Caitlin Clark Lights Up Gainbridge in Fever Home Debut: 9 Points, 7 Rebounds, 6 Assists

While her stat line didn’t explode off the page, WNBA rookie sensation Caitlin Clark showed flashes of her brilliant offensive game Thursday night in the Indiana Fever’s home opener against the New York Liberty. The top draft pick out of Iowa scored 9 points, grabbed 7 rebounds, and dished out 6 assists in front of a raucous 17,000+ fans at Gainbridge Fieldhouse.

After a rocky professional debut where she coughed up 10 turnovers, Clark looked more composed and in control against New York’s tenacious defense. Though she struggled from the field hitting just 2-8 shots, her one three-pointer came during a blistering 81 second stretch in the third quarter. Clark scored 7 quick points to cut the Liberty’s lead to 13 and give the Fever a much-needed offensive spark.

New York guard Betnijah Laney-Hamilton deserves credit for her lockdown defense, hounding the rookie all night en route to a game-high +43 plus/minus rating. But Fever head coach Christie Sides remains confident Clark will find her groove.

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“It’s a process and she’s going to be fine,” Sides said postgame. “She’s figuring it out…Right now I think she’s taking some shots that she would normally knock down but Betnijah is one of the best defenders in the league and she was making it really hard on her.”

While the 102-66 final score was lopsided, Clark’s home debut displayed promising signs as she acclimates to the pro game’s physicality and pace. With her unreal offensive repertoire, it’s only a matter of time before the Hoosier star has her breakout performance.

The Fever head to Brooklyn to face the Liberty again on Saturday, giving Clark another chance to get untracked against New York’s stingy defense. As she settles in, look for the rookie’s confidence to soar and the highlights to follow.

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