When it comes to Caitlyn Clarke, it seems like a new date is always on the horizon. On Wednesday, he had the opportunity to set the Big Ten's all-time scoring record and move to the top of the NCAA's all-time scoring list.
Clark, who entered Iowa's game against Northwestern ranked fourth on the NCAA scoring list with 3,389 points, needed five points to jump Jackie Stiles (Missouri State). Clark has surpassed that mark Before the first quarter ended and Kelsey Mitchell (Ohio State) jumped into second place one frame later, scoring her 3,403rd career point. That mark also sets the all-time Big Ten scoring record.
Clark is chasing Las Vegas Aces guard Kelsey Bloom for the women's all-time scoring record (3,527 points). Pete Maravich, who played at LSU from the 1967-68 to 1969-70 seasons, holds the all-time men's and women's basketball record with 3,667 career points.
“I think the coolest thing is the names I get to be around,” Clark said after the game. “These are people I grew up watching, especially Brittney Griner, Kelsey Mitchell, these are really great players, people who are still playing our game at the highest level, people you watch day and night. So, it's special for me to be in the same area as them, and to Obviously I have a lot of really good teammates who allow me to do my job.
When will Kaitlyn Clark break the all-time women's basketball scoring record?
With a crowd of 7,039 expected for Wednesday's game, this is the largest crowd Clarke has ever played in front of at Welsh-Ryan Arena. The first time Clark played at Northwestern on Jan. 9, 2021, there were no fans in the stands due to the COVID-19 pandemic as the Wildcats won 77-67. The second time on January 28, 2022, only 1,578 people were reported to be in attendance for Iowa's 72-67 overtime win.
“Obviously I started with COVID, where it was just family, and now, every game I play, it's sold out,” Clark said. “So it's not something you take for granted. I think crazy people scream my name a lot. It's not something you really get used to.”
“This (game) was definitely one that was definitely put on my calendar because I know how many Iowa fans are in the Chicago area. So I was very excited to come here, I love this gym and coach Joe (McCeown). I have a lot of respect for him. I think he “Amazing. It's amazing for women's basketball. We've had a lot of really good battles in this arena.”
During her career at Iowa State, Clark became the first Division I women's basketball player in NCAA history with a 40-point triple-double, and the first player to have 3,000 points, 750 rebounds, and 750 assists, and she scored 30 more points than any other player In Iowa. The past 25 years.
Clark is averaging 32 points per game this season, adding 7.1 rebounds and 7.6 assists. Against Northwestern, Clark scored 35 points and dished out 10 assists en route to the 54th double-double of her career. She finished 11-of-22 shooting, missed 9-of-12 3-pointers, but went 10-for-10 from the line. Clark was pulled with 4:25 left to a standing ovation.
Iowa State knocked off No. 3 Northwestern 110-74 to improve to 20-2 overall and 9-1 in the conference.
A glimpse into Clark's historic day
Basketball Hall of Famer Michael Jordan had a famous logic: scoring 32 points in a game was easy because he only had eight points in a quarter. With little offensive aggression — just five shot attempts — Clark outscored that math by two points on Wednesday.
Clark scored 10 in the first quarter with a pair of deep threes and four free throws to close in on the Big Ten scoring record. After a short rest to start the second quarter, she immediately scored on a corner kick. And with less than 5 minutes left in the first half, she broke the Big Ten scoring record on a layup.
But with all the attention and preparation for her game on Wednesday, there was no mention of that happening and no reaction in Welsh-Ryan Arena, even though it was mostly made up of Iowa State fans.
Iowa State fans began waiting in line for general admission seats at 10 a.m. Wednesday. Nearly three hours before 7 p.m., the line to get in stretched out into the street. Northwestern has only two sections with designated seating for women's games, one of which is the upscale Wilson Club — so it created a bit of crowding for a massive crowd. (The Northwestern women's team averages 1,671 fans per game.)
When Clarke arrived to warm up, she was met with an almost full crowd and fans were screaming as she was announced for the start and headed to the bench at the end of the game.
Clarke has the air of a basketball champion, but she did not provide a memorable performance in the first half, despite scoring 18 points. She went 4-for-11 from the field, missing 5 of 7 three-point shots. She went 8-for-8 from the line, even though people didn't line up for the better part of a cold day to watch her shoot her free throws. It wasn't Clark's best shooting performance, but she did a good job of getting her teammates involved early and leading Iowa State to the big win.
“I didn't hit the ball well starting at three o'clock tonight, and I've been hitting the ball well, so you're bound to have one of those nights here and there,” Clark said. “I was a little short. So, you know, it happens. But I got to the line.” The free throw and I hit all 10 of my free throws. That's just kind of what you have to do. — John Greenberg is a sports columnist in Chicago
(Photo: Jim Dedmon/USA Today)
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