Clark Makes WNBA Debut: 'You Couldn't Ask for a Better Game'

New guard for Indiana Fever scored 21 points against Dallas Wings in exhibition match
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 4, 2024 8:30 AM CDT
Clark Makes WNBA Debut: 'You Couldn't Ask for a Better Game'
A fan holds a sign for Indiana Fever guard Caitlin Clark, prior to a WNBA basketball game against the Dallas Wings in Arlington, Texas, on Friday.   (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)

More than three hours before Caitlin Clark made her WNBA debut with the Indiana Fever in a preseason game against the Dallas Wings in Arlington, Texas, on Friday night, some fans among the sellout crowd were lined up outside the arena dressed in No. 22 University of Iowa jerseys. And Clark put on quite a show. The two-time NCAA women's basketball player of the year led all first-half scorers with 16 points in 16 minutes and finished with a team-high 21 points in the Fever's 79-76 loss. She was 6 of 15 from the field, including 5 of 13 from deep, and had three rebounds, two assists, four fouls, and five turnovers, per the AP. Her 21 points tied for the game high with Dallas newcomer Jaelyn Brown. "My biggest goal coming into tonight was to continue to be myself, play aggressive," Clark said. "I thought that's what I did. I think there's a lot to be proud of."

Clark added: "The crowd was great all night. That's what you expect with a sellout. Those are going to be the same for the crowds all year long. So whether they're cheering for you or cheering against you, you'd better get used to it." She even had a chance to send the game into overtime. Dallas' winning basket by Arike Ogunbowale came with three seconds left, and Clark's 3-point attempt from the right corner at the buzzer fell short. "You couldn't ask for a better game," Clark said. Clark's first pro basket came on a 28-foot 3-pointer near the left sideline less than a minute into play when the defense lost her momentarily on a baseline inbounds play. She hit four 3-pointers in the half and added two of three free throws when fouled on a shot behind the arc. She was scoreless in the third period and sat for the final five minutes after collecting her fourth foul.

Before the game, Pailynn Amos, 9, was outside the arena wearing a yellow Clark jersey with a sign, which read, "When I grow up I wanna be just like her." Rebecca Amos, Pailynn's mother, made the approximately hourlong drive from the town of Ennis. "I watched her [on TV] like crazy," Rebecca said. "So, she [Pailynn] just kind of grew to her. Then we were like, 'Wow, now she's in Dallas.' We could actually go see her!" The exhibition game was the first of two for the Fever before Clark makes her regular-season debut on May 14 against the Connecticut Sun. Friday's game sold out all 6,251 seats soon after it was announced on Dallas' schedule. More here.

(More Caitlin Clark stories.)

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