No. 3 Iowa’s basketball phenom Caitlin Clark stunned No. 8 Virginia Tech, dropping 44 points en route to a 80-76 win Thursday night for the Hawkeyes.
Clark clocked her ninth career 40-point game, which moved her into a tie with former Missouri State star Jackie Stiles for the most in Division I basketball, women’s and men’s, over the last 25 seasons.
Clark was borderline unguardable for the Hokies, sinking 3-pointers, hooking layups and drawing fouls to collect her 44 points.
“Sometimes you’re playing checkers and she’s playing chess,” Virginia Tech coach Kenny Brooks said. “She’s that good.”
Clark shot 13-31 from the field and 13-17 from the free-throw line. Clark also pulled down eight rebounds and assisted on six buckets.
Her play even garnered praise from a fellow guard, Virginia Tech’s Georgia Amoore. Clark and Amoore traded 3-pointers back and forth during the fourth quarter of the close game.
“She’s literally been gifted by every God you can imagine. She’s insane… She’s a generational talent,” Amoore told WUNC’s Mitchell Northam.
Even at away games, Clark draws an unprecedented audience. According to the Associated Press, more than 15,000 people attended the matchup between the Hawkeyes and the Hokies, and other away teams have seen their attendance spike when Clark is in town. She’s already driving up ticket sales for Iowa games this season.
And on Thursday, the audience drawn in by Clark got the show they wanted to see.
“It seems like there are a lot of people that are just fans of our game, whether it is Iowa fans or Virginia Tech fans or just people that are here to support women’s basketball,” Clark told AP. “And that is why this game was put on is because they understand how great women’s basketball is and how much it is growing.”