Iowa's Caitlin Clark becomes No. 2 scorer in women's basketball history

Iowa guard Caitlin Clark scores a basket against Northwestern on Wednesday in Evansville, Ind. Photo courtesy of

Feb. 1 (UPI) -- Caitlin Clark caught a pass, dribbled by defenders and raced to the rim, sliding a layup through the net to become the No. 2 scorer in NCAA women's basketball in the second quarter of an Iowa win over Northwestern.

Clark made shot with about five minutes remaining in the first half Wednesday in Evansville, Ind. She scored a game-high 35 points, with 10 assists and six rebounds in the 110-74 victory.

"I didn't even know at what point it occurred," Clark told reporters.

Clark passed former Ohio State guard Kelsey Mitchell, who scored 3,402 points during her collegiate career, to become the No. 2 scorer in NCAA women's basketball history.

She now sits just 103 points behind former Washington guard Kelsey Plum, who scored a record 3,527 for the Huskies. Clark (3,424 points) also became the top scorer in Big Ten history by passing Mitchell.

Iowa Hawkeyes guard Caitlin Clark is averaging a national-best 32 points per game this season. File Photo by Ian Halperin/UPI
Iowa Hawkeyes guard Caitlin Clark is averaging a national-best 32 points per game this season. File Photo by Ian Halperin/UPI

"It's just special for me to be in the same area as them," Clark said of Mitchell and Plum. "Obviously, I play with a lot of really good teammates that have allowed me to do my thing."

The Hawkeyes outshot the Wildcats 55.9% to 41.5% overall and 46.4% to 38.9% from 3-point range. They also logged a 28-to-5 assist-to-turnover ratio and out-rebounded the Wildcats 42-30.

They edged the Wildcats 50-24 in points in the paint, 14-8 in second-chance points and 19-10 in fast break points. They held the lead for 36:42 of the 40-minute contest and led by as many as 37 points.

Clark scored 10 points in the first quarter, helping the Hawkeyes carry a 24-15 lead into the second. She scored her next points with a driving layup about 90 seconds into the quarter, moving within a point of Mitchell's career total.

Clark passed Mitchell about 3:32 later. The play started with an inbound pass on the opposite end of the floor at Welsh-Ryan Arena.

Clark dribbled over half court, did a crossover at the top of the 3-point arc, and dribbled through the paint. She then used her left hand to softly bounce a shot off the backboard and through the rim.

The Hawkeyes star totaled eight points in the quarter and 18 in the first half. She added another nine in the third and eight in the fourth. She made 11 of 22 shots, including 3 of 12 3-point attempts. Clark also made all 10 of her free throw attempts.

"Overtaking somebody with the caliber of Kelsey Mitchell is outstanding," Hawkeyes coach Lisa Bluder said of Clark. "I'm really proud of her and also of her 10 assists she had. She did a great job."

Hawkeyes forward Hannah Stuelke and guard Katie Martin chipped in 17 and 16 points, respectively. Wildcats guard Melannie Daley scored a team-high 19 points off the bench.

Clark is averaging 32 points per game this season, the most in women's or men's college basketball. She also logged a national-best 160 assists through 21 games for the Hawkeyes.

If she continues to average 32 points per game, she could pass Plum on the women's all-time scoring list when they host Michigan on Feb. 15 in Iowa City.

Former LSU guard Pete Maravich scored the most points (3,667) for any player -- men's or women's -- in NCAA basketball history. Clark sits 243 points behind Maravich's career total. If she hits her 32 point average for the next eight games, she would pass Maravich on senior day, when the Hawkeyes host Ohio State in their regular-season finale on March 3 in Iowa City.

The No. 3 Hawkeyes (20-2) will face Maryland (12-9) at 8 p.m. EST Sunday in College Park, Md.