Caitlin Clark’s 41-point performance in the National semifinals put everyone, once again, on notice.
It had Sabrina Ionescu tweeting a goat emoji at her, while Candace Parker summed up what most people were feeling.
41 DUDE WHO DOES THAT!!!??— Candace Parker (@Candace_Parker) April 1, 2023
41 DUDE WHO DOES THAT!!!??
Clark is an anomaly, be it through scoring or assisting on the majority of the Hawkeyes’ points. But if you ask her, she wouldn’t be able to do what she’s doing without her teammates.
“I think the biggest thing is knowing how much my teammates trust me,” she said. “I was given the ball in kind of the biggest moments of the game on the biggest stage, but also at the same time, my teammates really came through and played huge minutes.”
Just Women’s Sports is breaking down the historic performance, by the numbers.
Clark’s 41 points were the most in national semifinal history, helping lead Iowa to its first title game in program history. It also marked back-to-back 40-point games – which has also never been done before in NCAA tournament history.
“She doesn’t really surprise me anymore, but I was worried about her getting tired out there,” said head coach Lisa Bluder. “I think she’s the most phenomenal basketball player in America.
“In so many regards, not only scoring, but passing the ball, handling the ball. She had the ball in her hands almost all the time tonight against some pretty good defensive players.”
In the fourth quarter, Clark scored or assisted on all 18 of Iowa’s points. It continues a trend of Clark being the orchestrator of the Iowa offense, having scored or assisted on 64 percent of Iowa’s points through their run in the NCAA tournament.
“The way she’s grown as a teammate and a leader on this team has been really special,” said teammate Monika Czinano. “She really fits into our family atmosphere. She always has.”
In total, Clark has 161 points and 52 points in the NCAA tournament, one of six times that a player has had at least 150 points and 50 assists through any five-game span.
The remaining five instances also belong to Clark.
Midway through the game, Clark became just the sixth player in D-I women’s basketball to score 1,000 points in a single season. She also became the first to have 1,000 points and 300 assists.
Between the NCAA and Big Ten tournaments, Clark has scored 235 total points. It marks more points than the Iowa football team scored all season (230).
With her performance, Clark had 82 points and 20 assists in Iowa’s last two wins. It marks the only time that a player has averaged 40 points and 10 assists per game over a two-game span in the history of the NCAA tournament – men’s or women’s.