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Caitlin Clark feeds Hannah Stuelke's record night, remains 39 points from all-time mark

Clark fed the hot hand of Hannah Stuelke with 15 assists

Caitlin Clark is realistically within one game of breaking the Division I women's all-time scoring record.

Clark scored 27 points in No. 2 Iowa's 111-93 win against Penn State at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Thursday night. It snapped a six-game streak of 30-plus point performances, but pulled her career total to 3,489.

She is 39 points away from Kelsey Plum's all-time mark of 3,527 points. It sets up a potential record-breaker on Super Bowl Sunday when Iowa (22-2, 11-1 Big Ten) travels to play Nebraska (1 p.m. ET, FOX). Clark's career-high is 46 points and she's reached the 40-point threshold 11 times in her career. She scored 38 against the Cornhuskers at home on Jan. 27.

Clark feeds Hannah Stuelke for career night

Clark did her damage with a season-high 15 assists, mostly feeding the hot hand of Hannah Stuelke. The sophomore forward scored a career-high 47 that set an arena record for the men's and women's program. It was two off breaking the women's program record of 48 points by Megan Gustafson.

The last time Clark did not lead Iowa in scoring was Feb. 12, 2023, at home against Rutgers when Molly Davis had 17 in a well-balanced, bench-clearing 111-57 victory. Monika Czinano was the only other player to lead the team in scoring last season with 36 against Drake in a November 2022 non-conference game.

While the conversation heats up around Clark's scoring ability, the win against Penn State provided another showcase in her elite court vision and IQ. She found Stuelke in transition early and often, feeding passes through shrinking passing lanes to set the tone and help Iowa pull away without having to pour in signature logo triples. Stuelke was 17-of-20 overall and went 13-of-21 from the free throw line. Kate Martin had a 16-point, 16-rebound double-double.

Clark quietly scored 21 points in the first half, hitting four 3s at key moments and immediately urging her home crowd to roar as the game remained tight. They were the only 3-pointers of the game for Clark, who had an off shooting night going 8-of-23 (34.8%) and 4-of-14 from 3. The Penn State defense frustrated her (she finished the game with a career-high 12 turnovers), but it also opened up passing lanes and she dished seven assists in the first half of a 55-44 lead. The margin ballooned to 20 midway through the third.

Clark's quest for record heads to Nebraska

Clark was honored ahead of the game for setting the Big Ten scoring record. She passed Ohio State guard Kelsey Mitchell's 3,402 points last week to hold the No. 2 spot in the all-time scoring ranks. The 6-foot senior point guard entered Thursday night's game 66 points away from taking sole possession of first place.

Ticket prices soared on the secondary market last week for the game at Nebraska following her fourth consecutive game of at least 35 points. She hasn't scored fewer than 30 since Jan. 10. The Nebraska athletic department announced on Jan. 24 that Pinnacle Bank Arena was sold out and reiterated on social media on Thursday night that zero seats were available.

It is expected to be the largest crowd in 50 seasons of the women's program history, topping 14,239 when Iowa visited last season. The sell-out is the first for the women in the 11 years they've played at the arena and the second in program history. But Nebraska has had quality crowds for the conference's top contenders this year and ranks sixth in the Big Ten in attendance.

The Clark Effect on rising ticket prices

Iowa guard Caitlin Clark (22) drives to the basket past Penn State guard Jayla Oden (12) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Thursday, Feb. 8, 2024, in Iowa City, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Iowa guard Caitlin Clark (22) drives to the basket past Penn State guard Jayla Oden (12) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Thursday, Feb. 8, 2024, in Iowa City, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall) (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Prices for Iowa's next game at home against Michigan aren't going for cheap, either. The least expensive ticket on Ticketmaster is $308 as of Thursday at 9 p.m. ET. A handful of tickets are listed in the thousands. The arena is sold out for the entire schedule by season-ticket holders. Tickets for the regular season finale in which Clark is on track to pass Maravich's record are going for a minimum of $411 for standing room only and $600 for a seat.

Millions continue to tune in to see Clark approach the record. The Big Ten Network broadcast introduced an in-game tracker sponsored by State Farm to track Clark's numbers. One bug in the top left corner showed in large font the number of points needed to break the record. Another "Road to the Record" bug showed Kelsey Plum's points and games played above Clark's. Those will return for Iowa's game on Sunday against Nebraska on the main Fox channel. Fox Sports introduced a Clark Cam last week to key in on Clark's offensive possessions against Maryland.