Clark racks up first triple-double by WNBA rookie

r1355295 1296x729 16 9

Fever guard Caitlin Clark recorded the first triple-double by a rookie in WNBA history on Saturday in Indiana’s 83-78 victory over the first-place New York Liberty in Indianapolis.

Clark pulled down her 10th rebound at the 7:07 mark of the fourth quarter, giving her the triple-double. She finished the game with 19 points, a season-high-tying 13 assists and 12 rebounds.

Clark, who wears No. 22, reached the triple-double in the 22nd game of her WNBA career. It was also the first triple-double in Fever history, going back to the launch of the franchise in 2000. Clark had 17 triple-doubles in her college career at Iowa — and the Hawkeyes won all those games.

“Obviously, it’s cool,” Clark said of the triple-double. “My teammates have been finishing the ball [at a] really, really high rate. My assist numbers, that’s because of them.”

Clark, though, was more excited about the fact that the Fever beat the Liberty, ending the franchise’s nine-game losing streak to New York. Clark and the Fever had lost three times to the Liberty earlier this season, two of them in 36-point blowouts.

“I’m just happy we won,” Clark said. “I take a lot of pride in being able to do a lot of different things for this team. I think we’re really good when I can get the ball off the glass and just go in transition and find my teammates and set them up.”

The Fever rallied from a deficit of 11 points in the fourth quarter, outscoring the Liberty 28-12 over the last 8:10 of the game. According to Elias Sports Bureau, the comeback tied as the WNBA’s second-largest in the fourth quarter against the team with the league’s best record. The Liberty entered Saturday 17-3.

Clark’s triple-double was also the first in league history against the team with the best record at that time. The No. 1 pick in the 2024 WNBA draft, Clark had come close to a triple-double before this season, including missing by one rebound in the Fever’s victory at Phoenix on June 30.

“We’re definitely playing good basketball … we’re playing together better,” Clark said. “But I think the biggest difference for us has been when teams make runs, we don’t crumble. We always believe we’re in the games.”

The Fever, 9-13, held New York to 10 of 42 shooting from behind the arc (23.8%). Indiana wasn’t much better from long range (7 of 24, 29.2%) but made 12 of 14 free throws and outrebounded New York 41-31.

NaLyssa Smith had a double-double for Indiana (12 points, 11 rebounds), Aliyah Boston had 18 points and 8 rebounds, and Kelsey Mitchell 14 points.

The Fever held former MVPs Breanna Stewart and Jonquel Jones to a combined 20 points, as Sabrina Ionescu led New York with 22 points.

Clark and Chicago forward Angel Reese, who tied the WNBA’s consecutive double-double record in Friday’s Sky victory at Seattle, have made the league’s Rookie of the Year Award a great race between the two most high-profile rookies. They will both be on Team WNBA in the All-Star Game on July 20 facing Team USA.

Source link

About The Author

Scroll to Top