Caitlin Clark breaks Pete Maravich's NCAA scoring record: Here's how Iowa guard made history

Iowa star Caitlin Clark, in front of her family, friends, fans and childhood idol Maya Moore, broke the all-time NCAA scoring record of 3,667 on Sunday, held for over 54 years by Pete Maravich. Clark needed just 18 points to surpass the record, scoring her 3,668th point from the free throw line just before the end of the first half.

Clark got off to a slower start shooting wise, and while that's what everyone has been paying attention to, she's a complete player who can contribute to the game in all ways. With 2:20 left in the first, she had three points but five assists. By the end of the quarter, she had added three points and two steals to that total. She woke up in the second quarter, scoring 12 more points to break that record.

Caitlin Clark's ongoing pursuit of history

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

The next milestone the Iowa superstar point guard surpassed stood for decades longer.

Lynette Woodard is the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) record-holder for large schools and was largely considered the all-time collegiate women's scoring leader before Clark passed her by with another standout performance on Wednesday. Woodard's career was in the late 1970s and early 1980s when the AIAW governed women's sports. The NCAA did not sponsor them until 1982 and for the most part has omitted AIAW statistics from their record books.

Clark racked up 15 points in a matter of minutes and overtook Woodard's total of 3,649 points with her final shot of the game, a 3-pointer.

Next on the list was Pete Maravich, the all-time NCAA Division I scoring leader with 3,667 points from 1967-70. The LSU star played when freshmen were not varsity-eligible and there was no 3-point line. His record is revered and had not been challenged until fifth-year guard Antoine Davis fell three points short of tying it last March.

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

Caitlin Clark’s recent scoring performances

Feb. 28: Iowa 108, Minnesota 60 — 29 points (3,650 career points)

It was immediately reminiscent of Caitlin Clark's historic night against Michigan. The NCAA women's scoring champ drained a triple on the first possession, added an and-1 and another triple, and suddenly was on a solo 15-point run while tripling up Minnesota. It was another dazzling performance that drew Clark to 18 points from passing Pete Maravich's NCAA all-time scoring record. She scored 33 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists.

It was her second consecutive triple-double and sixth of the season. She has 17 overall, trailing only Sabrina Ionescu (26) in the NCAA record books. After starting hot with 15 points in three minutes, Minnesota played tougher defense and Clark used it to feed the rest of the Hawkeyes.

Feb. 25: Iowa 101, Illinois 85 — 24 points

Clark has yet to score fewer than 20 points in a game this year after accruing another 24-point outing within the week. She fed teammates with 10 assists and reeled in 15 rebounds for her 16th career triple-double and fifth on the year.

Clark's supporting case stepped up to avoid back-to-back losses. The team is averaging 103 points in their four games following losses this year. Hannah Stuelke scored 20 with nine rebounds. Molly Davis, who looked more agressive than games past while battling an illness, scored 17 and Kate Martin scored 13. Clark (5-13 from 3), Davis (3-6), Martin (3-6), Kylie Feuerbach (3-5) and Taylor McCabe (2-2) led Iowa's 3-point scoring attack. They were 17-of-37 (45.9%).

Feb. 22: Indiana 86, Iowa 69 — 24 points

The Hoosiers blasted the Hawkeyes, 86-69, at home after the fourth-ranked Hawkeyes had a week off of games after Clark's record-breaking outing. The Wooden Award favorite finished with 24 points on a tough shooting night, going 8-for-26 (3-of-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 hard it was to get clean looks against Indiana's mix of rotating defenders.

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

Feb. 15: Iowa 106, Michigan 89 — 49 points

Clark needed eight points for the record and swished three shots within about two minutes to hit the mark. She went on to score a career-best 49 points that also set the Iowa women's program record and the Carver-Hawkeye Arena record, where the men also play.

“That was never really my goal to get it done really fast, but [I] made my first couple of shots [and] was able to get another one up pretty fast,” Clark said. “It was nice to get it done there fairly quick so we could just kind of move on and focus on the basketball game.”

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

The rest of her stat line was just as packed with 13 assists, five rebounds and one steal.

Caitlin Clark can make more history

Clark's 32.4 ppg is almost five points better than her previous career high (27.8 ppg as a junior) and slightly off the women's single-season record mark of 33.6 ppg set in 1989 by Mississippi Valley State's Patricia Hoskins. At 28.3 ppg over her career, she could break the women's all-time mark of 28.4 ppg set by Hoskins from 1986-89.

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

She is eight made 3s from moving into second on the all-time 3-pointer 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 is sixth all-time in assists, trailing Suzie McConnell (1,307), Andrea Nagy (1,165), Courtney Vandersloot (1,118), Sabrina Ionescu (1,091) and Tine Freil (1,088). She's averaging 8.5 this season and 8.1 over her career.

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