Caitlin Clark sets NCAA record for 3s in a season as No. 4 Iowa beats Penn State in Big Ten tourney

MINNEAPOLIS -- — Caitlin Clark broke the NCAA Division I record for 3-pointers in a season by a woman or man, finishing with 24 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists on a poor shooting night to lead No. 4 Iowa past Penn State 95-62 in the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals on Friday.

Clark missed her first 11 3s before finally connecting in the fourth quarter. It was her 163rd 3-pointer of the season, surpassing Stephen Curry of Davidson (2007-08) and Darius McGhee of Liberty (2022-23) for the most by a D-I player.

Clark, who had already surpassed Pete Maravich as the all-time leading scorer in D-I, finished 2 of 14 from long range and 5 of 19 from the field. But Iowa (27-4) still had little trouble with Penn State (19-12), leading 31-14 after the first quarter with Clark contributing only four free throws.

“I think as a shooter, sometimes you can feel it’s off, but honestly a lot of my shots I felt were right there,” Clark said. “I think that’s the most positive thing. A lot of them, I thought were going in, but they were sometimes a little short, sometimes a little long.”

The second-seeded Hawkeyes advanced to face Michigan in the Big Ten semifinals on Saturday.

Sydney Affolter scored a career-high 18 points and had nine rebounds for Iowa. Gabbie Marshall scored 15, Taylor McCabe had 12 and Kate Martin had 11 points and nine boards.

Leilani Kapinus led seventh-seeded Penn State with 19 points and Ashley Owusu had 18.

“Our game plan was going to be to take Caitlin out of her rhythm and hope the role players stayed in check, and tonight they stepped up in a big way,” Penn State coach Carolyn Kieger said. “So kudos to them.”

Clark, the nation's leading scorer who came in averaging 32.3 points per game, made her first field goal — a mid-range jumper — early in the second quarter. It was her only basket of the half, but she hit eight of nine free throws before halftime and 12 of 13 overall.

She’d been held without a 3-pointer only once in her college career. Clark went 0-for-6 from beyond the arc but scored 24 points in a win over Purdue on Jan. 13, 2022.

Affolter (3-for-4 on 3s), Marshall (4-for-7) and McCabe (4-for-8) made up for Clark’s misfires beyond the arc.

“I’m just so glad her teammates picked up the slack in that area,” Iowa coach Lisa Bluder said. “It just gives us so much more confidence moving forward and makes us so much harder to guard when we play like we did tonight.”

Martin and Affolter hit 3s to start the game as Iowa raced out to a 10-0 lead.

The Nittany Lions cut Iowa’s lead to single digits just once after the first quarter. An 11-2 run brought Penn State within 33-24. But Iowa scored the next nine points to regain control.

“Whenever Penn State went on a run, our group always had an answer, and I think that’s super positive,” Clark said. “That’s what you’re going to need during March basketball.”

With top-seeded Ohio State bowing out of the tournament after its quarterfinals loss to Maryland, the road to a second straight Big Ten Tournament title is wide open for the Hawkeyes. But they aren't going to get caught looking too far ahead.

“Our group is veteran enough to understand how these tournaments go," Clark said. "We’ve been on the losing side of March Madness, and I think we know not to take anything for granted.”


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