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How many points does Caitlin Clark need to become NCAA’s all-time leading men’s or women’s scorer?

By Sam Joseph, CNN

(CNN) — After recently becoming the all-time leading scorer in women’s college basketball history, Caitlin Clark is chasing another record.

The University of Iowa superstar has scored 3,650 career points, 17 short of basketball Hall of Famer Pete Maravich’s total of 3,667 that he scored at Louisiana State University (LSU), which is the all-time NCAA men’s and women’s basketball record.

Maravich’s record is remarkable given he only played three years at LSU – averaging 44.2 points per game (ppg) – while achieving his points haul in the era before the three-point line and shot clock existed.

Clark’s superstardom at college level has drawn comparisons to Maravich’s total domination at LSU, earning her the nickname ‘Ponytail Pete.’

She broke Kelsey Plum’s women’s college basketball scoring record of 3,527 against the Michigan Wolverines on February 15, dropping a career-high 49 in the process. She made history in trademark fashion, draining a long three-pointer from near the halfcourt logo to etch her name in the record books.

Clark’s first game as the women’s record holder came on the road against the No. 14 Indiana Hoosiers on February 22. All eyes were on Clark and the Hawkeyes, though Indiana scored the upset, winning 86-69 to give Iowa its largest losing margin of the season.

Clark was held to 24 points – her second lowest total of the season – leaving her short of Maravich’s record, though she would have needed a herculean effort near Wilt Chamberlain’s legendary NBA record of scoring 100 points in a single game to break the record on Thursday night – she entered the contest 98 points behind ‘Pistol Pete.’

Clark inched closer to history against Illinois on February 25. She was held to 24 points once again but also grabbed 15 rebounds and dished out 10 assists to post a triple-double in a comfortable 101-85 win over the Fighting Illini.

She made it back-to-back triple-doubles in a rout against the Minnesota Golden Gophers on Wednesday, grabbing 10 boards and handing out 12 assists to go along with a 33-point scoring outburst in Iowa’s 108-60 win.

The Hawkeyes are 17-0 in games that Clark has recorded a triple-double and she is one of only two players in women’s college basketball history to have a triple-double in four straight seasons, according to Iowa.

Clark also broke yet another record in the matchup – after exceeding Plum’s NCAA total earlier in the month, she became the all-time major women’s college basketball leading scorer, per Iowa, passing Lynette Woodard.

Her performance against Minnesota tees up a chance at history versus Ohio State on March 3. Clark needs only 18 points against the Buckeyes to pass Maravich for the all-time record in what will be one of the most anticipated college basketball games of all time.

The reigning national player of the year is leading the country in scoring this season, averaging 32.2 ppg.

Even though Clark had the opportunity to remain in college for a fifth season due to the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic on previous NCAA seasons, she has declared herself for the 2024 WNBA Draft where she will likely be picked by the Indiana Fever with the No. 1 pick.

No matter where she heads though, Clark has already inspired a generation of new stars and, despite all her success, she takes the responsibility of being a role model very seriously.

“It’s something I embrace, I enjoy. If little girls come to the arena and scream my name, that’s one of the coolest things for myself because I feel like I was just in their shoes and, you know, five seconds can make their entire year,” Clark told TNT Sports in October 2023.

“So I try to take as much time as I can to sign an autograph, take a picture and, you know, enjoy every single moment that I can.”

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