Caitlin Clark is on the cusp of the NCAA women’s scoring record. She gets a chance to do it at home


IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — It shouldn’t take long for Caitlin Clark to become the NCAA women’s career scoring leader when No. 4 Iowa hosts Michigan.

Clark goes into Thursday night’s game needing eight points to pass Kelsey Plum’s total of 3,527 points. Clark has scored at least eight in the first quarter in 17 of 25 games this season, and she’s hasn’t gone into a halftime with fewer than that.

“Obviously, she’s going to just blast it out of the water,” Iowa coach Lisa Bluder said. “So it’s going to be fun to see how many points she adds on to that.”

Clark and her dynamic game have captivated the nation for two seasons, including last year’s run to the NCAA title game and being named the AP player of the year. More than just her pursuit of the record, her long 3-point shots and flashy passes have raised interest in the women’s game to unprecedented levels. Arenas have been sold out for her games, home and away, and television ratings have never been higher.

It’s all been more than Clark imagined when the 6-foot guard from West Des Moines stayed in state and picked Iowa over Notre Dame in November 2019.

“I dreamed of doing really big things, playing in front of big crowds, going to the Final Four, maybe not quite on this level,” Clark said. “I think that’s really hard to dream. You can always exceed expectations, even your own, and I think that’s been one of the coolest parts.”

Though her basketball obligations and endorsement deals (State Farm ads, etc.) have put demands on her time, she said she is the same person who showed up on campus four years ago.

“I just go about my business as I did when I was a freshman during COVID,” said Clark, a senior who still has another season of eligibility remaining, if she wants it. “Sure, my life has kind of changed somewhat. I still live the exact same way. I still act like a 22-year-old college kid.”

She said she still cleans her apartment, does laundry, plays video games, hangs out with friends and does schoolwork.

“The best way to debrief and get away from things is getting off your phone, getting off social media and enjoying what’s around you and the people around you and the moments that are happening,” she said.

Her run to the record could have come earlier, but it arrived back at Carver-Hawkeye Arena, where ticket resale prices for the Michigan game ranged from hundreds of dollars into the thousands. Fans again will show up early outside the arena, many wearing black-and-gold No. 22 jerseys and holding signs paying homage.

Unlike Sunday’s loss at Nebraska, when Fox drew almost 2 million viewers for the game, this one will be streamed on Peacock.

After Clark breaks the NCAA record Plum set in 2017, her next target will be the all-time major women’s college scoring record of 3,649 by Kansas star Lynette Woodard from 1977-81. During Woodard’s era, women’s sports were governed by the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women. Francis Marion’s Pearl Moore holds the overall women’s record with 4,061 points from 1975-79.

“I understand the magnitude of this,” Clark said. “It’s come along with how my four years have gone, and it’s crazy looking back on how fast everything has gone. I’m really thankful and grateful.”


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