Angel Reese Sets Rookie Record in Game Against Caitlin Clark, Fever | Us Weekly

June 23, 2024

Angel Reese
Angel Reese Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images

Any game between WNBA rookie phenoms Angel Reese and Caitlin Clark is going to be hotly anticipated – and Sunday’s game between the Chicago Sky and Indiana Fever lived up to fans’ stratospheric expectations.

Angel Reese netted a career-high 25 points on top of 16 rebounds, good for a rookie record eighth-straight double-double – while helping the Sky to a nailbiter of an 88-87 victory. The two teams kept it close through three quarters, with the lead regularly changing hands before the Fever got hot in the third and extended their lead by as much as 15 points. That momentum didn’t hold, however, and the Sky stormed back to squeak out a one-point victory.

Reese was the first rookie to record 25 points and 16 rebounds in a game since Olympic gold medalist and former WNBA MVP A’ja Wilson in 2018. She is only one of three WNBA players to record eight straight double-doubles in history. Reese explained her run succinctly in a post-game interview.

“I’m a dog, you can’t teach that,” she shared with ESPN’s Holly Rowe.

Clark also recorded a double-double, scoring 17 points and adding 13 assists. The pair have been rivals since their days in the NCAA. Clark and Reese lead Iowa and LSU, respectively, to back-to-back appearances in the Women’s March Madness tournament. LSU beat Iowa for the national championship in 2023 and Iowa ousted LSU from the tournament this year.

Reese told reporters in March that the pair hold no personal animosity toward each other.

“I don’t think people realize it’s not personal,” Reese said. “Once we get out between those lines, if I see you walking down the street, it’s like, ‘Hey, girl, what’s up? Let’s hang out.’ I think people just take it like we hate each other. Me and Caitlin Clark don’t hate each other. I want everybody to understand that.”

Clark discounted the idea that there was any rivalry between the two rookies on Friday, June 21.

“I’m pretty sure the only people that view this as a rivalry is all of you,” she said during a post-game press conference. “Like, to us it’s just a game of basketball.”

Whether or not they believe in the rivalry, there’s no doubt of the effect it’s having on the WNBA fandom. The average ticket price for Clark and Reese’s Sunday showdown was the most expensive in WNBA history, per CNN. The Sky and Fever’s matchup one week ago was the most-watched WNBA game in more than 20 years.

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