Caitlin Clark contributes to Hannah Stuelke’s record-breaking performance, still 39 points shy of all-time record

Caitlin Clark of Iowa Shines with 35-Point Performance, Climbs to Second Place on NCAA Scoring Chart

Caitlin Clark contributes to Hannah Stuelke’s record-breaking performance, still 39 points shy of all-time record

Caitlin Clark is on the brink of breaking the Division I women’s all-time scoring record, needing just one more standout performance.

In Iowa’s 111-93 victory over Penn State at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Thursday night, Clark added 27 points to her career total, which now stands at 3,489 points. 

Although it marked the end of her six-game streak of scoring over 30 points, she remains just 39 points shy of surpassing Kelsey Plum’s all-time record of 3,527 points.

The stage is set for a potential record-breaking game on Super Bowl Sunday as Iowa (22-2, 11-1 Big Ten) heads to Nebraska (1 p.m. ET, FOX). Clark, who has achieved a career-high of 46 points and crossed the 40-point threshold 11 times, notably scored 38 points against the Cornhuskers in their previous matchup on Jan. 27.

Caitlin Clark of Iowa Shines with 35-Point Performance, Climbs to Second Place on NCAA Scoring Chart
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Caitlin Clark contributes to Hannah Stuelke’s record-breaking performance

Clark showcased her playmaking prowess with a season-best 15 assists, primarily setting up the dynamic performance of Hannah Stuelke. The sophomore forward had a career-high 47 points, setting a new arena record for both the men’s and women’s programs, just two points shy of breaking Megan Gustafson’s women’s program record of 48 points.

The last instance where Clark didn’t lead Iowa in scoring was on Feb. 12, 2023, against Rutgers, when Molly Davis tallied 17 points in a comprehensive 111-57 victory. 

Monika Czinano was the sole other player to lead the team in scoring last season, notching 36 points against Drake in a November 2022 non-conference matchup.

Beyond her scoring prowess, the win against Penn State highlighted Clark’s exceptional court vision and basketball IQ. 

She consistently found Stuelke in transition, threading passes through tight spaces to establish dominance and propel Iowa to a commanding lead. Stuelke’s performance was impressive, shooting 17-of-20 overall and making 13-of-21 free throws, while Kate Martin secured a double-double with 16 points and 16 rebounds.

Despite a quieter scoring night for Clark, who managed 21 points in the first half primarily through timely 3-pointers, her influence remained significant. 

She struggled with her shooting, going 8-of-23 from the field and 4-of-14 from beyond the arc, and faced pressure from the Penn State defense, resulting in a career-high 12 turnovers. 

Nevertheless, her adept passing helped Iowa establish a comfortable 55-44 lead by halftime, eventually ballooning to a 20-point advantage midway through the third quarter.

Clark was celebrated prior to the game for surpassing Kelsey Mitchell’s Big Ten scoring record, securing the No. 2 spot in all-time scoring ranks. With just 66 points needed to claim the top position, the 6-foot senior point guard entered Thursday night’s game poised for history.

The anticipation for Clark’s milestone drove ticket prices to new heights on the secondary market, especially following her remarkable streak of four consecutive games with at least 35 points. 

Since January 10, she hadn’t scored fewer than 30 points, amplifying excitement for her impending record-breaking achievement. 

Pinnacle Bank Arena in Nebraska was completely sold out, promising the largest crowd in the women’s program’s 50-season history, surpassing last season’s record attendance of 14,239 when Iowa visited.

The sold-out game marks a historic moment for the women’s program, with Nebraska demonstrating strong support for top conference contenders this season, ranking sixth in Big Ten attendance. 

Similarly, ticket prices for Iowa’s upcoming home game against Michigan reflect the fervor, with the least expensive ticket priced at $308 on Ticketmaster, and some listed for thousands of dollars. 

With the arena already sold out by season-ticket holders, the regular season finale, where Clark is expected to break the record, commands a minimum of $411 for standing room and $600 for a seat.

As anticipation builds, millions are tuning in to witness Clark’s journey to the record. 

The Big Ten Network introduced an in-game tracker sponsored by State Farm to monitor Clark’s progress, displaying the points needed to break the record prominently. Additionally, Fox Sports launched a “Clark Cam” last week to focus on her offensive plays, a feature that will continue during Iowa’s game against Nebraska on Sunday on the main Fox channel.

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