Iowa's Kaitlyn Clark broke the NCAA women's career scoring record

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Caitlin Clark broke the NCAA women's career scoring record, Makes a 3-pointer from about 35 feet Thursday night against Michigan in the first quarter for No. 4 Iowa.

Clark went into the game needing eight points to pass Kelsey Plum's total is 3,527.

He wasted no time, making his first three shots — a layup and two 3s — and scoring Iowa's first eight points. The record was broken when he hit a triple down the left wing near the Mediacom Court logo with 7:45 left in the first quarter.

Iowa won the tip and Clark, guarded by Laila Felia, drove to the basket and hit a shot from the right side. On Iowa's next possession, Clark hit a 3 from the left wing. The Hawkeyes turned the ball over twice before Clark converted a pass from Gabby Marshall, stopped and shot from deep on the left side.

When the ball went in, the fans — many of them standing and holding phones to capture the moment — let out a huge roar.

After Clark's 3, Felia missed a layup as Michigan and Iowa's Molly Davis rebounded. Iowa coach Lisa Bluder called a timeout and a celebration ensued. Clarke hugged teammates, Bluder and staff, and the record was acknowledged as delighted fans continued to scream.

Plum scored 57 points on a scoring night in 2017, and Clark played like he had it in mind. He had 23 points in the first quarter, making five of his first seven 3-pointers and 8 of 10 shots overall.

Plum set the previous NCAA record in 2017 as a senior at Washington. Clark's next goal was the all-time major women's college scoring record of 3,649 points held by Kansas star Lynette Woodard from 1977-81. During Woodard's tenure, women's sports were governed by the Women's Intercollegiate Athletic Association. Pearl Moore by Frances Marion The women's all-time record was 4,061 points from 1975-79.

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Iowa has four regular season games, plus the Big Ten Tournament and NCAA Tournament. Barring injury, Clark, a senior averaging 32.1 points per game, is sure to pass Woodard. And he has the option of returning to college basketball for a fifth season because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Iowa guard Kaitlin Clark looks on during the team's NCAA college basketball game against Michigan Thursday, Feb. 15, 2024, in Iowa City, Iowa. (AP Photo/Matthew Putney)

Iowa guard Kaitlin Clark looks on during the team's NCAA college basketball game against Michigan Thursday, Feb. 15, 2024, in Iowa City, Iowa.  (AP Photo/Matthew Putney)

Iowa guard Kaitlin Clark looks on during the team's NCAA college basketball game against Michigan Thursday, Feb. 15, 2024, in Iowa City, Iowa. (AP Photo/Matthew Putney)

Clarke and his dynamic play captivated the nation for two seasons. Last year, he led the Hawkeyes to the NCAA title game AP Player of the Year. His long 3-pointers and flashy passes have fueled interest, rather than searching for the record. Women's sports to an unprecedented extent. Arenas are sold out His games, home and away and television ratings have never been higher.

It was all more than Clark could have imagined 6-foot guard from West Des Moines Stayed in-state and chose Iowa over Notre Dame in November 2019.

“I really dreamed of doing big things, playing in front of big crowds, going to the Final Four, maybe not at this level,” Clarke said. “I think it's really hard to dream. You can always exceed expectations, even your own, and I think that's one of the best parts.

Although his basketball commitments and endorsement deals (such as State Farm commercials) demand his time, he said he's the same person who showed up on campus four years ago.

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“I'm going about my business the same way I did when I was a freshman during COVID,” Clark said. “Of course, my life has changed somewhat. 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 is to unplug your phone, get off social media, and enjoy the people around you and the moments that happen,” she said.

His run for the record may have come earlier, but it came back at Carver-Hockey Arena, where ticket resale prices for Michigan games Up to hundreds of dollars By the thousands. Fans again started outside the arena, many wearing the black-and-gold no. They wore 22 jerseys and held tribute signs.

Mia Anderson and her friend, 12-year-old Ellie Stephenson, and their moms made the six-hour drive from Canton, South Dakota, to beat Clark's record.

“I think he's inspired a lot of people,” Mia said.

“Yeah, a lot of little girls,” Ellie added.

Mia and Ellie both play basketball and both said they try to do certain things on the court like shooting long 3's.

“But I'm not as good as her,” said Ellie.

Kelly Jarrett of Manchester, Iowa, said she loves everything about Clark and expects her impact on the women's game to last.

“She took it to a whole new level,” Jared said. “The aspirations and goals that current players and future players have, she's set that bar sky high. That's right, because they'll work to achieve them. As far as the fans, there's excitement for people who don't watch girls basketball. My son's not a basketball fan, but he watched Caitlin last year, He's sold. He absolutely loves her.”

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Unlike Sunday's loss at Nebraska, when Fox drew nearly 2 million viewers for the game, it was streamed on the Peacock.

“I understand the magnitude of it,” Clark said. “It's just come with how my four years have gone, and it's crazy to look back at how quickly everything has gone. I'm really thankful and grateful.”

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AP Women's College Basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-womens-college-basketball-poll And https://apnews.com/hub/womens-college-basketball

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