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With about two minutes left in Wednesday night's Gophers-Iowa women's basketball game, fans began filing out of Williams Arena. They had seen what they came to see, so it made sense to beat the traffic.

Others stayed, lingering in the arena's concourses 30 minutes after the Hawkeyes' 108-60 dismantling of the Gophers. They didn't want the night to be over. For 40 minutes, they witnessed the greatness of Iowa guard Caitlin Clark. For a fleeting second in the fourth quarter, when her three-point bomb from the right wing splashed through the net, they glimpsed history.

That word — history — was the theme of the night. Clark made it near the end of a bravura performance, the kind fans expect every time she ties her neon-green shoes. Her eighth and final three-pointer of the game broke the women's Division I scoring record held by Lynette Woodard.

Clark finished with 33 points, the exact number she needed to pass Woodard's career mark of 3,649. Afterward, Iowa coach Lisa Bluder called that "the real record" in a fiery nod to Woodard and other greats who played in the days before the NCAA recognized women's basketball.

Bluder didn't want the night to pass without remembering the full history of women's basketball. Clark followed suit, acknowledging those who paved the path for her to become a supernova.

"I think it's super cool," Clark said of the record. "Like Coach Bluder said, the NCAA doesn't want to recognize women and what they did back in the 1980s.

"I think it just speaks to the foundation these players have laid for us to have opportunities to play in environments like this, in front of crowds like this. I wouldn't have the opportunity to do what I'm doing every single night if it wasn't for people like [Woodard]. I'm just really thankful and grateful to those people who have come before me."

The game drew an announced crowd of 14,625, a sellout. Early on, it seemed inevitable that Clark would reach the record.

She scored Iowa's first 15 points, making her first five shots. In the second quarter, she hit her first two attempts — a pair of threes — to push her total to 21 points, more than the 16 the entire Gophers team had scored.

With every made shot, the fans seemed more incredulous. Some leapt out of their seats. Others flung their hands into the air in a did-you-see-that? gesture. When Clark wasn't scoring, she was setting up her teammates, drawing more oohs and aahs for the timing and touch of her passes.

Clark sat at 30 points going into the fourth quarter. With the clock ticking down, some in the crowd seemed a little restless, especially when Clark passed up some open shots. There were 4 minutes, 29 seconds left in the game when she casually dribbled, stepped back and let the ball fly, making a milestone look easy.

She finished with her 17th triple-double of her career, adding 12 assists and 10 rebounds. She paced a hot-shooting Iowa attack with eight three-pointers on 14 attempts, as the Hawkeyes buried the Gophers under a barrage of threes. Iowa was 22 of 39 from beyond the arc and shot 62% overall.

Clark also broke the NCAA single-season record for three-pointers—she has 156—and scored 20 or more points for the 114th time in 129 career games.

“I wouldn't have the opportunity to do what I'm doing every single night if it wasn't for people like [Woodard]. I'm just really thankful and grateful to those people who have come before me.”
Caitlin Clark

Afterward, Gophers coach Dawn Plitzuweit called Clark "the most dominant player, the best player to have ever played the women's game, bar none." Plitzuweit lamented some early lapses by the Gophers' defense but also noted a play where Clark got to the rim despite double coverage.

"To do what she does game after game is almost mind-boggling, honestly," Plitzuweit said. "Ultimately, she's pretty special."

At the end, Clark was first in the handshake line. She stayed on the court to do TV interviews, as people crowded near the edge of the floor to take photos and video. Clark also stopped to sign autographs for several kids, sending many little girls off into the night with big dreams.

Earlier this month, Clark broke Kelsey Plum's NCAA career scoring record of 3,527 points. Next up: Pete Maravich's career total of 3,667, the record for major college players of either gender.

As for Wednesday's record, Bluder noted that Iowa had a rich history in the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) before the NCAA sanctioned women's basketball. "For some reason, the NCAA doesn't want to recognize the basketball that was played prior to 1982, and that's wrong," Bluder said. "That hurts … I just want to make sure we acknowledge Lynette's [Woodard's] accomplishments."

Clark agreed, but she also looked to the future. She said playing in front of another sellout crowd "never gets old," and that women's sports is going to "a really great place." Wednesday showed, again, that she's leading the way.

"Pete's [Maravich's] record is getting closer and closer," she said. "It's super special just to be in the same realm as a lot of these really talented players."