June 22, 2024

Brighton Journal

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Caitlin Clark hit 7 3-pointers and tied for 30 points in the Fever’s win over the Mystics

Caitlin Clark hit 7 3-pointers and tied for 30 points in the Fever’s win over the Mystics

This is what Caitlin Clark WNBA fans have been waiting to see.

Facing the Washington Mystics on Friday night, Clark looked like the star who brought legions of fans to women’s basketball during her career at Iowa State. She performed in front of a capacity crowd at Capital One Arena in D.C., showing fans the fearless sharpshooter who boldly took 3-pointers from everywhere on the court.

The Indiana Fever guard hit seven threes (7-for-13 shooting from behind the arc) while tying his WNBA career high with 30 points with eight rebounds, six assists and four steals in an 85-83 win over the Mystics. She also had eight turnovers.

Clarke’s seven three-pointers are the most she has achieved in her WNBA career, topping the four she made in the first and third games she played this season. Her first 30-point game came in a May 28 loss to the defending WNBA champion Las Vegas Aces.

Despite Clark’s goal tally, the Fever barely escaped with a win over the winless Mystics. Aliyah Boston missed two free throws with Indiana leading 82-80, giving Washington a chance to tie the score. But Ariel Atkins fumbled a drive to the basket and the Mystics were forced to foul out on the next possession.

Clark made three of four free throws during the final seconds to tie her career high and give Indiana enough of a margin to secure the win.

Friday’s game was a big turnaround for Clark, who scored a career-low three points on Sunday in a 104-68 loss to the New York Liberty. The shooting display also provided an exclamation point to the week in which Clarke’s season so far and the attention she has received have been a major topic of sports conversation.

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Indiana won its third game of the season, while Washington remains winless at 0-10, the only WNBA club without a win in 2024.

The Mystics threw several defenders at Clarke — most notably Julie Vanloo, Dede Richards and Carly Samuelson — but Clarke often freed herself through crossover dribbles and steps, as well as some tough screens from her teammates. It didn’t matter how far away from the arc it was. Clark was bringing it up.

Kelsey Mitchell added 16 points for the Fever, while Nalyssa Smith finished with 10 points and 20 rebounds. Boston also scored 10 points.

The Mystics were led by Stephanie Dolson with 19 points on 7-for-10 shooting from the floor (including 5-for-6 on threes), followed by 16 from Atkins.

Clark’s performance certainly justified the Mystics moving Friday’s game to the larger, 20,356-seat Capital One Arena to meet ticket demand. Washington usually plays its home games at the 4,200-capacity Sports and Entertainment Arena. But they played to a sold-out crowd to watch the rising Fever sensation.

Next up for the Fever are the undefeated Connecticut Sun (9-0) at Mohegan Sun Arena on Monday. (Unless the Sun suffers its first loss on Saturday versus Liberty.) Tip-off is 7 p.m. ET.