Caitlin Clark chases NCAA women's scoring record as Iowa hosts Michigan | CBSSports.com

Lisa Bluder wasn't sure what to do. Her Iowa Hawkeyes were mere seconds away from beating Nebraska on Sunday afternoon, weathering a furious second-half comeback by the Huskers.

Her star, Caitlin Clark, needed just eight points to break the all-time NCAA women's scoring record. Hold on, though. Nebraska guard Jaz Shelley took an uncontested layup at the other end. Suddenly, the Hawkeyes were forced to foul.

Clark couldn't get the record on that day, but she's still poised to break it Thursday night against Michigan at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The sophomore is just eight points shy of breaking the record set by Washington's Kelsey Plum in 2017. "I'm not anxious about it really at all," Clark said, "I'm just really excited. It's going to be a special night."

Despite the attention surrounding the record, Clark insisted that she -- and her teammates -- aren't focused on it. "It's never why I'm scoring the ball at the rate I am, or shooting the ball as many times as I am," Clark said. "I think it's just kind of what the team needs. My main goal is always to go out there and help us win."

But win or lose on Thursday, Clark's scoring prowess has already helped the Hawkeyes tremendously. Iowa is 22-3 on the season and ranked No. 19 in the country. The Hawkeyes are in a heated three-team race for the Big Ten title with only five regular-season contests left and pivotal seeding repercussions in the NCAA tournament.

And they're arguably the most popular team in the country, men's or women's, right now. Women's basketball is used to being overshadowed. Now Clark is overwhelmingly the biggest star in college basketball. Aside from breaking the scoring record, she's also tied for sixth in the country in assists per game (7.3) and 15th in the country in steals per game (2.9).

She's averaging a career-best 32.1 points per game and could break the record by the first-quarter buzzer. "Eight points is what we're looking at for this record, and obviously, she's going to just blast it out of the water," Bluder said, "It's going to be fun to see how many points she adds on to that."

Clark is sitting at 3,520 points. She can pass Kansas' Lynette Woodard (3,649 points) and Maravich (3,667) later this season. The record was on the radar, but it wasn't something Clark and Bluder discussed, they said.

Nor was it something they talked about as a team until Wednesday's practice. "I want to talk to them about the significance of it and that we want to celebrate this," Bluder said, "This is really exciting for our university, our basketball program, that one of our players is going to do this."

The school sold out its arena via season ticket sales ahead of the season and all but two of the Hawkeyes' games have been sellouts, spanning east from Nebraska to New Jersey. Ticket prices on the secondary market soared after she missed out on the record Sunday.

The least expensive ticket for the game before Clark neared the record was $110, while the average purchase price over the last week was $521, according to TickPick. "Today we need to be really good [in practice]," Clark said, "and then going into [Thursday] it's a good opportunity to rebound in front of a really great crowd."