Lowa Wins the Big Ten Tournament as Caitlin Clark Sets a 3-Point Record

Caitlin Clark, a star player for Iowa, had a difficult game on Friday when it came to her 3-point shooting, but generally, her career has been fantastic.

Clark’s two 3-pointers in the No. 2 seed Hawkeyes’ 95-62 victory over No. 7 Penn State in the Big Ten tournament quarterfinals gave her 164 points, the highest by any Division I player (women or men) in a season.

Clark overtook Darius McGhee, who made 162 3-pointers in the previous season for Liberty, and Stephen Curry, who had 162 at Davidson in 2007–08. McGhee and Curry both completed 36 games; Clark has participated in 31 games for the 27-4 Hawkeyes so far.

For Clark, it was just one more record in a season full of them.

She overtook LSU’s Pete Maravich for the record for the most career points scored by a Division I player on Sunday in Iowa’s last regular season game. She made it to the 3-point arc on Friday even if her shooting performance was one of her least memorable.

Before making her first basket with 8:41 remaining in the game, Clark missed 11 shots from behind the arc. After that 3, she raised her arms in a faux celebration, receiving a standing ovation from the primarily Hawkeyes supporters in the sold-out Target Center.

“I was trolling and messing around when I made that,” Clark explained. “You’ve got to have some fun. Sometimes it’s hard to get up there and shoot the next one, but maybe that’s my poison sometimes. I’m just going to launch it. That’s just how it’s going to be. I was going to make one before the buzzer hit zero, even if it took 20 of them.”

Only once in her Iowa career has Clark failed to make a 3-pointer: in a win over Purdue on January 13, 2022, as a sophomore, she shot 0 for 6 from outside the arc.

Clark has 511 3-pointers in her career. Taylor Robertson of Oklahoma set the NCAA women’s lifetime record last season with 537, despite the fact that it was her fifth season due to the COVID-19 waiver that she received from 2020–21. As previously disclosed, Clark is in her fourth and final season and plans to enter the WNBA draft.

In spite of her poor shooting performance (5 of 19 overall, 2 of 14 from outside the arc), Clark led the Hawkeyes in assists (7), rebounds (10) and scoring (24 points). Together, her teammates were 13 out of 30 from behind the arc.

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen her miss 11 3s in a row, and that could probably include practice and everything else,” Lisa Bluder, the Iowa coach, said. “I’m really proud of her for the way she handled that.”

“I think that’s the best thing for us is to have a game like this because now these guys all have great confidence. They have more belief in themselves and each other. If Caitlin has a bad night [shooting], OK, we can still survive that.”

Clark’s 265 career points in the Big Ten tournament also tied former Ohio State standout Kelsey Mitchell’s record. In the semifinal matchup against Michigan on Saturday, Clark will try to shatter that record.

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