Caitlin Clark surpasses Stephen Curry to break NCAA record for 3-pointers in a season

Caitlin Clark is still rewriting the NCAA's record books, even on her off nights.

She's now the all-time leader for 3-point field goals made in a single NCAA season, a record that she'd previously tied, in company with Golden State Warriors legend and former Davidson star Stephen Curry and former Liberty guard Darius McGhee at 162.

Clark entered Iowa's Big Ten tournament quarterfinal matchup against No. 7 seed Penn State just one 3-pointer shy of the mark on Friday, and it didn't come until the fourth quarter. She ended the 95-62 win with 24 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists, though she was an uncharacteristic 5-of-19 shooting and 2-of-14 from 3-point range.

Her first touch of the game resulted in a missed three midway through the first quarter, which was soon followed by two free throws for her first four points. Clark was quick to pass the ball when it came to her from then on, in keeping with her propensity to prioritize her teammates and Iowa's success when it counts.

But to the credit of the Nittany Lions' defense, and maybe Clark's awareness of the moment, she also missed 11 3-point attempts and turned the ball over twice before she could break the record. She didn't score a single field goal until she gave Iowa its first points of the second quarter, scoring a deep 2-pointer with less than four minutes remaining in the period.

She hit the record-breaking shot in front of an excited crowd with eight minutes left in the fourth. An expression of relief flashed across her face before she raised her hands and encouraged the cheers.

"The Clark Effect" has driven viewership and attendance through the roof this season, which is why the women’s Big Ten Tournament at the Target Center in Minneapolis was sold out for the first time in its history. More than 109,000 fans bought tickets for the five-day event.

When Curry was asked about Clark's stardom, he reflected on just how much times have changed since he brought crowds of reporters and fans to Davidson's games in 2008.

“I couldn’t imagine what it’s like now,” Curry said via The Athletic. “Mine was before Twitter was really a thing. I didn’t get Instagram until I was a junior in college. So just the social media element makes it so much crazier.”

There was no mistaking who drew Friday's crowd, as an audible "Caitlin Clark, Caitlin Clark, Caitlin Clark" disrupted the quiet of the opening tip-off.

Many of those fans were relishing in a moment they'd patiently awaited, lining up hours before Clark took the court.

The Big Ten Tournament is single elimination, presenting the potential for Friday's contest to be the last conference game of Clark's collegiate career. There wasn't much concern about that after the Hawkeyes ended the first half leading 46-26.

When Clark's unforgettable run in the NCAA does end, she'll take her talents to the WNBA. She announced her plans to forgo a fifth-year at Iowa via a social media post on Feb. 29.

Days after Clark broke the news of her WNBA intentions, on March 3, she scored 35 points in Iowa's 93-83 win over Ohio State to shatter LSU great Pete Maravich's all-time NCAA scoring record in her final regular-season college game.

Clark also broke some records in the NCAA tournament last year. She holds the mark for most 3-pointers in a single tournament with 25. She also broke the record for 3s made in a national championship, scoring eight in the loss to LSU.

She and Iowa will look to return to the title game when March Madness begins later this month. Selection Sunday is on March 17. But the Hawkeyes first hope to win the Big Ten tournament, which continues with the semifinals on Saturday and championship game Sunday.