March Madness

Iowa star Caitlin Clark starts NCAA championship with a record-scoring first quarter

Clark broke the record that was set by LSU's Jasmine Carlson last year against Iowa

Caitlin Clark
Steph Chambers/Getty Images

Caitlin Clark of the Iowa Hawkeyes reacts after scoring a 3-point basket against the South Carolina Gamecocks in the first half during the 2024 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament National Championship at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse on April 7, 2024 in Cleveland, Ohio.

Caitlin Clark's final NCAA game is off a record-setting start.

The Iowa superstar scored 18 of the Hawkeyes' 27 points during the first quarter on Sunday as Iowa opened a seven-point lead over unbeaten South Carolina in the national championship game.

The NCAA's all-time leading scorer's first-quarter total was the most ever in a single quarter during a title game. LSU's Jasmine Carlson set the previous record of 16 points in the second quarter of the Tigers' win over Iowa in last year's title game.

The NCAA went to a quarter system in 2016.

The Gamecocks used multiple defenders to try to keep up with Clark. It didn't seem to matter. She knocked down three 3-pointers in the opening 10 minutes, including a rainbow over 6-foot-7 South Carolina center Kamilla Cardoso.

Clark's teammates scored the first seven points of the quarter. She took care of the rest, scoring 18 of Iowa's final 20.

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