, Sept. 5 - Detroit 108, Phoenix 100
Feenstra's Line: 10 points, seven rebounds, two blocks and a steal in 17 minutes
Game 2 - Saturday, Sept. 8 - Phoenix 98, Detroit 70
Feenstra's Line: Nine points, four rebounds, one block and an assist in 16 minutes
Game 3 - Tuesday, Sept. 11 - Detroit 88, Phoenix 83
Feenstra's Line: Six points, four rebounds in 10 minutes
Game 4 - Thursday, Sept. 13 - Phoenix 77, Detroit 76
Feenstra's Line: Zero points, zero rebounds in two minutes
Game 5 - Sunday, Sept. 16 - Phoenix 108, Detroit 92; Phoenix wins 2007 WNBA title, 3-2
Feenstra's Line: 10 points, three rebounds in 15 minutes