With the basketball world holding its breath, anticipation mounts for Caitlin Clark's imminent ascension as the scoring queen. Next week, all eyes will converge on Carver-Hawkeye Arena, where history is likely to unfold before a passionate home crowd. Behind this momentous occasion, the Iowa fanbase owes a debt of gratitude to Hannah Stuelke. Her stellar showing in last night’s game propelled Caitlin Clark within striking distance of the NCAA women's basketball all-time scoring record. And fittingly, the stage for this milestone will be set at home, just two games from now.
With a career-high 47 points from Stuelke and 27 points added by Clark, No. 2 Iowa surged past Penn State 111-93, setting the stage for an electrifying moment next week at Iowa's Carver Hawkeye Arena. Clark, now standing at 3,489 career points, needs just 39 more to etch her name into the annals of history, surpassing the legendary Kelsey Plum's record.
Kelsey Plum of Washington currently holds the top spot among NCAA women's basketball scoring leaders with 3,527 points, followed closely by Caitlin Clark of Iowa at 3,489 points, with Kelsey Mitchell of Ohio State, Jackie Stiles of Missouri State, and Brittney Griner of Baylor rounding out the top five.
"We were just trying to win the game," Iowa coach Lisa Bluder remarked, reflecting on Clark's pursuit of the record. "It’s going to happen. That’s not important. It’s important to win this game." With Iowa's upcoming game against Nebraska followed by a home showdown with Michigan, Bluder expressed her desire for Clark to achieve the milestone in front of their devoted home crowd.
Clark, renowned for her playmaking abilities, notched an impressive 15 assists alongside her scoring efforts. Clark remains focused not on individual records, but on the team's success, stating, "Whenever it happens, it happens."
Crucially, Clark's synergy with Stuelke proved pivotal in last night's victory, with Clark providing 11 assists for Stuelke's astounding 47-point performance. "I'm happy for Hannah, she deserves it," Clark affirmed, highlighting the team's collective effort.
As the excitement mounts for Clark's inevitable record-breaking moment, the anticipation among Iowa fans reaches a crescendo. With each game, Clark inches closer to etching her name in basketball history, and the prospect of achieving this milestone in front of her loyal supporters adds an extra layer of significance.
Moreover, the timing of Iowa's next game against Nebraska coincides with the highly anticipated Big Game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers, an event where Clark's allegiance lies with the Chiefs. This convergence of events adds an intriguing subplot to Clark's journey towards greatness.