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Iowa star breaks NCAA women’s scoring record


IOWA CITY, Iowa – Caitlin Clark broke the NCAA women’s career record by hitting a long 3-pointer in the first quarter against No. 4 Iowa on Thursday night against Michigan.

Clark entered the game needing eight points to surpass Kelsey Plum’s point total of 3,527.

He wasted no time making his first three shots (a layup and two 3-pointers) to score Iowa’s first eight points. The record-breaker was a 3-point dribble from the left wing near the Mediacom Court logo with 7 minutes and 48 seconds left in the first quarter.

Clark and his dynamic play have captivated the country for two seasons. He led the Hawkeyes to the NCAA championship game last year and was named AP player of the year. Beyond her record-chasing, her long three-pointers and flashy passes also brought interest in the women’s game to unprecedented levels. Arenas are sold out for his home and away games and television ratings have never been higher.

It was much more than Clark imagined when the 6-foot-10 guard from West Des Moines stayed in state and chose Iowa over Notre Dame in November 2019.

“I was dreaming of doing really big things, playing in front of big crowds, going to the Final Four, maybe not at this level,” Clark said. “I think it’s really hard to imagine that. “You can always exceed your expectations, even your own, and I think that’s one of the great parts of the job.”

Even though basketball commitments and sponsorship deals (State Farm commercials, etc.) take up his time, he said he is the same person who came to campus four years ago.

“During COVID, I’m just continuing my work like I did when I was a freshman,” said Clark, a senior who still has one more season of eligibility left if he chooses. “Of course my life has changed a little bit. I still live the same way. I still act like a 22-year-old college kid.”

He said he still cleans his apartment, does laundry, plays video games, hangs out with friends and does schoolwork.

“The best way to stay informed and disconnect from things is to put down your phone, get off social media, and enjoy what’s around you, the people around you, and the moments that are happening,” he said.

He could have broken the record sooner, but he eventually made it to Carver-Hawkeye Arena, where resale prices for Michigan game tickets range from hundreds of dollars to thousands of dollars. The fans again filed out of the field early; Many were wearing black-and-gold No. 22 jerseys and holding banners in tribute.

Mya Anderson and her friend Ellie Steffensen, both 12, and their mother made the six-hour drive from Canton, South Dakota, to see Clark break the record.

“I think he inspired a lot of people,” Mya said.

“Yes, there are lots of little girls,” Ellie added.

Mya and Ellie play basketball, and they both said they try to do some of the things Clark does on the court, like his long three-point shot.

“But I’m not as good as him,” said Ellie.

Kelly Jared of Manchester, Iowa, said she loves everything about Clark and expects her impact on women’s soccer to be lasting.

“He took it to a new level,” Jared said. “The aspirations and goals that current players and future players have set the bar very high. And that’s perfect because they will work to achieve them. As for the fans, there is excitement among people who have never watched women’s basketball. My son is not a basketball fan, but he watched Caitlin last year and was sold. She absolutely loves it.

Unlike Sunday’s loss to Nebraska, where Fox drew almost 2 million viewers for the game, this game aired on Peacock.

Plum set the previous NCAA record as a senior at Washington in 2017. Clark’s next goal is to break Kansas star Lynette Woodard’s all-time women’s college record of 3,649 points from 1977-81. During Woodard’s term, women’s sports were governed by the Association of Women’s Intercollegiate Athletics. Francis Marion’s Pearl Moore holds the overall women’s record with 4,061 points from 1975-79.

“I understand the magnitude of this,” Clark said. “It’s been four years of this and it feels crazy how fast everything is going. “I am truly grateful and appreciative.”


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