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Iowa's Caitlin Clark sets NCAA scoring record with 35-foot 3-pointer

Iowa Hawkeyes guard Caitlin Clark scored 22 of her career-high 49 points in the first quarter of a win over Michigan on Thursday in Iowa City, Iowa. Photo by Brian Ray/HawkeyeSports.com
Iowa Hawkeyes guard Caitlin Clark scored 22 of her career-high 49 points in the first quarter of a win over Michigan on Thursday in Iowa City, Iowa. Photo by Brian Ray/HawkeyeSports.com

Feb. 16 (UPI) -- Caitlin Clark ran up the left flank, did a crossover dribble and heaved up a shot from the half-court logo, sinking the 35-foot attempt to set a record for the most career points in NCAA women's basketball history.

Clark hit the shot about 2:12 into Iowa's 106-89 victory over Michigan on Thursday in Iowa City, Iowa.

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"You all knew I was going to shoot a logo three," Clark told reporters, laughing as she answered questions about setting the record.

Clark entered the night just eight points shy of passing former Washington guard Kelsey Plum's previous record point total of 3,527. She finished the game with a career-high 49 points.

But the crowd of nearly 15,000 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena mostly came to see her break the record. And that didn't take long.

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Clark scored the Hawkeyes' first eight points. The All-American guard made a layup nine seconds in for a 2-0 Hawkeyes lead. She sank a 3-pointer on the next possession.

The Hawkeyes logged turnovers on their next two possessions, including one by Clark. Wolverines guard Laila Phelia then missed a short attempt, which was rebounded by Hawkeyes guard Gabbie Marshall. Marshall then passed off to Clark, who snagged the ball and dribbled once before crossing half court. She then completed her right-to-left crossover before stopping and launching her deep 3-pointer.

The shot soared over the court and sank through the nylon net, prompting an explosive cheer from the crowd.

"Warming up, my shot felt good," Clark said. "I knew it was going to be one of those nights. I played with a bit more pep in my step. I knew that's what this team needed after coming off a loss."

Clark went on to total 23 points over the first 10 minutes, one more point than the Wolverines totaled in the first quarter.

Clark scored another five points in the second quarter and the Hawkeyes led 53-41 at halftime. She scored another 10 in the third quarter and 11 in the fourth.

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"To do it in this fashion, I'm very grateful," Clark said. "I'm very thankful to be surrounded by so many people who have kind of been my foundation in everything I've done since I was a young little girl."

Clark, who now has 3,569 points, is just 81 points shy of passing former Kansas guard Lynette Woodard for the most points in the history of women's college basketball. Woodard scored 3,649 points for the Jayhawks from 1977 to 1981, but that record predated the NCAA's sponsorship of women's sports.

She is just 99 points shy of passing former LSU guard Pete Maravich (3,667) for the NCAA record (men's or women's) for most points during a college basketball career. Maravich accomplished that feat in just 83 games.

Clark, who is averaging a national-best 32.8 points per game, has made 126 career appearances for the Hawkeyes. If she scores her season average over the next three games, she would likely pass Maravich when the Hawkeyes face Minnesota on Feb. 28 in Minneapolis or during their regular-season finale against Ohio State on March 3 in Iowa City.

The No. 4 Hawkeyes (23-3) will battle the No. 14 Indiana Hoosiers (21-3) at 8 p.m. EST Thursday in Bloomington, Ind.

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