Clark sets Big 10 scoring record, Iowa rolls at NU

EVANSTON, Ill. — All Caitlin Clark needed to set the Big Ten career scoring record in women’s basketball was 14 points. She scored a few more than that in Evanston against the Northwestern Wildcats Wednesday night.

Clark, who finished her night with 35 points on 11/22 shooting with 6 rebounds and 10 assists, hit the 14-point mark with 4:58 to go in the second quarter after she hit a driving layup to put Iowa up 38-21.

Before Clark’s record-breaking performance, Ohio State University standout Kelsey Mitchell held the previous career record with 3,402 points scored from 2014 to 2018.

Clark, who also passed Jackie Stiles (1997-01) of Missouri State on the NCAA all-time career scoring list Wednesday night, now has 3,424 career points and only trails University of Washington and current Las Vegas Aces star Kelsey Plum, who scored 3,527 points during her college career with the Huskies from 2013 to 2017.

After Clark’s record-setting bucket in the second quarter, the rest of the game was a relative breeze for the No. 3-ranked Hawkeyes as they downed the Wildcats, 110-74, by the sound of the final buzzer.

Coming into the game, the Wildcats were on a four-game losing streak and 1-6 in conference play in the month of January, which included 40-plus-point losses to No. 14 Indiana (59-100), Illinois (52-93) and Penn State (55-95), and a 30-point loss to No. 20 Ohio State (60-90).

Crowds everywhere Clark goes

Despite the lopsided loss, Northwestern made history themselves Wednesday night.

For the first time in school history, Welsh-Ryan Arena sold out for a women’s basketball game. Ahead of tip off, cheapest tickets found on marketplaces like SeatGeek, StubHub and Ticketmaster were going from $201 to $251.

From getting buckets, to dishing out assists

The NCAA all-time scoring list isn’t the only all-time list Clark is climbing either.

Clark, who passed Ohio State’s Samantha Prahalis for the Big Ten career assists record after a Dec. 30 victory against the University of Minnesota, currently sits fourth all-time in assists (968) behind Baylor’s Niya Johnson (988), Oregon’s Sabrina Ionescu (1091) and Gonzaga’s Courtney Vandersloot (1118), who made five WNBA all-star teams and helped the Chicago Sky win the 2021 WNBA Championship in 12 seasons with the Sky.

Likely dates for Clark’s next milestones

With eight games left in the regular season for Iowa — if she maintains her season averages — Clark is on pace to break the NCAA all-time scoring record on Feb. 15 when the University of Michigan travels to Iowa City.

While Clark is more than likely going to break the NCAA all-time career scoring record, the all-time career assist mark is less likely.

Clark needs 150 assists to pass Vandersloot, meaning at her current averages (7.6 APG), Clark would need to play 20 more games, or average 9.4 assists per game over 16 more games, which would require the Hawkeyes to make deep runs in the Big Ten and NCAA tournament.

Future dynamic duo?

An interesting side note to the evening, Mitchell currently plays for the WNBA’s Indiana Fever — who own the No. 1 pick in the upcoming WNBA draft — meaning the No. 1 and 2 all-time scorers in Big Ten history could team up in the heart of Big Ten country starting next WNBA season.

Iowa’s (20-2, 9-1) next game takes place Saturday at the University of Maryland with a 7 p.m. ET time set for tipoff.

Northwestern (7-14, 2-8) takes on the University of Wisconsin at home Sunday, with tipoff set for 2 p.m. CT.

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