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Clark sets scoring record as the GOAT goes wild at the Barn

At the hottest place to be on a cold February night, a sellout crowd packed Williams Arena Wednesday to see Caitlin Clark do, basically, what she does.

Break records.

And she did: Clark's three-pointer — her eighth of the game — with 4 minutes and 29 seconds left in Iowa's 108-60 win over the Gophers made her the highest-scoring woman to ever play Division I basketball with 3,650 points.

Afterward Clark paid homage to those who came before her, particularly Lynette Woodard's Division I record she had just bested by a point. It came when Woodard played for Kansas up until 1981, before the NCAA sanctioned women's basketball, when the sport was governed by the Association of Interscholastic Athletics for Women, whose scoring records the NCAA basically ignores.

"The NCAA doesn't want to recognize women and what they did," Clark said. "But [what they did] speaks to the foundation these players laid for us, for us to have the opportunity to play in front of crowds like this, in environments like this."

It was the second-ever crowd of 14,625 in Gophers history and yet another sellout in Clark's tour around the Big Ten Conference. Many thousand of them were Hawkeyes fans, including young girls who came early and stayed late hoping to get an autograph.

In between: Clark scored 33 points with 10 rebounds and 12 assists, leading five players in double figures for Iowa (25-4 overall, 14-3 in conference play).Really, just a few minutes into the game, it became clear the only real drama was whether Clark — who already passed Kelsey Plum for the NCAA record — would surpass Woodard. But the crowd got their money's worth.

"Obviously she's the most dominant player, the best player, to have played in the women's game," Gophers coach Dawn Plitzuweit said. "Bar none. To do what she does, game after game, is almost mind-boggling."

Clark is now 17 points away from Pete Maravich's NCAA overall record total of 3,667 set when he played at LSU.

BOXSCORE: Iowa 108, Gophers 60

As much as Plitzuweit appreciates Clark's talent, she was disappointed in the way her team defended her.And it started early. On the Hawkeyes' first possession a Gophers player went under a screen and Clark responded with an open three from the top of the key. Then Clark rebounded a Gophers miss, went the length of the floor, scored and made the free throw. Moments later she hit a three from just inside the midcourt logo, then she hit a three in transition.

By the time the first quarter ended the Hawkeyes had a 30-16 lead and Clark had either scored or assisted in 21 of those 30 points.

Then the second quarter started with two Clark threes and her assist on a three. After a 16-0 start to the quarter, Iowa led by 30.Clark had 15 in the first quarter, six in the second. In the final minute of the third quarter she scored in transition to come within two points of Woodard.

She only took three more shots the rest of the game.

There was some thought that Clark would wait to break Woodard's record at home in Iowa's regular season finale, that Iowa coach Lisa Bluder would sub out her star. But, as Bluder said, "I was going to let her get the record."

The Hawkeyes shot 61.8%, making 22 of 39 threes, those 22 makes a record for a Gophers opponent. The Gophers (15-13, 5-12) — who got 18 points from Amaya Battle, 17 from Janay Sanders and 12 from Grace Grocholski — shot 32.4%.

Without starters Mara Braun and Sophie Hart they scored 60 or fewer points for the third straight game.

Clark got her 17th career triple-double and her second straight.

Oh, and another record. One Bluder, who played in the AIAW era, called the "true record."