Iowa’s Caitlin Clark gets 16th triple-double, nears more records

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Iowa Hawkeyes guard Caitlin Clark got her 16th career triple-double Sunday, moved closer to more career scoring marks and had a spot on the Carver-Hawkeye Arena floor memorialized for her.

Coming off a tough loss Thursday at Indiana, the No. 4 Hawkeyes looked much more like themselves in a 101-85 victory over Illinois in Iowa City, Iowa. Clark had 24 points, 15 rebounds and 10 assists, her fifth triple-double this season. She was one assist away from that Thursday in the 86-69 loss in Bloomington, Indiana.

Iowa has won all 16 games in which Clark has had a triple-double. Her career total is second among NCAA Division I women’s or men’s players, behind Oregon’s Sabrina Ionescu, who had 26 triple-doubles from 2016 to 2020.

Before Sunday’s matchup, a “22 Clark” decal was affixed to the court in the spot where Clark hit a deep 3-pointer on Feb. 15 vs. Michigan that broke the NCAA women’s basketball scoring record, previously held by Washington’s Kelsey Plum.

“I didn’t really see it until I came out to warm up,” Clark said of the decal. “I knew, because Coach [Lisa] Bluder had told me about it. It’s cool. Honestly, it seems a bit further back than where I actually shot it from, but that’s where they claim I shot it from.

“It’s super special; that’s something I’ll always remember and a shot I’ll always remember. I’m thankful for this university and the athletic department that wanted to do that; they didn’t have to do that.”

Clark is now at 3,617 points; she will need 33 to pass Kansas’ Lynette Woodard for the women’s major-college record. Woodard, who played in the pre-NCAA era from 1977 to 1981, had 3,649 points and is the AIAW major-college record holder. Pearl Moore, who played at Francis Marion from 1975 to ’79, is the AIWA small school/overall record holder at 3,884.

Clark is 51 points from passing LSU’s Pete Maravich, the NCAA Division I men’s and women’s record holder at 3,667. Maravich played from 1967 to 1970, before freshman eligibility. Maravich, Moore and Woodard all played before the 3-point line was implemented in college basketball.

The Hawkeyes, who hit 17 3-pointers Sunday, moved to 24-4 overall, and they’re tied for second in the Big Ten at 13-3 behind 15-1 Ohio State. The lack of balanced scoring hurt the Hawkeyes in their loss at Indiana, but was remedied Sunday. Three other Iowa starters besides Clark scored in double figures, and the Hawkeyes got 25 points off the bench.

“We felt like we were really sped up on offense at Indiana,” Clark said. “We also just didn’t make shots. We took a lot of good shots, but there were also a lot of things we could have done a lot better on the offensive end. Coming back here, you want to have a really good performance and feel really great about yourself going into the last week of regular-season play. I thought that’s exactly what we did.”

The Hawkeyes have two regular-season games left: Wednesday at Minnesota and next Sunday at home against Ohio State.

“I’m really happy with the way we shot the ball from a variety of people,” Bluder said. “For us to be really successful, that’s what we have to be. We want people to step up, because it makes Caitlin’s job easier.”

Clark added, “That’s what we’re going to need going forward. It can’t be one or two people. It’s hard to play box-and-one, it’s hard to play zone when we shoot the ball like this. Hopefully, it was just a good learning experience for us at Indiana and showed us things we have to clean up. Their environment was great, so that could have sped us up, too. So just staying a little more calm.”

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