Ohio State fan tramples Iowa’s Clark in celebration

Published 4:01 pm Sunday, January 21, 2024

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Caitlin Clark said she was “OK” after she was accidently knocked down by a fan running onto the court after No. 2 Iowa was upset by No. 18 Ohio State on Sunday.

“I was just trying to exit the court as quickly as possible, so I started running and I was absolutely just hammered by somebody trying to run onto the court,” Clark said after the 100-92 overtime loss. “Basically blindsided and, you know, kind of scary, could have caused a pretty serious injury to me and knocked the wind out of me. But luckily my teammates kind of picked me up and got me off the court. Their AD already came and apologized to me, so I really appreciate that.”

Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith went to the Hawkeyes locker room and apologized to Clark and Iowa coach Lisa Bluder. Buckeyes coach Kevin McGuff also issued an apology.

Email newsletter signup

Clark didn’t mention it, but Bluder said her star player, who scored 45 points in the game, also was harassed while leaving the court.

“You know, it’s unfortunate the game ended that way and Caitlin gets taken out on the floor,” a visibly angry Bluder said. “Gets some inappropriate words yelled at her by fans, by students. That just should not happen, it should not happen. Our players should be safe, they should be able to walk off the floor. That’s very disappointing.”

More than 18,000 people attended, which was the most ever to watch a women’s basketball game at Ohio State. After the No. 18 Buckeyes won finished the 100-92 overtime win, fans streamed past security and onto the floor.

“(Clark) had such a spectacular performance today, and she’s such a great player and that should never happen,’ McGuff said. “And so I feel really badly about it and hopefully it doesn’t affect her moving forward. But that is extremely unfortunate.”