Caitlin Clark secures historic title as leading scorer in Division I Women’s Basketball

Caitlin Clark secures historic title as leading scorer in Division I Women’s Basketball


Caitlin Clark Leaves Basketball World in awe, notching a career-High 49 Points in record-breaking performance. The Iowa Hawkeyes defeated the Michigan Wolverines, 106-89 in a blow out fashion at home.

IOWA CITY, IOWA- FEBRUARY 15: Caitlin Clark #22 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. (Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images)

“You break it, you own it.” That was the Nike theme of Thursday night.

What an extraordinary evening for Iowa Hawkeyes star Caitlin Clark. Despite Michigan employing a box-and-one defense, Clark proved she was unstoppable.

She started the night just eight points shy of the all-time Division 1 women’s basketball scoring title. In front of a packed crowd at the Carver-Hawkeye Arena, Clark reached this milestone less than three minutes into the game. The historic shot came on a three-pointer with 7:48 remaining in the first quarter, assisted by Gabbie Marshall. She finished the night with a career-high 49 points, 5 rebounds, and 13 assists, on 16-31 (51.6 percent field goal shooting).


Usually not one to display much emotion on the court, Clark was seen shedding tears last night. The reason? The overwhelming support from her family and brothers. Clark was quick to acknowledge the unwavering support she has received from her teammates, coaches, and parents through both the triumphs and challenges. The tribute video was very emotional, as Clark watched from the court.

Clark is close to passing Pete Maravich for the all-time scoring record

With a grin, Clark expressed certainty about the manner in which she would surpass the scoring record.

“You all knew I was going to shoot a logo three for the record, come on now,” Clark said post game followed by laughter. (Iowa Hawkeyes PR).

Clark has now surpassed Las Vegas Aces star Kelsey Plum, becoming the top scorer in Division 1 Women’s Basketball with 3,569 points. She currently trails Antoine Davis of Detroit Mercy by 95 points, who holds the second all-time position for Division 1 men’s basketball with 3,664 points.

“Pistol Pete” Maravich, representing LSU, remains at the pinnacle of the leaderboards as the all-time leading scorer in Division 1 NCAA men’s basketball with 3,667 points. With a gap of 98 points behind Maravich, Clark would have to maintain an average of 24.5 points or higher over the remaining four games of the season. With Clark averaging 32.8 points on the season, she’s on pace to break Maravich’s record. This would likely occur on senior night, against Ohio State, on Mar. 3.

The Caitlin Clark effect is REAL

As her family looked on, the crowd burst into cheers as Clark hurried back into transition defense. With 7:18 remaining in the first quarter, her teammates greeted the basketball sensation on the court. Clark, sporting a wide smile, shared an emotional moment with Iowa head coach Lisa Blunder. After taking a seat to replenish with fluids, she received a standing ovation, and announcement at the arena.

Laughing it off, Clark stated “I thought coach Blunder was going to call the timeout before I had to go play defense. But she didn’t, so I had to go play defense.”

Admitting she could’ve hit the shot much earlier, Clark insisted she was a tad tired. After all, she scored a total of eight minutes in less than three minutes. All too real, the Hawkeyes guard remembers the moment as clear as ever.

“I think I kind of stepped back to my left a little bit and was able to get it off.” said Clark (Hawkeyes PR)

Beaming during the post-game press conference, Clark expressed gratitude for the experience.

“I don’t know if you can script it any better,” Clark told the media. “Just to do it in this fashion, I’m very grateful. I’m very thankful to be surrounded by so many people that have kind of been my foundation ij everything that I’ve done since I was a young little girl.” (Iowa Hawkeyes PR)

The Caitlin effect is real. The impact of Caitlin is undeniable, as she has profoundly influenced the growth and development of women’s basketball. Continuing to assert her dominance on the court, Clark emerges as a transformative figure, inspiring not only women’s sports but also young fans with aspirations.

Caitlin Clark has elevated women’s sports

By elevating the visibility of women’s basketball, Clark emerges as a generational talent with a profound impact both on and off the court, a legacy destined to endure for years to come. According to the NCAA, schools that host Iowa and Clark have seen an increase in attendance up to 150 percent. And let’s not overlook the 55,646 spectators who attended a preseason game against DePaul at Kinnick Stadium. This alone shattered the all-time attendance record for women’s basketball (NCAA).

“The way these fans support women’s basketball is so special,” Caitlin Clark said.

In addition to her rising popularity, three of Iowa’s games have been aired on major networks this season. Leading up to Super Bowl Sunday, the Iowa vs. Nebraska game garnered an astonishing 1.77 million views, setting a record for women’s basketball on the Fox network. With women’s sports raising in popularity, thanks to Clark and other rising players, ESPN has a new eight year media deal with the NCAA.

Gaining popularity by leaps and bounds, Clark transcends mere scoring. With averages of 6.9 rebounds and 8.5 assists, the guard showcases elite skills on the glass and is a remarkable playmaker. Reflecting on her early days with the Hawkeyes, she recalls the sparse media presence at games. Nonetheless, she maintains that her approach to the game has remained unchanged.

“There was like no one here,” said Clark on her first game with Iowa her Freshman year. “I saw some clips of me playing the other day–I look a lot different, my hair is a lot longer, I’m very very scrawny, I had no muscle definition. A lot of my game is the exact same, so that was funny to watch, and it’s crazy how time flies. It feels just yesterday I was playing that game with nobody in the stands, wearing a mask on the bench. It’s kind of cool to see the evolution of what this has become.” (Hawkeyes PR).

Despite breaking the record, Caitlin Clark is all about her team

Despite the historic nature of the night, Clark redirected her gratitude towards her teammates and their exemplary performance against Michigan. With four games left in the season, the guard is fully focused on finishing strong and making a deep run into March Madness. At 23-3, Iowa remains the No. 4 seed.

“I think getting this record is tremendous and has to be celebrated,” Clark told the press. “There’s been so many people to come before me and lay such a great foundation for women’s basketball and that has to be celebrated too. We are getting into the best part of basketball season. These are the times where your team really shows who they are. I think Iowa basketball is at such a high right now, and it’s so fun to watch. Just trying to enjoy every single second, because this team is special.” (Hawkeyes PR).

Expressing we wouldn’t be where she is without her teammates, Clark insisted “Going forward, it’s all Iowa basketball, and that’s what it should be.”

Iowa’s next challenge awaits as they prepare to face off against No. 14 Indiana on the road on February 22nd. Following that matchup, they will go head-to-head against Illinois, Minnesota, and Ohio State in their upcoming games.

One of the best to ever play the game, the Iowa sensation is eligible to turn pro at the end of the year. If not, she has the choice to return to Iowa for a fifth season.

Stay tuned for more NCAA and WNBA related articles. Click here

Sara Jane Gamelli is a full-time Sportswriter, Content Creator and Social Media Manager for Ballislife Bets. She has a focus on the NBA, WNBA, NCAA Basketball, and the NFL. Sara Jane currently resides in Connecticut/NYC area with her Cat and Dog. SJ has her undergraduate degree from the University of Connecticut in Economics, with a minor in business administration.

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