A Wednesday matinee tip-off between the Washington Mystics and Indiana Fever resulted in a heated confrontation between rookie sensation Caitlin Clark and veteran counterpart, Julie Vanloo.

The incident took place in the second quarter of the Mystics’ 89-84 win the Fever in Indianapolis on Wednesday, but things were testy between Clark and Vanloo from the early stages of the first.

After assisting on a Katie Lou Samuelson field goal to open the game, Clark followed by pushing off on Washington’s Vanloo before hitting a step-back 3-pointer from the corner. Vanloo went tumbling backwards on the play, but did answer with a 3-pointer of her own at the other end of the court.
Caitlin Clark is scoring points, but must improve in one area if the Fever are to start winning | Marca

But it was in the second frame that a frustrated Clark was seen shoving her Belgian rival, who was sure to embellish the contact for officials.

Clark initiated the contact with Vanloo from beyond the 3-point arc while calling for the ball from teammate Erica Wheeler. Vanloo once again stumbled backwards, only this time she got right back in Clark’s face as the former Iowa star continued to shoved her away.

Samuelson was seen afterwards trying to calm Clark down, but the rookie guard didn’t appear interested in listening in the moment.

The sellout crowd of 17,274 clearly sided with Clark, who was lucky she wasn’t whistled for a foul on the play.

Later, in the fourth, Clark was seen shoving Vanloo to the hardwood for one of her five fouls on the day.

Although the Fever’s comeback effort fell short, Clark played exceptionally well, scoring 29 points and adding 13 assists, five steals, five rebounds and three blocks.

Vanloo, meanwhile, had 13 points and a pair of assists on the game.
Caitlin Clark is scoring points, but must improve in one area if the Fever are to start winning | Marca

Clark currently leads Chicago Sky power forward Angel Reese in the ongoing Rookie of the Year chase, according to a national panel of voters.

The two have garnered national attention with record-setting rookie seasons — leading to them being the first rookie duo to make an All-Star team since 2014 — so it’s no surprise that they’re the leading candidates for the award.

The pair have helped the league to huge increases in ratings, attendance and merchandise sales and with so much basketball still to be played an argument can be made for either to win the award.

But at the halfway point, the 15-member panel gives the edge to Clark in a 9-5 vote, according to The Associated Press. One person didn’t vote.

‘Today, I would say Clark, only because they have one more win overall as a team and have a 2-1 lead head-to-head,’ said voter Christy Winters-Scott, a basketball analyst for the Mystics.

‘Clearly this could change as the WNBA season progresses. It has been a complete joy for me to witness how both players have evolved as professionals in such a short amount of time in the league.’

Clark is leading the WNBA in points accounted for (points plus points off assists) with 713 according to ESPN. The Indiana Fever’s No. 1 pick also became the first rookie to have a triple-double in a game doing it in a win over New York.

Reese set the WNBA record for consecutive double-doubles with 13, passing Candace Parker’s mark of 12 set across the 2009 and 2010 seasons. She’s leading the league in rebounding with 11.9 a game.