Caitlin Clark approaches NCAA women’s basketball scoring record


Caitlin Clark’s rise to change into the face of girls’s basketball has been pushed by her emotional accessibility and depth: She is a charming pied piper who attracts throngs of fans wherever she performs, a joyful shooter who bounds across the court docket celebrating numerous massive photographs and a fiery competitor who relishes trash discuss and the occasional confrontation with the officers.

Against this, the College of Iowa star’s relentless climb up the ladies’s basketball scoring chart has been a robotic statistical train. Merely put, Clark has change into probably the most prolific and dependable scoring machine within the sport’s historical past, and she is going to quickly break former College of Washington star Kelsey Plum’s Division I report of three,527 profession factors.

After scoring 27 factors towards Penn State on Thursday, Clark has 3,489 profession factors and wishes 39 extra to surpass Plum with Iowa set to face Nebraska on Sunday and Michigan on Thursday.

Svrluga: Caitlin Clark is worth the price of admission

Throughout her 4 years in Iowa Metropolis, Clark has by no means missed a sport due to damage and has hardly ever endured an off night time. Solely as soon as in her 124-game profession has she been held underneath 10 factors — in January 2021, halfway by way of her freshman season — and her double-digit scoring streak reached 114 video games coming into Sunday’s motion. This yr, she has but to be held underneath 20 factors and is averaging a career-high 32.2 factors per sport, the third-highest mark in historical past. Barring an unthinkable flip of occasions, Clark will end this season main the nation in scoring common for the third time — one thing no girls’s participant has ever performed earlier than.


Clark has scored fewer than 20 factors simply 15 occasions in her 124-game NCAA profession.

Fewer

than 10

factors

1 sport

Between

20 and

29 factors

58

video games

Between

30 and

39 factors

40

video games

40 or

extra

factors

11

video games

Between

10 and

19 factors

14

video games

On Jan. 9, 2021, in her tenth sport as a freshman, Clark scored simply eight factors towards Northwestern. She has scored in double digits in each sport since.

Clark has scored fewer than 20 factors simply 15 occasions in her 124-game NCAA profession.

Fewer than

10 factors

1 sport

Between

10 and

19 factors

14

video games

Between

20 and

29 factors

58

video games

Between

30 and

39 factors

40

video games

40 or

extra

factors

11

video games

On Jan. 9, 2021, on her tenth sport as a freshman, Clark scored simply 8 factors towards Northwestern. From there she all the time scored double digits.

Clark has scored fewer than 20 factors simply 15 occasions in her 124-game NCAA profession.

40 or extra factors

11 video games

Between 30

and 39 factors

40 video games

Between 20

and 29 factors

58 video games

Between 10

and 19 factors

14 video games

Fewer than 10 factors

1 sport

On Jan. 9, 2021, in her tenth sport as a freshman, Clark scored simply eight factors towards Northwestern. She has scored in double digits in each sport since.

Clark has scored fewer than 20 factors simply 15 occasions in her 124-game NCAA profession.

40 or extra factors

11 video games

Between 30 and 39 factors

40 video games

Between 20 and 29 factors

58 video games

Between 10 and 19 factors

14 video games

Fewer than 10 factors

1 sport

On Jan. 9, 2021, in her tenth sport as a freshman, Clark scored simply eight factors towards Northwestern. She has scored in double digits in each sport since.

Plum, a two-time WNBA all-star guard for the Las Vegas Aces, has held the ladies’s report since 2017.

“I’m really very grateful to go that baton,” Plum stated. “I’m very blissful for her. [Chasing the record] felt like a variety of strain, and my id was type of caught up in that report. I hope everybody within the media takes time to know that she isn’t just a basketball participant however a younger girl that has emotions and feelings. She carries it with grace, however there’s lots to deal with there. If something, be sure that we present her love exterior of her efficiency. ”

Clark launched her bid to unseat Plum on Nov. 25, 2020, towards Northern Iowa. Within the first minute of her collegiate debut, the 18-year-old freshman from West Des Moines made two free throws. Seconds later, she scored her first bucket — a transition layup going proper that she arrange with a well-timed hesitation dribble and kissed off the glass.

“She is what we anticipated,” Iowa Coach Lisa Bluder said then. “She is so good with the ball in her fingers, and she will be able to rating in so many various areas.”

Although that first sport was performed in a virtually empty Carver-Hawkeye Area due to the coronavirus pandemic, anybody who watched obtained a transparent first have a look at a celebrity within the making. Because it occurred, Clark completed with 27 factors in her debut — barely topping her freshman-year common of 26.6 factors per sport and practically matching her profession common of 28.1. The 6-foot guard hit the bottom operating and by no means appeared again, scoring no less than 30 factors in three of her subsequent 4 video games en path to her first scoring title.


A gradual climb to the highest

Clark has made regular progress by way of the foremost milestones:

… and 3,000 factors

in her a hundred and tenth sport.

She surpassed Ohio State’s Kelsey Mitchell on Jan. 31 to change into the Huge Ten’s all-time main scorer.

2,000 factors

in her seventy fifth sport …

Alongside the best way, she handed Megan Gustafson (2,804 factors) in November to change into Iowa’s all-time main scorer.

She reached

1,000 factors in

her fortieth sport…

A gradual climb to the highest

Clark has made regular progress by way of the foremost milestones:

… and 3,000 factors

in her a hundred and tenth sport.

She surpassed Ohio State’s Kelsey Mitchell on Jan. 31 to change into the Huge Ten’s all-time main scorer.

2,000 factors

in her seventy fifth sport …

Alongside the best way, she handed Megan Gustafson (2,804 factors) in November to change into Iowa’s all-time main scorer.

She reached

1,000 factors in

her fortieth sport…

A gradual climb to the highest

Clark has made regular progress by way of the foremost milestones:

… and 3,000 factors

in her a hundred and tenth sport.

2,000 factors

in her seventy fifth sport …

She surpassed Ohio State’s Kelsey Mitchell on Jan. 31 to change into the Huge Ten’s all-time main scorer.

Alongside the best way, she handed Megan Gustafson (2,804 factors) in November to change into Iowa’s all-time main scorer.

She reached

1,000 factors in

her fortieth sport…

A gradual climb to the highest

Clark has made regular progress by way of the foremost milestones:

… and 3,000 factors

in her a hundred and tenth sport.

2,000 factors

in her seventy fifth sport …

She surpassed Ohio State’s Kelsey Mitchell on Jan. 31 to change into the Huge Ten’s all-time main scorer.

Alongside the best way, she handed Megan Gustafson (2,804 factors) in November to change into Iowa’s all-time main scorer.

She reached

1,000 factors in

her fortieth sport…

Bluder long-established her offense in her star’s mould, encouraging the Hawkeyes to play an up-tempo fashion and giving Clark the inexperienced mild as each a scorer and a playmaker. The situations have been good for Clark to compile big numbers, as a result of she logged massive minutes and large utilization charges whereas main a Hawkeyes offense that has been one of many NCAA’s fastest-paced and highest-scoring all through her tenure.

Clark’s sturdiness and consistency have been essential to her scoring success, however her elite exterior taking pictures has been her not-so-secret weapon. As she earned comparisons to Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry for her brand vary and fast set off, Clark led the NCAA in three-pointers as a freshman and junior and ranks first by way of this level of her senior season. Coming into Sunday, she has made 473 profession three-pointers and is taking pictures 38.2 p.c from lengthy distance.

Plum was a wonderful exterior shooter herself, graduating with 343 profession three-pointers and an an identical 38.2 p.c common from deep. Throughout her 4 years at Washington, Plum scored 29 p.c of her factors on three-pointers. Against this, Clark has scored a whopping 41 p.c of her factors from past the arc.


High 5 NCAA girls’s scorers, factors by sort

High 5 NCAA girls’s scorers, factors by sort

High 5 NCAA girls’s scorers, factors by sort

Lots of Clark’s most indelible moments are three-pointers: She famously launched from the emblem towards Michigan in February 2022, she beat Indiana on the buzzer in February 2023, and she or he drilled one other game-winner towards Michigan State in January. Within the 2023 NCAA match, she made eight three-pointers to beat Louisville and elevate Iowa to the second Ultimate 4 look in class historical past.

Usually misplaced within the fawning over Clark’s three-point taking pictures is her artful potential to get to the free throw line. Certainly, Clark has tried greater than 800 free throw makes an attempt in her profession and shoots 85.8 p.c from the stripe. These further factors may not make the spotlight reels, however they’ve stored Iowa’s offense going when opposing defenses shadow her on the arc with further consideration and have helped compensate for the occasional subpar taking pictures night time.

Clark has scored 40 or extra factors 11 occasions, however her profession excessive of 46 factors, which got here on the street towards Michigan throughout her sophomore season, falls properly wanting Plum’s career-best 57 factors towards Utah on Feb. 25, 2017. When JuJu Watkins poured in 51 factors to beat Stanford on Feb. 2, the Southern California freshman topped Clark’s profession excessive in simply her 18th sport. In a shocking twist, Hawkeyes ahead Hannah Stuelke scored 47 factors towards Penn State on Thursday to surpass Clark’s most prolific efficiency.

Nevertheless, Clark’s obligations as Iowa’s chief distributor have produced extra balanced offensive outputs, together with 15 profession triple-doubles and 43 double-doubles with assists. Plum by no means registered a triple-double and had only one double-double with assists at Washington. Certainly, Clark stands aside from the opposite high 5 scorers in girls’s basketball historical past in terms of creating offense for her teammates. Clark ranks second in profession triple-doubles, trailing solely former Oregon star Sabrina Ionescu, who posted 26.


High 5 NCAA girls’s scorers, assists

High 5 NCAA girls’s scorers, assists

High 5 NCAA girls’s scorers, assists

Maybe the easiest way to measure Clark’s prowess as a scorer and creator is to match Iowa’s crew assault with these of its friends. The Hawkeyes have ranked within the high 5 by offensive effectivity in every of her 4 seasons; no different crew has ranked within the high 5 greater than twice throughout that point interval. After guiding the nation’s second-ranked offense final season, Clark swept the foremost participant of the yr honors.


NCAA girls’s crew offensive effectivity rankings

NCAA girls’s crew offensive effectivity rankings

NCAA girls’s crew offensive effectivity rankings

Wanting forward, Clark ought to problem Pete Maravich for the NCAA’s profession scoring report for males or girls. Maravich, the LSU star turned Corridor of Famer, tallied 3,667 factors throughout three seasons with the Tigers from 1967-68 to 1969-70. Iowa has six common season video games remaining earlier than competing within the Huge Ten and NCAA tournaments.

Clark can put important distance between herself and the highest girls scorers on condition that she averages considerably extra factors per sport than the remainder of the highest 5. If, hypothetically, Clark maintains her present scoring common of 32.2 factors per sport and performs six common season video games and no less than 5 mixed video games within the convention match and the NCAA match, she would end this season with 3,843 factors. That might give her a lead of 316 factors over Plum — a bigger hole than exists between Plum and Griner, who ranks fifth all-time in scoring.

It’s price noting Clark might put lots of of extra factors between herself and the remainder of the sphere if she chooses to return to Iowa for a fifth season as a result of she has an additional yr of eligibility through the NCAA’s pandemic waiver. For that motive, if she declares for this yr’s WNBA draft, it must be considered as an act of mercy towards her collegiate opponents and the NCAA’s report books.

Information from sports-reference.



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