Caitlin Clark of Iowa Shatters NCAA Women’s Basketball Scoring Record

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

Caitlin Clark of Iowa Shatters NCAA Women’s Basketball Scoring Record

Caitlin Clark achieved a remarkable feat on Thursday, breaking the NCAA women’s basketball scoring record without a specific plan in mind. Surpassing the Iowa Hawkeyes’ single-game scoring record in the process, Clark couldn’t help but smile at her accomplishment.

“I was going to shoot a logo 3 for the record,” remarked Clark, who now boasts 3,569 career points, 49 of which were earned on Thursday. Every aspect of the night seemed tailor-made for the senior standout.

Facing off against Michigan with 3,520 points under her belt, Clark needed just eight more to surpass the previous record set by Washington’s Kelsey Plum (3,527) from 2013 to 2017. Clark wasted no time in achieving this milestone.

Caitlin Clark of Iowa Shines with 35-Point Performance, Climbs to Second Place on NCAA Scoring Chart
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With lightning speed, she drove in for a layup after receiving the opening tip. Then, showcasing her prowess from beyond the arc, Clark sunk a deep 3-pointer from her favorite spot on the court—the left side. An even deeper 3-pointer from the same side, one of Clark’s signature logo shots, ignited pandemonium among the packed crowd at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

In a mere 2 minutes and 12 seconds, Clark solidified her place as the NCAA record holder. By the end of Iowa’s 106-89 victory over the Wolverines, she had also surpassed Megan Gustafson’s school record of 48 points.

Reflecting on her achievement, Clark remarked, “I don’t know if you can really script it any better… Just to do it in this fashion, I’m very grateful. Very thankful to be surrounded by so many people that have been my foundation.”

In her illustrious career, Caitlin Clark has now recorded four games with 45 points or more, accompanied by 13 assists. Impressively, she contributed to a staggering 79 out of Iowa’s 106 points (74.5%).

It really is hard to stop Caitlin Clark,” remarked Iowa coach Lisa Bluder.

Reflecting on Clark’s penchant for shining in crucial moments, Bluder noted, “I think she does enjoy it… If you work that hard at your craft, don’t you want to share it with everybody? Don’t you want to express it?”

Despite not expecting a pause in play upon breaking the record, Iowa called a timeout, and Clark’s teammates enveloped her in a jubilant group hug on the court. Clark’s radiant smile encapsulated the essence of the evening: the pursuit of a record that never felt like a burden was now hers to revel in.

Caitlin Clark's historic triple-double

Far from slowing down, Clark displayed remarkable efficiency in the first quarter, shooting 8-of-10 from the field—5-of-7 from beyond the arc—and tallying 23 points. It marked her highest-scoring first quarter in her Iowa career and the second-highest in any quarter, following her 25-point performance in the fourth quarter against Michigan on February 6, 2022.

Buoyed by a confident pre-game warm-up, Clark approached the game with heightened vigor, recognizing the necessity to lift her team after a recent loss. Although she posted 31 points in Sunday’s matchup against Nebraska, it was evident that nothing could hinder Clark’s dominance on Thursday. Bluder commended Michigan for their tenacity on the court, acknowledging their acknowledgment of Clark’s achievement with congratulatory notes.

Clark has the potential to achieve even more scoring milestones this season. The AIAW large-school women’s record, established just before the NCAA era by Kansas’ Lynette Woodard from 1977 to 1981, stands at 3,649 points. Meanwhile, the NCAA men’s record, predating freshman eligibility in college basketball, is held by LSU’s Pete Maravich with 3,667 points from 1967 to 1970.

There’s also a possibility that the AIAW overall record, set by Francis Marion’s Pearl Moore from 1975 to 1979 with 3,884 points, could be within reach for Clark, contingent upon how far Iowa progresses in the postseason. Currently averaging 32.8 points per game for the 23-3 Hawkeyes, with four regular-season games remaining, Clark continues to demonstrate her exceptional talent on the court.

Beyond records and milestones, Clark’s impact extends to the broader sports community. Billie Jean King, a tennis champion and advocate for women’s sports, praised Clark as a “champion in sports and life,” highlighting her significant influence on and off the court.

At just 22 years old, Clark shoulders considerable responsibility, but she appears to relish every moment. Her passion, confidence, and joyful demeanor remain consistent, reminiscent of her college freshman year in 2020, when arenas were largely empty due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Now, the “Caitlin Clark Show” has become a sought-after event in sports, with fans of all ages clamoring for tickets and proudly donning her No. 22 jersey. Parents go to great lengths, driving their children hundreds of miles to witness Clark’s brilliance on the court. With increased opportunities stemming from NCAA rule changes regarding name, image, and likeness, Clark has expanded her presence, appearing in national advertising campaigns.

Caitlin Clark's historic triple-double

Notable figures in the sports world, such as Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes and Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry, have lauded Clark’s talent and poise. Curry, in particular, acknowledges Clark’s special qualities and expresses gratitude for being an inspiration to her.

Indeed, Clark’s impact transcends basketball, positioning her as a role model for future generations.

Rebecca Lobo, ESPN analyst and former UConn national champion and Olympian from 1996, draws parallels between Caitlin Clark and Stephen Curry, noting their shared qualities that resonate with fans across the board.

“Caitlin is the complete package,” Lobo remarked. “She’s revolutionizing the game in a way we haven’t seen from a woman before. Taking shots from such distances and hitting them at such a high rate—she’s like Steph Curry in that regard. Charismatic and not a physical giant, they both make it easy for every kid to envision themselves in their shoes. You don’t have to be exceptionally tall to emulate Caitlin’s style of play.”

Hailing from West Des Moines, Iowa, Clark’s decision to remain in her home state for college has proven fruitful. Leading Iowa to consecutive Big Ten tournament titles and the 2023 women’s Final Four, Clark has left an indelible mark on the program. Notably, she shattered records during last season’s NCAA tournament, including the most points scored in tournament history (191), the first 40-point triple-double in NCAA postseason history, and a pivotal upset victory over undefeated No. 1 seed South Carolina in the national semifinals.

Despite falling short in the championship game against LSU, the 2023 NCAA tournament propelled Clark’s popularity to new heights. This surge in recognition continued with Iowa’s preseason game in October at the football stadium, drawing a record-breaking attendance of 55,646 fans—a testament to Clark’s star power.

Julie Foudy, Olympic and Women’s World Cup soccer champion, emphasizes the importance of superstars in sports, likening Clark’s impact to that of Mia Hamm. Foudy commends Clark’s ability to handle the spotlight with ease, recognizing the significance of her popularity and its potential to benefit women’s sports collectively.

As Clark ponders her future, contemplating whether to stay another season at Iowa or declare for the 2024 WNBA draft where she’s poised to be the No. 1 pick, the anticipation among fans is palpable. Following Thursday’s game, the Carver-Hawkeye crowd rallied with chants of “One more year!” prompting lighthearted banter from Iowa coach Lisa Bluder.

Caitlin Clark Bio, Age, Height, Weight

Currently, Clark’s primary focus is on securing both the Big Ten regular-season and tournament titles for Iowa, aiming for a return trip to the women’s Final Four. With each point she scores, she further cements her NCAA record.

Reflecting on the game, Clark expressed that the most touching moment for her was the flood of congratulatory messages displayed on the arena’s video screen from her coaches, teammates, and family.

“My parents and brothers have been my unwavering support system, witnessing both my triumphs and defeats,” Clark shared. “From my earliest days, they’ve nurtured my dreams and encouraged me to strive for excellence. Tonight, their messages truly moved me. While I hadn’t anticipated shedding tears, their heartfelt words touched me deeply.

I’m immensely grateful every day for the opportunity to play the sport I love in front of 15,000 fans, alongside my closest friends. Basketball is my passion, and I cherish every moment on the court.”

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Pooja Chauhan

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