Caitlin Clark’s quest to break Pete Maravich’s NCAA scoring record: How many more games until the Iowa star reaches the milestone?

By | February 23, 2024

After Caitlin Clark’s record-setting night against Michigan last week, the NCAA women’s scoring champion would come back down to earth.

Clark and No. 4 Iowa did just that Thursday against No. 14 Indiana on the road as the Hoosiers destroyed the Hawkeyes, 86-69. The Wooden Award favorite finished with 24 points on a tough shooting night, going 8-for-26 (3-for-16 from 3-point range) with 10 rebounds, nine assists and two steals. She was held to just four points in the second half as the Hoosiers extended their lead.

Clark admitted after the game how difficult it was to get clean looks against Indiana’s mix of rotating defenders.

“I think being physical, guarding my face and throwing a lot of different people at me, yeah, just being very physical,” Clark said. “They pushed me out of place a little bit, got me out a little deeper than I wanted to.”

After being largely held in check Thursday, Clark now needs 75 points to break Pete Maravich’s all-time NCAA scoring record with three games remaining in the regular season (home vs. Illinois, at Minnesota, home vs. Ohio State).

The loss drops Iowa below Indiana in the Big Ten standings at 12-3. The Hoosiers sit at 13-3, while No. 2 Ohio State leads the conference at 14-1.

Caitlin Clark’s ongoing search for history

Caitlin Clark wrote a storybook ending in her becoming the NCAA Division I all-time women’s scoring leader. The mark she broke on a characteristically deep “logo 3” was held by Kelsey Plum for seven years.

The next milestones that are well within reach for Iowa’s superstar point guard have been around for decades longer. They are linked to two basketball legends, although their status in the history books is very different.

Lynette Woodard is the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) record holder for large schools and is largely considered the all-time leader in collegiate women’s scoring. She scored 3,649 points for Kansas in the late 1970s and early 1980s, when the AIAW ruled women’s sports. The NCAA didn’t sponsor them until 1982 and has, for the most part, left AIAW stats out of their record books.

Pete Maravich is the all-time NCAA Division I scoring leader with 3,667 points from 1967 to 1970. The LSU star played when freshmen were ineligible for the varsity and there was no three-point line. His record is respected and was only tested when fifth-year guard Antoine Davis fell three points short of tying the game last March. No player, men or women, playing in the traditional four-season period was on pace to match or exceed the target.

Clark reached 3,569 career points after her historic record-breaking night in Iowa City, within 100 points of Woodard and Maravich.

Yahoo Sports follows Clark’s quest for the all-time NCAA scoring mark after each Iowa game. She has an additional year of eligibility if she chooses to stay for a fifth year. If she declares for the 2024 WNBA Draft, which will be held in April, she is expected to go No. 1 overall to the Indiana Fever.

[Game-by-game: How Clark took the NCAA DI women’s scoring record]

Remainder of Iowa’s regular season games

Sunday: vs. Illinois (FS1, 1 p.m. ET)
Wednesday, Feb. 28: In Minnesota (Peacock, 9 p.m. ET)
Sunday March 3: vs. Ohio State (FOX, 1 p.m. ET)

March 6-10: Big Ten Tournament
As a likely top-four seed, Iowa will play a maximum of three games, starting in the quarterfinals on March 8.

Games

PPG

FG%

3FG%

3s per game

ILLINOIS

3

23.6

43.3 (26-60)

48 (12-25)

4

MINNESOTA

6

32.2

54 (67-124)

50 (28-56)

4.6

STATE OF OHIO

6

33.8

49 (64-130)

39.7 (29-73)

4.8

Clark has scored at least 20 points in every game this season. Her only single-digit performance came as a freshman in her 10th collegiate appearance (eight points vs. Northwestern). Including her program record and personal best of 49 points against Michigan to break the all-time record, she has four 40-plus point performances as a senior and 12 during her career.

Caitlin Clark’s recent scoring performance

February 15: Iowa 106, Michigan 89 – 49 points (3,569 career points)

Needing eight points for the record, Clark took three shots in about two minutes to hit the mark. She went on to score a career-best 49 points, also setting the record for the Iowa women’s program and the record for Carver-Hawkeye Arena, where the men also play.

“That was never really my goal to get it done really quickly, but [I] took my first few photos [and] was able to get another one pretty quickly,” Clark said. “It was nice to get it done there pretty quickly so we could just move on and focus on the game of basketball.”

It was one of her most efficient performances of the year. She shot 51.6% overall and 50% from 3. Her 18 three-point attempts ranked second this season and her nine attempts tied a career-high. She hit all eight free throws.

The rest of her stats were just as packed with 13 assists, five rebounds and one steal.

Caitlin Clark can make more history

Clark’s 32.4 ppg is nearly five points better than her previous career high (27.8 ppg as a junior) and slightly lower than the single-season record of 33.6 ppg set in 1989 by Mississippi Valley State’s Patricia Hoskins. With 28.3 ppg over her career, she was able to break Hoskins’ record of 28.4 ppg from 1986-89.

She could also break three-point records in the next two weeks. Taylor Pierce holds the record for most three-pointers made in a single season (154 over 34 games in 2019) and most three-pointers made per game in a single season (4.53 in 2019). Clark has hit 143 3s this season as of Feb. 22. She averages 5.3 per game, which would set the record.

She is 8 made 3s away from second on the all-time three-point list, ahead of Kelsey Mitchell (497 over 139 games). Taylor Robertson made 537 3s in 151 games at Oklahoma from 2018-23. She played five seasons under the COVID-19 eligibility waiver.

Clark ranks sixth all-time in assists, behind Suzie McConnell (1,307), Andrea Nagy (1,165), Courtney Vandersloot (1,118), Sabrina Ionescu (1,091) and Tine Freil (1,088). She has an average of 8.5 this season and an average of 8.1 throughout her career.

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