Clark sets NCAA women’s career scoring record as No. 4 Hawkeyes beat Michigan

Iowa coach Lisa Bluder and associate head coach Jan Jensen congratulate Iowa guard Caitlin Clark (22) during the second half of the team's NCAA college basketball game against Michigan, Thursday, Feb. 15, 2024, in Iowa City, Iowa. (AP Photo/Matthew Putney)

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Caitlin Clark became the NCAA women’s career scoring leader and set Iowa’s single-game scoring mark with 49 points, leading the No. 4 Hawkeyes to a 106-89 win over Michigan on Thursday night.

Clark moved past Kelsey Plum’s total of 3,527, and now has 3,569 career points.

The senior guard added 13 assists for her 58th career double-double.

She shot 16 of 31 from the field, including 9 of 18 from 3-point range, in the 12th 40-point game of her career.

Clark eclipsed the single-game scoring mark of 48 points set by Megan Gustafson in 2018.

Clark, who needed eight points to pass Plum, struck early.

Her 35-foot logo 3-point shot with 7:48 left in the first quarter provided the record-breaking points.

“I don’t know if you can script it any better,” Clark said. “I thought we played really well tonight.”

Still, she found a flaw.

“I thought our defense could be a little better,” Clark said.

Kate Martin scored 20 points and Hannah Stuelke had 13 for the Hawkeyes (23-3, 12-2 Big Ten), who remained in a tie for second place in the Big Ten with Indiana, one game behind leader Ohio State.

Iowa needed a win after Sunday’s 82-79 loss at Nebraska knocked the Hawkeyes out of a tie with the Buckeyes for first place. Iowa couldn’t handle Nebraska’s box-and-one defense in the fourth quarter of that game, but when the Wolverines tried to do the same thing, the Hawkeyes responded.

“We probably weren’t expecting it against Nebraska,” Iowa coach Lisa Bluder said. “But it shocked me the way that we handled it, both the players and myself, definitely. But today we were ready for it. (Michigan) had not shown a box-and-one, at least in the six games that we watched. It doesn’t surprise us anymore, because people have to figure out something to do.”

“We sent three people at (Clark),” Michigan coach Kim Barnes Arico said. “She’s incredible, she’s incredible, she’s incredible. People besides us have trouble trying to stop her.”

The Hawkeyes shot 53.1% for the game, and made 18 of 35 3-pointers.

“We didn’t freak out,” Clark said. “We just did us, and what we’ve worked on all week.”

Michigan shot 51.5%.

“Michigan came in here in a tough scenario,” Bluder said. “I thought they played a great game.”

Clark, who had 28 points in the first half, played a part in Iowa’s first 15 field goals, hitting nine shots and adding six assists.

Iowa led 53-41 at halftime, shooting 63% from the field, 60% from long distance. The Wolverines (16-10, 7-7) shot 56% in the half, but missed six of their last seven shots as the Hawkeyes scored the final seven points of the second quarter.

UP NEXT: Michigan hosts Michigan State on Sunday.


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