Caitlin Clark breaks Fever’s rookie assist record: Ex-Iowa star makes history in big comeback win over Mercury

Another game, another milestone for Caitlin Clark. The No. 1 overall pick moved past Julie Allemand to set the Indiana Fever’s single-season rookie assist record during the team’s thrilling 88-82 win over the Phoenix Mercury on Sunday. Making Clark’s feat even more impressive is she needed just 20 games to get it done. 


Clark also narrowly missed out on becoming the first rookie in WNBA history to record a triple-double as she finished with 15 points, nine rebounds and 12 assists. Though Clark did not shoot the ball well (4-of-14 from the field), she had one of her most impactful games. She either scored or assisted on 44 of the Fever’s 88 points, as they secured their best win of the season.

“I’m just happy we won,” Clark said during her walk-off interview. “It was cool to play against [Diana Taurasi] and obviously a really great game. And like you said, this crowd was absolutely incredible.”

During the game-changing third quarter, which the Fever won 29-15 to overturn a double-digit halftime deficit going into the fourth, Clark had five points, three rebounds and six assists. A logo 3-pointer was the biggest highlight, but her passing was the most impressive aspect of the run, as she had the Mercury all out of sorts in transition.

Late in the fourth, after the Mercury had retaken the lead, Clark stepped up again. She assisted on back-to-back buckets to cut the deficit to three, then found Katie Lou Samuelson with a perfect outlet pass that led to a Flagrant 1 foul and two more points. With 19 seconds to play, Clark then iced the game at the free throw line with a pair of clutch makes.

For the season, Clark is now averaging 16.2 points, 5.7 rebounds and 6.9 assists per game, and she remains on pace to become the fourth player ever — and first rookie — to average at least 15 points, five rebounds and five assists, joining Candace Parker, Alyssa Thomas and Sabrina Ionescu.

Clark has also moved into third place in the league in assists and is on pace to smash the Fever’s all-time single-season record of 201 assists, which is held by Erica Wheeler. Assuming she stays healthy, she will also break the WNBA’s all-time rookie assist record of 225, which is currently held by Hall of Famer Ticha Penicheiro.

Of course, it’s worth noting Clark will have up to 10 more games than Penicheiro did back in 1998, but even on a per-game basis, Clark is near the top of the charts. Her 6.9 assists would be the second-most ever by a rookie, behind only Penicheiro’s 7.5.

Any way you slice it, Clark is one of the best playmakers to enter the league in a long time, and she will only get better as she continues to acclimate to the increased physicality and grows more comfortable with her teammates.

With the big road win, the Fever improved to 8-12 on the season and moved back into the eighth and final playoff spot.

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