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Caitlin Clark defends Angel Reese over taunting, snuffs WH talk


Iowa star and Wooden Award winner Caitlin Clark said in a "SportsCenter" interview Tuesday that LSU's Angel Reese doesn't deserve criticism for taunting Clark after the Tigers beat the Hawkeyes in Sunday's national title game.

"I don't think Angel should be criticized at all," Clark said. "I'm just one that competes, and she competed. I think everybody knew there was going to be a little trash talk in the entire tournament. It's not just me and Angel.

"We're all competitive. We all show our emotions in a different way."

Reese made a point to perform a "you can't see me" gesture, waving her hand in front of her face, toward Clark at the end of Sunday's game, which smashed viewership records for women's college basketball with an average of 9.9 million viewers. Clark made the same gesture in the previous round, when she dropped 41 points on previously unbeaten and then-defending champion South Carolina.

Reese also pointed to her ring finger while staring down Clark.

"You know, Angel is a tremendous, tremendous player. I have nothing but respect for her," Clark said. "I love her game -- the way she rebounds the ball, scores the ball, is absolutely incredible. I'm a big fan of her and even the entire LSU team. They played an amazing game."

Clark also addressed First lady Jill Biden floating the idea that Iowa should be invited to visit the White House along with LSU "because they played such a good game."

Reese, for her part, responded to the idea on social media by calling it "A JOKE," all caps. But Clark and Iowa do not appear interested in visiting the White House as runners-up.

"That's for LSU," Clark told "SportsCenter" on Tuesday. "... They should enjoy every single second of being the champion. I think that's theirs to do. I don't think runner-ups usually go to the White House. LSU should enjoy that moment for them."

President Joe Biden tweeted earlier Tuesday that he was looking forward to inviting men's champion UConn and the LSU women to the White House and did not mention Iowa.

Clark received the Wooden Award for the most outstanding women's college player this season. She swept the Wooden, the Naismith Trophy, Associated Press Player of the Year, the Wade Trophy and USBWA National Player of the Year.

Clark finished second in the country with 27.8 points per game. She led the country with 8.6 assists per game and also averaged 7.1 rebounds.

--Field Level Media

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