Iowa’s Caitlin Clark breaks NCAA women’s basketball scoring record

Caitlin Clark has broken the NCAA women’s basketball career scoring record, passing Kelsey Plum’s 3,527-point mark Thursday night at the start of the Iowa Hawkeyes game against the Michigan Wolverines.

Clark scored the first eight points of the game for Iowa, breaking the record on a deep three-pointer. She finished the game with 49 points, a career-high and Iowa women’s basketball single-game record, bringing her career points total to 3,569.

The record-breaking shot came just a little over two minutes into the game. Following Michigan’s next possession, which came up empty, Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder called timeout to allow Clark’s teammates and the fans to celebrate the milestone.

Clark said in a halftime interview she was “grateful,” according to CBS Sports.

“Thankful to be surrounded by people — be in a city that supports women’s basketball so much, be surrounded by my best friends and the people that want to see me be great and push me to be great every single day,” she said.

Michigan v Iowa
Caitlin Clark of the Iowa Hawkeyes celebrates after breaking the NCAA women’s all-time scoring record during the first half against the Michigan Wolverines at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on February 15, 2024, in Iowa City, Iowa.GETTY IMAGES

“On behalf of everyone at the Big Ten Conference, we want to congratulate you on becoming the NCAA women’s college basketball all-time leading scorer,” Big Ten commissioner Tony Petitti said in a prerecorded video statement. “Your contributions to women’s basketball are truly remarkable. You are an absolute inspiration. So again, congratulations to you, your family, your coaches and your teammates on this remarkable achievement. We cannot wait to see more great things ahead.”

The video also featured congratulations from multiple sports legends, including seven-time Super Bowl winner and former Michigan Wolverine Tom Brady, who told Clark, “We love witnessing greatness here. Keep your head down, go finish the job, and I’ll be watching.”

Lisa Byington, who now does play-by-play for the Milwaukee Bucks, said she felt “honored” to have called Clark’s games during her freshman year in 2020.

Two-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback Peyton Manning joked that while he was playing football he “hated settling for three points,” but Clark managed to turn him into a fan of the three-pointer, “not an easy task.”

The video also included a shoutout from “CBS Mornings” cohost Gayle King, who filmed her congratulatory message while on a break from covering last weekend’s Super Bowl.

Clark came into Thursday’s game averaging 32.1 points and 8.3 assists per game this season, according to ESPN, both the highest in NCAA Division 1 women’s basketball. She also averages the most three-pointers per game at 5.2.

This season, she became the sixth woman ever to have 1,000 career assists, and is the only player in NCAA Division I history to score more than 3,000 points and have 1,000 assists, according to CBS Sports.

Clark also has a good chance of breaking the all-time Division I scoring record of 3,667 points, set by LSU’s Pete Maravich, who played from 1967 to 1970. With just 99 points between her and the all-time record, Clark could feasibly move into first place sometime in the four remaining regular season games.

If she doesn’t, the No.4-ranked Hawkeyes will play in the Big 10 tournament and are also sure to make the NCAA tournament, giving her at the very least two more cracks at the record.