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Caitlin Clark delivers dazzling performance in Minneapolis

The Hawkeyes outscored the Gophers women’s basketball team by nearly 50 points as Clark made history again.
Image by CJ Bonk
Caitlin Clark is now 17 points away from breaking the NCAA all-time scoring record.

Between the sold-out crowd, the line to get in and the applause, one would think there was a parade in Minneapolis on Wednesday. It was just Caitlin Clark.

Fans stood outside in 17-degree weather for nearly two hours before the game started to watch Clark. Many made the four-and-a-half-hour trek from Iowa City, Iowa to Williams just to watch her play.

Clark didn’t take long to show Minneapolis why she is the leading NCAA women’s basketball scorer. Each time she shot the ball, a sea of fans wearing Gopher maroon and Hawkeye gold jumped to their feet in awe.

“It’s cool just to see the impact we’ve had across the country,” Clark said.

The excitement for Clark seemed to wear off later in the game until she made history again by breaking Lynette Woodward’s women’s college basketball scoring record on a 3-point shot late in the fourth quarter.

Clark’s record-breaking night came just 13 days after she broke Kelsey Plum’s women’s NCAA all-time scoring record.

“The NCAA didn’t want to recognize women and what they did back in the 1980s,” Clark said. “I wouldn’t have the opportunity to be able to do what I’m doing every single night if it wasn’t for people like her.” 

The Gophers were no strangers to Clark’s abilities from beyond the arc. Several Gophers defenders guarded her at once, leaving Clark no choice but to dish out a cross-court pass to her teammates down to the corners of the arc.

A sigh of relief came for the Gophers when Clark checked out after reaching her third foul. 

Even without Clark, Iowa was still dominant as exemplified by Hawkeye guard Gabbie Marshall’s quickness on the court which led to a 16-point performance.

Head coach for the Gophers Dawn Plitzuweit said her goal for the team coming into the game was to have all of her players walk away saying they competed at a “high level.”

“I don’t think we really did that,” Plitzuweit said.

The Gophers put up shots short of the rim in the first half, addressed the issue at halftime, and then rushed shots in the second half.

Stopping the Hawkeyes was a critical yet seemingly impossible task for the Gophers throughout the game. 

Battle was among several Gophers players who routinely dove to the ground fighting for control of the ball as if they would never see another possession.

“It was pretty tough,” Battle said. 

Clark’s 33 points contributed to a dominating 108-60 win over the Gophers. After breaking Woodward’s record, she is just 17 points away from breaking Pete Maravich’s 54-year-old scoring record of 3,667 career points.

Lately, Clark has been in a scoring slump from her typical above-30-point nights, averaging 27 through her last three matches.

Head coach for Iowa Lisa Bluder said Clark’s achievements throughout the season are hopefully a wake-up call to the NCAA.

“Why would you not recognize the women that played in the 70s and 80s,” Bluder said. “It makes no sense, but maybe, maybe the NCAA will realize that now.”

Clark’s next match is against Ohio State on Sunday. She’s played 29 games this season and scored 909 points.

While Clark has yet to make any decision on whether she will return for a fifth year, fans made clear what they want from her after the game, chanting “one more year.”

This story has been updated.

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