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Feb 10, 2024 6:38 am

Iowa’s Caitlin Clark shoots for scoring history at Nebraska

Caitlin Clark

Caitlin Clark is within reach of the Division I women’s basketball all-time scoring record entering second-ranked Iowa’s game against Nebraska on Sunday in Lincoln, Neb.

Clark, who leads the nation in scoring this season with 32.2 points per game, is 38 points shy of tying the mark of 3,527 points set by Kelsey Plum when she played at Washington from 2013-17.

Clark has scored 38 points or more six times this season, including a 38-point effort in the Hawkeyes’ 92-73 win over the Cornhuskers on Jan. 27 in Iowa City.

“It’s going to happen. So, to me, that’s not important,” Iowa coach Lisa Bluder said. “I would rather have her break it at home, just because I think our Carver-Hawkeye (Arena) fans deserve that, but believe me, our No. 1 priority will be to win the game at Nebraska.”

Whenever Clark breaks the record — whether on Sunday or on Thursday at home against Michigan — Bluder said the team has been advised to not stop the game to acknowledge the mark.

“Maybe I’ll call a timeout, who knows,” Bluder said.

Iowa (22-2, 11-1 Big Ten) is coming off a victory in which Clark, a senior guard, played well but wasn’t the star.

Sophomore forward Hannah Stuelke scored a career-high 47 points on 17-of-20 shooting from the floor in a 111-93 home win over Penn State on Thursday. Stuelke’s total broke the single-game scoring record for Carver-Hawkeye Arena. She was the first Iowa player to outscore Clark in a game since Molly Davis scored 17 points and Clark had 15 against Rutgers on Feb. 12, 2023.

“It was a lot of fun,” Stuelke said. “My teammates did a great job of getting me the ball. I had some mismatches in there.”

Stuelke’s performance proved once more that Iowa is much more than just Clark, as the Hawkeyes look the part of a contender for the Big Ten title and the national championship. Iowa also got 16 points and 16 rebounds from Kate Martin in the victory.

Clark piled up 27 points and 15 assists in the win over the Nittany Lions. With eight field goals, she became the Big Ten’s all-time leader in shots made. And with her assists, she tied the Carver-Hawkeye Arena for the most in a game.

“Caitlin had some amazing assists,” Bluder said. “We just have people stepping up. … It’s really good to see us have contributions from people other than just Caitlin.”

Nebraska (15-8, 7-5) is working to improve its NCAA Tournament resume. The Cornhuskers, viewed as a bubble team, sit 31st in the NCAA’s NET rankings after a 65-59 road victory over Michigan on Tuesday.

Alexis Markowski led the Cornhuskers over the Wolverines with 18 points and nine rebounds. She is averaging 16.5 points and 10.1 boards per game this season, while Jaz Shelley is contributing 12.2 points, 5.1 assists and 4.3 rebounds.

Clark has a history of torching Nebraska. She is 8-0 against the Cornhuskers in her career, having scored at least 30 points in each of those games.

“We obviously haven’t cracked the code on Caitlin Clark,” Nebraska coach Amy Williams said. “But nobody has. You see people say, ‘OK, we’re going to take away her left hand,’ and then she goes for 41, driving right.”

The game at Nebraska is sold out and will be televised nationally by Fox.

–Field Level Media

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