Source: CNN

No. 1 overall WNBA draft pick Caitlin Clark had mixed success in her regular season debut Tuesday night, scoring 20 points but committing 10 turnovers as her Indiana Fever lost to the Connecticut Sun 92-71.

The all-time leading scorer in NCAA Division I history tied for the most points scored in the game with Connecticut’s DeWanna Bonner.

“Tonight the rookie joins Maya Moore and Edna Campbell as the only players in WNBA history to tally 20+ pts and 4+ 3PM in their debut,” the WNBA said about Clark in a post on X.

Clark went up against Alyssa Thomas, the 2023 league MVP runner-up and Connecticut Sun forward. The Sun’s four-time All-Star notched a triple-double Tuesday with 13 points, 13 assists, and 10 rebounds. The Suns had five players in double figures, with Bonner leading the way. Bonner tallied 20 points and had six rebounds.

After finding herself in foul trouble early, Clark spent much of the first quarter on the bench. Midway through the second quarter, Clark made a steal and took the ball down court for a transition lay-up to score her first career WNBA points. Her first three-point bucket came in the final minute before halftime.

Clark picked up her pace in the second half, but the Fever were overwhelmed by the Sun team, a semifinalist in last season’s WNBA playoffs.

Clark struggled with ball security against the Sun’s intense defensive pressure. Clark also added three assists and two steals against the Sun.

Clark says she’s ‘disappointed’

After the loss, Clark said she would’ve liked to have played better during her debut game, but that she’s eager to do so during future games this season.

“Obviously I’m disappointed. Nobody likes to lose, that’s how it is,” Clark said in her post-game interview.

“But I don’t think you can beat yourself up too much about one game. I don’t think that’s going to help this team. No matter who it is on this team, no one can do that with how they played,” she said. “Just learn from it and move on.”

It took her a little while to settle into the game, Clark said.

“I thought the second half was a lot better, minus some of the turnovers. But just getting more comfortable, and that’s going to come with experience and getting to play with these girls,” she said. “And the more games I play, the more comfortable I’m going to get.”

The Fever will be in action again on Thursday in the team’s home opener against the New York Liberty at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.

Clark’s WNBA debut was much-anticipated

The WNBA season started with the league’s newest star taking center stage. In the WNBA general managers’ predictions for the season, Clark was voted most likely to win Rookie of the Year.

The rookie sensation, who had a historic NCAA season with the Iowa Hawkeyes, is at the forefront of a new wave of interest in women’s basketball and her arrival in the WNBA is a moment fans have been anticipating for some time now.

More than 13,000 fans were in attendance as Clark made her home preseason debut last week in an 83-80 victory for the Indiana Fever over the Atlanta Dream.

Hype for Clark’s debut season has been at a fever pitch - for home and away fans. On Monday, the Sun announced their opener against the Fever was sold out with 8,910 tickets at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut, snatched up. The Sun last sold out the Mohegan Sun Arena in 2003 - more than 20 years ago.

At Mohegan Sun Arena, Clark’s fans made their presence known with a big ovation during player introductions and loud cheers the first time Clark touched the ball.

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