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Referee explains why Iowa star Caitlin Clark received technical foul

(Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

One of the officials from the NCAA women’s basketball championship game defended the the technical foul called on Iowa star Caitlin Clark late in the third quarter.

The call came as Iowa looked to mount a comeback against LSU, an effort that fell short in the Hawkeyes’ 102-85 loss. Clark picked up the technical (and her fourth personal foul) when she tossed the game ball out of bounds after a play.

The decision to call a technical foul on the play baffled analysts and fans alike. In a statement after the game, referee Lisa Jones said the technical came after Iowa was given a delay-of-game warning for a previous incident. 

As a result, Clark received the foul when she “picked up the ball and failed to immediately pass the ball to the nearest official after the whistle was blown,” Jones said.

She cited Rule 4, Section 9, Article 1F of the rulebook, which reads that a player can be assessed a foul for “attempting to gain an advantage by interfering with the ball after a goal or by failing to immediately pass the ball to the nearest official after a whistle is blown.”

In the same section, the rulebook states that “one team warning shall be given for each of the delays in Rule 4-9.1.d through g.”

“Thereafter, a technical foul shall be assessed for the delay that has previously received a team warning,” it reads.