WNBA fouls Caitlin Clark on Chennedy Carter, fines Angel Reese for no postgame interview

NEW YORK (AP) — The WNBA upgraded Chicago Sky guard Chennedy Carter’s foul on Indiana Fever rookie Caitlin Clark to a flagrant 1 on Sunday after reviewing the play.

Carter gave a shoulder shot to Clark who slammed her to the floor before an inbounds pass during the third quarter on Saturday 71-70 win of Fever. The referees called it a foul away from the ball and did not review the play. It was considered a common mistake at the time.

“I didn’t expect it,” Clark said after the game. “It is what it is. It’s a physical game. Go to the free throw and execute on offense and I feel like we did.”

Carter did not respond to questions about Clark or the game after the game. Chicago coach Teresa Weatherspoon said Monday that she spoke with Carter about it.

“Physical play, intensity and competitive spirit are the hallmarks of Chicago Sky basketball. Chennedy was caught in the heat of the moment in an effort to win the game,” Weatherspoon said in a statement. “She and I talked about what happened and that it wasn’t appropriate and it’s not what we do or who we are. Chennedy understands that there are better ways to handle situations on the field and he will learn from it, as we all will.”

Also on Sunday, the league fined Sky forward Angel Reese $1,000 for not making himself available to the media after Saturday’s game. And the WNBA fined Chicago $5,000 for failing to ensure all players followed the league’s media policies.

The league office may reclassify a flagrant foul or move a foul to a flagrant that is not called during the game. In addition, the league can fine or suspend a player for a flagrant foul. The WNBA didn’t do Carter either.

Players accumulate points for flagrant fouls during the regular season and receive suspensions if they reach a certain number.

“This league is awesome, it’s a physical league,” Indiana coach Christie Sides said before playing the New York Liberty on Sunday night. “It was a no-basketball play that needed to be called at that point.”

Sides praised Clark in her postgame interview Saturday for keeping her composure during the physical game she’s faced this season.

“She showed it last night,” the coach said. “I got up and kept playing. All he did was ask officials to review it. They didn’t want to listen to him. I applaud her for how she handled herself last night.”

Clark finished with 11 points, eight rebounds and six assists. Reese had eight points and 13 rebounds.

“I grew up playing basketball with the boys. He was always physical and fiery and you have to find a way to stand up to him,” Clark said.