Caitlin Clark is beginning to settle into her rookie season in the WNBA. As a result, the Indiana Fever are starting to click, rattling off a 4th win in their past 6 games Sunday afternoon.

In her budding rivalry against former LSU star Angel Reese, Clark shined with her Fever beating Reese’s Chicago Sky 91-83. The victory gives Clark 3 straight wins in head-to-head matchups with Reese, including a 2-0 mark head-to-head in the WNBA.

Clark led all scorers with 23 points and chipped in 8 rebounds, 9 assists and 2 blocks with many calling it Clark’s most complete game as a rookie. She was 7-for-11 from the field, including 3-for-7 from 3-point range in the victory.

Those numbers are already Clark’s 5th game of her rookie season with at least at least 15 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists. She is the first WNBA rookie to reach those numbers in 5 or more games since Breanna Stewart in 2016.

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The former Hawkeye is also the fastest player in WNBA history to reach 200+ points, 75+ rebounds and 75+ assists, reaching that plateau in just 15 games.

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With the win, Clark’s Fever improved to 5-10 on the season as they continue to turn things around. Indiana started the season 1-8 before going 4-2 in the last 6 games.

More Clark, Reese controversy

While the game was a good one between a pair of young, dynamic teams, it was not without a touch of controversy involving Clark and Reese. On one of Clark’s drives to the basket, Reese went up for a block attempt but whiffed on the ball completely before drilling Clark in the side of the head.

Originally called a common foul, it was upgraded on review into a Flagrant 1. Though such plays occur regularly, many fans could not overlook the play involved Reese and the Sky, the same team involving Clark and the Chennedy Carter drama from a recent matchup.

Reese was surly when addressing the incident in her postgame press conference, simply calling it a “basketball play” before saying the officials had an impact on the game. She also bemoaned the fact that the clip of her flagrant was bound to be played multiple times before Monday.

“It was a basketball play. I can’t control the refs,” said Reese. “They affected the game obviously a lot tonight. I’m always going for the ball but y’all are going to play the clip 20 times before Monday?”

Reese would take another shot at the officiating later in press conference, claiming Chicago did not get many calls while insinuating a “special whistle” for certain other players.

“I think we went up really strong a lot of times and we didn’t get a lot of calls. Going back and looking at the film, I’ve seen a lot of calls that weren’t made,” claimed Reese. “I guess some people got a special whistle.”

For what it’s worth, Clark downplayed the nature of the foul. She said the only thing on her mind was the upcoming free throws and believes Reese was indeed trying to make a play for the ball.

“What’s going through my mind? I need to make these 2 free throws, that’s all I’m thinking about. It’s just a part of basketball, it is what it is,” Clark said. “She’s trying to make a play on the ball and get the block. It happens.”

In fact, Clark would speak positively of the rivalry between herself and Reese, saying it is the emotion and the passion that they both display that draws fans to their matchups. The feisty nature is just a part of competitive basketball.

“I think it’s just the emotion and the passion we play with. I think people love to see that, and I think it’s something that was maybe not always appreciated in women’s sports,” Clark explained. “And it should be. I think that’s what makes it fun. We’re competitors, that’s the way it should be. Things are going to get feisty, things are going to get physical, but at the end of the day, both teams are just trying to win.”

Regardless of how the players feel about the matchups, fans on either side cannot get enough of the two stars facing off, and that’s good news for the WNBA. Clark and the Fever will travel to face the Sky in Chicago on June 23.

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