Indiana Fever’s Caitlin Clark scores 20 points with 10 turnovers in WNBA debut

Indiana Fever’s Caitlin Clark scores 20 points with 10 turnovers in WNBA debut

The Caitlin Clark era in the WNBA has officially begun, although it got off to a slow start.

Clark went scoreless for nearly the first 15 minutes, before getting more comfortable and finishing with 20 points in the Indiana Fever’s 92-71 loss to the Connecticut Sun on Tuesday night.

Caitlin Clark’s WNBA debut: Indiana Fever 71-92 Connecticut Sun – as it happened

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She knows she’ll have to play better and has a lot to work on, but also understands that it’s only the first game in her career.

It was physical and obviously it wasn’t like the best start,” Clark said. “It was just a lot of things to learn from.”

Clark said before the game that she wouldn’t get too caught up on her play in her first game.

“If something isn’t perfect, my life’s not going to end,” she said. “If, you know, we lose the game tonight, my life’s not going to end. I’m just going to learn from it and come back on Thursday and try to help us win.”
One thing that Clark definitely will want to improve on is her turnovers. She had 10 of Indiana’s 25 – many unforced.

“Some uncharacteristic things, like pick the ball up and travel, dribble it off my foot,” she said. “A few things that, you know, you have to be crisper.”

Clark got off to a really slow start as she missed her first four shots before finally getting on the board midway through the second period. The NCAA’s all-time Division I scoring leader stole the ball around the foul line and drove the length of the court before laying the ball in. Clark had said before the game that she thought her first basket would come on a layup since it was a “high-percentage” shot.

Clark later added two free throws and hit a three-pointer with 29.9 seconds left in the first half to finish the opening 20 minutes with seven points, hitting two of her seven shot attempts.

She carried some of that momentum into the third quarter when she scored five of her points to try to rally the Fever, but it just wasn’t enough.

“We got to help her out, better job coming back to the ball,” Fever coach Christie Sides said. “We worked on that several times this week. We have to do a better job getting someone back to the ball.”

Before her first basket, Clark struggled and got into early foul trouble. Her first shot was a drive to the basket that bounced hard off the glass and into Aliyah Boston’s hands for a putback. Clark missed a runner in the lane, and then her 3 from the left wing just rimmed out. She did have an assist on one basket and threw a nifty behind-the-back pass to teammate Boston, but last season’s Rookie of the Year was called for a traveling violation.

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