Clark eyes NCAA career scoring record while Baylor set to retire Griner’s jersey
It’s a busy week ahead as Caitlin Clark has her eyes set on breaking the NCAA scoring record while Brittney Griner will return home to Baylor to have her jersey retired.
Clark needs eight points to pass Kelsey Plum for the most points ever scored in the NCAA era. She’ll get her first chance on Thursday when Iowa hosts Michigan. Clark had 31 points in the fourth-ranked Hawkeyes’ loss to Nebraska on Sunday when the team blew a 14-point lead and their star didn’t score in the fourth quarter.
“You can’t get too caught up in one loss,” Clark said. “All everybody needs right now is a boost of confidence, and I know I can give it to them.”
She now has 3,520 career points and has downplayed its significance recently saying that the scoring chase hasn’t been a distraction to her or the team.
”When it happens, it happens. It’s really not going to affect my life that much. I’m just going to keep going about my business as I have the last four years,” she said. “Pointing to my teammates and hopefully leading this team to reach our goals.”
Clark has only scored in single digits once in her career and that was back when she was a freshman.
A couple days after Clark’s next attempt for the record, Griner will return to Baylor to have her No. 42 jersey retired when the 21st-ranked Bears host Texas Tech. Griner said she hasn’t been to a game since her senior year in 2013 when Baylor was shocked by Louisville in the NCAA Tournament.
“It will be my first time catching a game and I’ll happy to be back on campus. I’ll be full of emotions,” Griner said at USA Basketball training camp earlier this month.
Griner said that she was a bit sad that the team no longer plays at the Ferrell Center, but was excited that the Bears do have a new state-of-the-art facility.
“They deserved that so much,” she said.
With a little over a month left before the NCAA Tournament bracket is revealed, teams are starting to feel a little more pressure to strengthen their resumes. A couple of teams that could probably use a few more victories down the stretch to secure an NCAA berth include Vanderbilt, Maryland, Kansas and Iowa State. The NCAA will have its first reveal of the top 16 teams at this point of the season on Thursday night.
RETURN OF BETTS
UCLA got a boost with Lauren Betts playing for the first time in a few weeks after she was sidelined for four games for an undisclosed medical reason. She had six points and nine rebounds in her first game back — a win over Arizona. Betts then put up 18 points in a victory over Arizona State. UCLA travels to face Oregon State and Oregon this weekend.
MARQUEE ACC MATCHUPS
There a couple of big conference tilts this week with Louisville hosting Virginia Tech on Sunday and N.C. State visiting Notre Dame on Thursday. The ACC is wide open with six teams within two losses of each other at the top of the standings.
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