Caitlin Clark does it! Iowa guard passes Kelsey Plum as NCAA women's basketball top scorer (2024)

Lindsay Schnell,Nancy Armour,Heather TuckerUSA TODAY

Caitlin Clark does it! Iowa guard passes Kelsey Plum as NCAA women's basketball top scorer (1)

Caitlin Clark does it! Iowa guard passes Kelsey Plum as NCAA women's basketball top scorer (2)

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Well that didn't take long.

With — what else? — a logo 3 just 132 seconds into the game vs. Michigan on Thursday, Caitlin Clark, the senior from Iowa, surpassed former Washington All-American Kelsey Plum to move into first place in the NCAA scoring record book.

"You all knew I was going to shoot a logo 3 for the record. Come on now," Clark said after the game.

She didn't stop there, though, finishing the night with a school-record (and personal best) 49 points in Iowa's 106-89 win over Michigan.

So what’s next for Clark?

She is on pace to break Pete Maravich’s record of 3,667 points, set from 1967-70 when he played at LSU, toward the end of Iowa’s regular season. But the record that might matter even more to women’s basketball historians and junkies is 3,649. That’s how many points Lynette Woodard, a Wichita native, scored when she played at Kansas from 1977-81. That was before the NCAA ran women’s college sports though, so Woodard’s record is in the AIAW record books instead of the NCAA record books.

Clark surpassing Woodard and Maravich would quiet anyone complaining about Clark’s record not being legitimate. And given how many games she has left this season, it’s possible Clark will set a scoring mark so high, no one could come close to reaching it.— Lindsay Schnell

How many points did Caitlin Clark score last night?

Clark dropped a career-high 49 points against Michigan on Feb. 15.

Caitlin Clark point total: How many points does she have now?

Clark pushed her all-time point total to 3,569 points. Every point she scores from here on out will just add to the NCAA women's record.

What makes Caitlin Clark so special? Steph Curry, Maya Moore, other hoops legends weigh in

To commemorate Caitlin Clark becomingthe top scorer in women’s NCAA basketball history, USA TODAY Sports spoke to Clark’s friends, family, opponents and admirers — including Stephen Curry and Maya Moore —about some of the biggest and best shots of her illustrious career, letting them explainwhat makes the 6-foot point guard so special.Read Lindsay Schnell's full feature here.

Caitlin Clark's record-breaking shot

Watch the shot here:

Caitlin Clark highlights last night

Caitlin Clark celebration: Guard moved to tears

Caitlin Clark got emotional at the celebration for her becoming the all-time leading scorer in NCAA women’s basketball.

Tears glistened in her eyes and she had to wipe them with her jersey as she listened to video clips of her brothers praising her. She smiled shyly as coach Lisa Bluder called her “special.” And when her teammates picked her up, she immediately began pointing to the ground, telling them, “Put me down!”

“I’m just really grateful,” Clark said, cradling a commemorative game ball. “Thankful for everyone that came out tonight and support us night in and night out. … We’ve got a lot more winning to do so let’s go. I appreciate you all!” — Nancy Armour

Can anyone challenge Caitlin Clark's new NCAA scoring record?

Kelsey Plum’s record stood for seven years. Iowa coach Lisa Bluder thinks Caitlin Clark’s could stand for even longer.

Clark has 3,569 points, and still has the rest of this season to play. Maybe next year, too. Clark is eligible to play a fifth COVID year, and has not yet said whether she plans to return to Iowa or go to the WNBA.

“This record is going to stand for a long time and I’m just glad she’s wearing black and gold,” Bluder said.

Bluder also said she loved that Clark set the record with a logo 3, the shot that’s become her signature. Clark also set a career high with 49 points.

“You do it, you do it well, girl,” Bluder said. — Nancy Armour

One more year for Caitlin Clark?

Iowa fans are getting greedy.

Chants of “One more year! One more year!” echoed throughout Carver-Hawkeye Arena before the post-game celebration for Clark becoming the new NCAA women’s all-time scoring leader.

Clark said after the game it was “pretty special” to break the record at home. Iowa fans have supported her throughout her career, selling out home games this year and packing away arenas to watch her chase the scoring mark.

“It’s so special,” Clark said. “These fans deserve it, they’ve supported me since I stepped on campus. … But we’re not done. We’re still looking for a little bit more.”

Clark’s teammates feted her with T-shirts bearing her name and number on the back and the slogan, “You break it, you own it.” That was the tagline of the post Nike, which sponsors Clark, used to congratulate her. They also held up commemorative front pages of the Des Moines Register.— Nancy Armour

Final: Iowa 106, Michigan 89

On a career night for Caitlin Clark — she scored 49, a new career best, and broke the NCAA women’s scoring record in the first quarter — the number she’ll care most about is this: 23. That’s how many victories Iowa now has this season after getting back on the winning track after an upset at Nebraska on Super Bowl Sunday.

Kate Martin chipped in 20, and the Hawkeyes shot 53% in a game where they recorded 25 assists on 34 made baskets.

“It’s pretty unreal, this crowd is unreal,” Clark told Peaco*ck afterward, adding that she was grateful to play at a school where she could “make a lot of my dreams come true.”

New career high for Caitlin Clark

Something about Michigan brings out the best in Caitlin Clark.

On the same night she became the NCAA’s all-time leading scorer, Clark also set a career high with 49 points. Her previous career high was 46, also against Michigan, in 2022. The 49 points is also a new single-game high for Iowa, one better than Megan Gustafson's previous record.

Clark tied her career best with a pair of free throws late in the fourth quarter, then knocked down a 3-pointer on Iowa’s next possession. It was her ninth trey of the night, tying her career high from long distance. Shortly after, she took a seat on the bench, likely for the rest of the game.

— Nancy Armour

End of 3Q: Iowa 81, Michigan 60

Of course in a game where she set a scoring record, Caitlin Clark is still happy to distribute the basketball.

Just before the third quarter ended Clark tallied her 10th assist of the game — the 58th double-double of her career — on a nifty bounce pass to Addison O’Grady. Along with 10 dimes, Clark has 38 points and four rebounds.

This is her 53rd game with 30 or more points, the most in all of NCAA basketball since 2008-09. Not too shabby.

Iowa is dominating in both fast break points (23-5) and points off turnovers (21-7). They’ve also got a 38-26 edge in the paint.

5:53, 3Q: Iowa 63, Michigan 50

This is a strange game. Iowa is only up 13, but given all the energy in the building and fans who are there just for Caitlin Clark, it feels like they’re up 30 (it’s possible it doesn’t feel this way to Lisa Bluder and her staff). Clark has 33, which is impressive, but she’s clearly slowed after a monster first quarter.

And yet, as she continues to pile up stats, the congratulations continue to pour in on social media, including from Nike, one of Clark's NIL sponsors:

Halftime: Iowa 53, Michigan 41

Alright, deep breath and everyone grab some water. That was a chaotic first half.

Behind 28 points from Caitlin Clark — who cooled considerably in the second quarter, only scoring five — the Hawkeyes opened a 12-point lead on Michigan headed into the break.

Both teams are shooting 55% or better, with Michigan checking in at 56% and Iowa at 63%.

But the new record-holder isn’t terribly impressed.

Clark’s assessment of the first half was blunt: “We’ve gotta play better defense.”

One place Iowa has played great defense is the perimeter — Michigan is just 1-of-8 from long-distance, while Iowa is 9-of-15, with Clark hitting six of those. She also has eight assists, and is on her way to yet another double double.

Clark isn’t doing it by herself though. Hannah Stuelke, who stole the show last week, has nine points and Kate Martin has eight. Jordan Hobbs leads Michigan with 14 points.

—Lindsay Schnell

Order your Caitlin Clark commemorative page here

You're going to want to remember this day, and this game, when Caitlin Clark became the NCAA's all-time scoring leader in women's basketball. The USA TODAY Network has you covered in that department, as The Des Moines Register, Clark’s hometown paper, has created a commemorative poster for fans to order. You can get it framed or unframed, stretched on a canvas or as a metal, acrylic or wood print. Order one for yourself, and all your friends and family.

End of 1Q: Iowa 33, Michigan 22

Whew. Anyone tired?

Caitlin Clark certainly isn’t.

After breaking the NCAA scoring record barely two minutes into the game, Clark continued her hot streak, turning in a stunning 23 points on 8-of-10 shooting — including 5-of-7 from 3 — in the first quarter.

Clark’s career high is 46. Is she about to top that?

Behind Clark, Iowa is shooting 75% from the field. Michigan is shooting 59% … is this game going to have multiple record setters?

Caitlin Clark's record comes on a logo 3, naturally

Of course Caitlin Clark broke the record with a logo 3.

Clark’s second 3-pointer of the game, with 7:43 left in the first quarter, set off pandemonium in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Her mom put her hands on her head and her dad and brothers clapped and exchanged high fives.

The game didn’t stop immediately — Clark had said earlier this week, "we can’t be wasting timeouts on that."

But after Michigan missed a shot at the other end, Iowa coach Lisa Bluder called a timeout so the crowd could recognize Clark’s milestone. She beamed as she was hugged and congratulated by her teammates, and she buried her head in Bluder’s shoulder.

“With 3,528 points in her career, she has officially broken Kelsey Plum’s record,” the public address announcer said, sending the arena into a frenzy again. “Let’s hear it one more time for No. 22, Caitlin Clark!”

Clark had said earlier this week that she wasn't nervous as she approached the record but excited.

"Go out there, play basketball and have fun, and this is what comes along with it," she said. "I understand the magnitude of this but it’s just kind of come with how my four years have gone."

— Nancy Armour

How to watch Caitlin Clark, Iowa vs. Michigan

Iowa vs. Michigan tips at 8 p.m. ET and can be streamed on Peaco*ck.

Caitlin Clark's best shots during her Iowa career

When Caitlin Clark opened her college career by scoring 27 points vs. Northern Iowa on Nov. 25, 2020, it turned out to be a glimpse of what was to come. The Des Moines native has gone on to average 28.2 points over four spectacular seasons, putting her in position to become the all-time leading scorer in NCAA college basketball history.

“She’s not just a high-powered scoring machine, she’s a flat-out hooper,” said Christy Winters-Scott, the lead analyst at the Big Ten Network.

USA TODAY Sports spoke to Steph Curry, Maya Moore, Kim Mulkey, Gus Johnson and others about what makes Iowa's Caitlin Clark so special. — Lindsay Schnell

Trying to watch Caitlin Clark? You'll have to subscribe to Peaco*ck

At least the NFL gave us a dry run for how to find tonight's game!

NBC put the wild-card game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Miami Dolphins on Peaco*ck last month, to no shortage of outrage from NFL fans. But as NBC tries to drive consumers to its streaming platform, especially ahead of this summer’s Paris Olympics, when a lot of the coverage will be on Peaco*ck, it needs some big games to entice them.

And it doesn’t get bigger than Caitlin Clark breaking Kelsey Plum’s all-time NCAA women’s scoring record.

For example, here's the line to get into the gym tonight:

— Nancy Armour

Caitlin Clark, Iowa headed back to Final Four?

Is history about to repeat itself?

Last season as a 2 seed, Iowa and Clark made it all the way to the college basketball promised land, eventually falling to LSU in the national championship.

Thursday, about 90 minutes before Iowa tipped vs. Michigan, the NCAA selection committee revealed its first top 16 rankings and Iowa was No. 5 overall, which would mean the Hawkeyes would be the top No. 2 seed if the NCAA bracket came out tomorrow.

Last year, Iowa was the No. 2 seed in its region; Stanford was the No. 1 seed, but got upset at home in the round of 32. Iowa wound up beating fifth-seeded Louisville in the Elite Eight to advance to the Final Four.

Want to see Caitlin Clark in person? It will cost you

Thedemand to see Caitlin Clark this seasonhas been high, but as shegoes for the NCAA women's scoring recordThursday, ticket prices to see the historic achievement are reaching near-record levels.

Tickets to seeNo. 4 IowahostMichiganon Thursday nighthave an average purchase price of $387, which is the second-most expensive women's basketball game of all-time − college or WNBA −according to TickPick. But the average purchase price in the past week has been $521, showing how much the demand has risen as Clark nears the record.

The get-in price for the game is $426 as of Tuesday afternoon. OnStubHub, courtside tickets could be purchased for $13,669 each with fees. Jordan Mendoza

Where does Caitlin Clark stack up against Kelsey Plum, Pete Maravich?

Iowa's Caitlin Clark fell just eight points short Sunday afternoon of the NCAA women's scoring record as theHawkeyes were upset by Nebraska 82-79.

The 22-year-old senior phenomhas averaged 32.1 points this season, but she's averaged nearly 34 points in her last five games. At that pace, Clark could surpass Kelsey Plum's mark of 3,527 career points in the first quarter Thursday.

Why all the excitement? The Hawkeye phenom's mark on all NCAA basketball could ultimately be even bigger. She is 147 points shy of Pete Maravich's all-time scoring record, which has stood for five decades. Jim Sergent

What is Caitlin Clark's highest-scoring game?

Clark's highest-scoring game came when she hung 45 points on Ohio State on Jan. 21. Clark shot 12-for-25, including 7-for-18 from 3. She also grabbed three rebounds and handed out seven assists in the 100-92 loss.

See how many other college players have scored more than 3,000 points here.

Caitlin Clark’s scoring, season by season

One of the most impressive parts of Clark’s climb to the top of the scoring mountain is how, despite every opposing team keying in on her, she has scored more each season.Below is an illustrated look at how much Clark has scored each season, and exactly how she did it.

Caitlin Clark's remaining games

Iowa's schedule the rest of the season:

  • Thursday, Feb. 22 at Indiana, 8 p.m. ET on Peaco*ck
  • Sunday, Feb. 25 vs. Illinois, 1 p.m. ET on FS1
  • Wednesday, Feb. 28 at Minnesota, 9 p.m. ET on Peaco*ck
  • Sunday, March 3 vs. Ohio State, 1 p.m. on Fox
  • March 6-10, Big Ten Tournament in Minneapolis, times and TV vary

Is Caitlin Clark a senior?

Yes … but she could come back next year and be a super senior if she wants.Though she’s projected to be the No. 1 pick in the 2024 WNBA draft, she could return to Iowa City next season. Because Clark was a freshman in the 2020-21 season, she has a COVID year (basically, that season didn’t count toward anyone’s eligibility).

How tall is Caitlin Clark?

Clark is 6-foot. Big guards have become more common in women’s basketball the last decade or so, and Clark’s size absolutely helps her because she’s able to see over defenders on the break and get vertical separation when she goes up for a shot.Also of note: Clark worked hard last summer to put on eight pounds of muscle and that has made a huge difference in her game, particularly when she drives to the rim.

Caitlin Clark does it! Iowa guard passes Kelsey Plum as NCAA women's basketball top scorer (2024)
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