The reigning consensus National Player of the Year moved up to second place on the all-time NCAA Division I women’s basketball scoring leaderboard on Wednesday night, as her Iowa Hawkeyes eased past the Northwestern Wildcats, 110-74.
Clark entered the game in fourth place on the scoring list, having passed WNBA legend Brittney Griner in January and sitting four points behind Missouri State’s Jackie Stiles in third and 13 behind second-placed former Ohio State star Kelsey Mitchell, per ESPN.
In yet another dominant performance, Clark racked up 35 points to bring her career total to 3,424, only 103 short of the all-time record held by Kelsey Plum.
The Iowa native also became the Big Ten Conference’s all-time leading scorer in the process.
“These coaches, they put me in positions to be successful, and you know, I’ve had a lot of really good teammates in my time here – and I can’t do it without all of them,” Clark said on-court after the game. “I can’t do it without Coach [Lisa] Bluder letting me have the keys to the offense.
“It’s cool to be in the same vicinity as some of those names – a lot of people I grew up idolizing and looking up to – so definitely special for me.”
Clark also dished out 10 assists, giving her a 54th career double-double, and grabbed six rebounds, per the Hawkeyes. It was also her 50th career game with at least 30 points, the most in men’s or women’s college basketball over the last 25 seasons.
The 22-year-old is projected to be selected first overall by the Indiana Fever if she enters the 2024 WNBA draft, though she has the option to remain at the college level for an additional year due to the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic on prior NCAA seasons.
Sophomore forward Hannah Stuelke added 17 points and nine rebounds for Iowa, while guard Kate Martin had 16. Melannie Daley led the way for Northwestern with 19 points off the bench.
The Hawkeyes took the lead just over three minutes into the game and did not relinquish their advantage from there.
“We came in here and got better. I love 28 assists on five turnovers, four people in double figures,” said Iowa head Coach Lisa Bluder after the game. “Caitlin becomes the all-time leading Big Ten scorer with this many games to go. I am always really proud of her.”
The Hawkeyes improve to 20-2 after Wednesday’s road victory as they seek a second straight national championship appearance. Bluder’s side will be looking to improve on last year’s result, having fallen at the final hurdle against the LSU Tigers in 2023.