Busting Brackets

SHE DID IT! Caitlin Clark Shatters Records: A Spectacular Show of Basketball Brilliance

Caitlin Clark made NCAA women's basketball history by becoming the all-time leading scorer in a stunning display of skill and determination, scoring eight points in the first three minutes of Iowa's victory over Michigan. With a career-high 49 points, including a record-setting three-pointer, Clark's performance solidified her legacy as one of the sport's greatest players
Michigan v Iowa
Michigan v Iowa / Matthew Holst/GettyImages

SHE DID IT in a stunningly spectacular fashion in front of a home crowd at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City, and frustratingly exclusively on Peacock: Caitlin Clark didn’t let history linger, racing out of the gate to score eight points in the first three minutes of Iowa’s 106-89 win over Michigan on Thursday to surpass Kelsey Plum as the all-time leading scorer in NCAA women’s basketball. And Clark didn’t settle for just one milestone either; the senior guard posted a career-high 49 points to set a Hawkeyes record and an arena record.

The reigning Naismith player of the year entered the night with 3,520 points, just barely shy of Plum. Clark wasted no time, making a right-handed layup on the Hawkeyes’ first possession and a three-pointer on their second to get within reach of the milestone. After a pair of Iowa turnovers, Clark pushed the ball up the court in transition and pulled up from three steps inside the center court line near the left sideline to swish the record-setting three-pointer just 2:15 into the game. 

“You all knew I would shoot a logo three,” Clark said, referencing her well-honed ability to launch 30-foot shots from the edge of the center court logo. “I stepped back to my left a little bit and was able to get it off. Warming up, my shot felt good, and I knew it was going to be one of those nights. I had the pep in my step. I’m so thankful my teammates let me be me.” 

Clark made five three-pointers in the first quarter to outscore Michigan 23-22 by herself in the period. With the much-anticipated record under her belt, Clark proceeded to dominate the contest, dishing 13 assists and grabbing five rebounds as No. 4 Iowa improved to 23-3. After capping the night with her ninth three-pointer in the game’s closing minutes, Clark checked out to an extended standing ovation and was honored by her family and teammates with a postgame celebration.

Following the final buzzer, the Hawkeyes donned T-shirts that read “You break it, you own it” and held up mock copies of the Des Moines Register with the headline “Unmatched.” The video board aired congratulatory messages from friends and family, and Bluder presented Clark with an engraved basketball marking the record. It happened in as much of a frenzy as the crowds that follow Caitlin Clark around the country. Three shot attempts into the game, and on a classic from the logo, Clark hit the long-awaited mark to bellows from a sold-out Carver-Hawkeye Arena crowd.

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“The University of Iowa is the right place for this to happen. It absolutely is,” Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder said after the streamers settled on the post-game celebration. “This is a place that supported basketball, women’s basketball, for such a long time.”