Caitlin Clark has up-and-down performance in WNBA debut: Highlights

It was Caitlin Clark’s WNBA debut, but really, the night belonged to Alyssa Thomas.

The 11th-year veteran for Connecticut reminded everyone why she was in MVP contention last season as she recorded her 12th career triple-double, scoring 13, grabbing 10 rebounds and handing out 13 assists, as the Connecticut Sun cruised to a 92-71 win over the Indiana Fever.

Clark finished with 20 points but it took the rookie some time to get going, and she shot just 5-of-15 from the field. The top pick in the 2024 draft also threw the ball away 10 times, a stat that’s sure to nag at her — and definitely not the type of double-double she wanted to record.

Connecticut’s DeWanna Bonner tied Clark for the game’s high scorer, with 20, while DiJonai Carrington and Ty Harris scored 16 each for the Sun. Connecticut forced the Fever into 25 turnovers, which the Sun turned into 29 points.

The Fever, which had the top pick in the WNBA Draft the last two years (they selected Aliyah Boston in 2023) missed the playoffs last season and have won just 43 games the last five seasons. The hope is that Clark will lift them into the postseason, but Tuesday night was a reminder that this team has a long way to go.

Clark makes her home debut Thursday vs. the New York Liberty.

How Connecticut Sun stifled Caitlin Clark

DiJonai Carrington knew early on that she’d draw the assignment of guarding Caitlin Clark, the top pick of the 2024 WNBA Draft.

And while she did a tremendous job — Clark scored a game-high-tying 20 points, but it took her a long time to get going and she scored a lot when the game was out of hand — her teammates didn’t want her thinking too highly of herself.

“To take on that job, we’re proud of her,” Sun star Alyssa Thomas said after Connecticut’s win. Then she turned to Carrington with a warning. “But don’t get too big-headed.”

It was a fun, lighthearted moment in a celebratory press conference. Carrington, one of the most improved and best sixth players in the league last year, moved into a starting role this season for Connecticut. She was great at both ends Tuesday night, scoring 16 points, grabbing five rebounds and snagging two steals in the Sun’s win.

One of those steals came just before halftime, when she picked Clark’s pocket and raced to the other end for a score.

It was nothing Connecticut coach Stephanie White hasn’t seen before.

“She does a lot of things in practice that show us she’s an elite defender,” White said. “But I tell her, you’ve gotta be an elite decision-making defender, and tonight she was … that’s part of growing into a starting role, and that’s gonna continue to be her challenge but she’s ready for a challenge.

“She knew (tonight) was an opportunity for her, and she’s taken ownership of it.”

Caitlin Clark highlights

Final: Connecticut Sun 92, Indiana Fever 71

Sun star Alyssa Thomas recorded a triple-double (13-10-13) to help Connecticut cruise past Indiana 92-71 in Caitlin Clark’s WNBA debut.

Caitlin Clark stats

Clark scored 20 points, tied for the game high, on 5-for-15 shooting (4-for-11 from 3). She had 10 turnovers, though, while recording just three assists. She had two steals and committed four fouls.

Sun’s Alyssa Thomas records triple-double in season opener

A new WNBA season, another Alyssa Thomas triple-double.

In her first game of the 2024 season, Thomas recorded the impressive stat line with 3:30 to play, when she grabbed her 10th rebound of the night. She also has 13 points and 13 assists, and the Sun have an 81-67 lead.

It is Thomas’ 12th career triple-double, including playoffs. (All other WNBA players have combined for 21 total in the regular season.) In 2023, Thomas set a new league record for both double-doubles (28) and single-season assists (316). The 32-year-old is a four-time WNBA All-Star.

Caitlin Clark heating up

Caitlin Clark is starting to feel it.

After struggling for much of the game, turning over the ball a game-high eight times and shooting inefficiently, Clark found a rhythm as the Indiana Fever attempted to chip away at the Connecticut Sun’s fourth-quarter lead.

Clark hit back-to-back 3-pointers midway through the fourth quarter and got to the line for a pair of free throws on another possession. Inefficient or not, she was tied with the Sun’s DeWanna Bonner with a game-high 20 points as the Fever trailed 81-67 with 3:29 left.

End of third quarter: DeWanna Bonner moves up WNBA’s all-time scoring list

It’s been a great day for DeWanna Bonner, who midway through the third quarter moved up to fifth on the WNBA’s all-time scoring list with 6,897 points. Bonner has 16 so far tonight, and her team has a 65-57 lead on Indiana at the end of the third quarter.

Bonner, 36, is in her 14th WNBA season, and her fifth with Connecticut (she previously played for Phoenix, helping the Mercury to two WNBA championships). Based on her production — last season she averaged 14.9 points and 6.1 rebounds — you’d never guess her age.  

Meanwhile, it’s been a rough night for Caitlin Clark, who has 12 points but also eight turnovers. Yikes. (She had nine, but one got taken away on the official stats.) She’s 3-of-10 from the field, struggling against Connecticut’s length defensively; it can’t be fun to be defended by Bonner, who has switched on to Clark a couple times. The Fever have 18 turnovers total, which Connecticut has turned into 18 points.

Final: New York Liberty 85, Washington Mystics 80

It feels fitting that in the most highly anticipated WNBA season in more than 20 years, the first game of 2024 went down to the wire.

The Washington Mystics had three chances to take the lead in the final 39 seconds after blowing an eight-point lead, but the New York Liberty made every look tough and Sabrina Ionescu hit all four free throw attempts at the end, holding on for an 85-80 win.

New York’s Jonquel Jones led all scorers with 25, Betnijah Laney-Hamilton chipped in 20 and Ionescu flirted with a triple-double with 15 points, seven rebounds and eight assists. Four Mystics players scored in double figures, led by Ariel Atkins (20). Brittney Sykes had a great all-around game for Washington with 14 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists.

New York next travels to Indiana to play the Fever in Caitlin Clark’s home debut on Thursday.

Caitlin Clark struggling in WNBA debut

The struggles for Caitlin Clark continue.

Clark (10 points) picked up her game-high seventh turnover of the game midway through the third quarter of the Indiana Fever’s opening game against the Connecticut Sun. She was also tied for a game-high with three fouls. 

The Sun led, 59-47, with 4:32 left in the third quarter. Clark committed an eighth turnover with 3:32 to go in the quarter with the Fever down 62-51.

Halftime: Caitlin Clark held to seven points in first half of WNBA action

If this was supposed to be a matchup of Caitlin Clark vs. whoever guarded her, DiJonai Carrington is winning.

Right now, by a lot.

Carrington, in her fourth year after playing college ball at both Stanford and Baylor, has 14 points in the first half, including a bucket after she picked Clark’s pocket with just under two minutes to play in the second quarter. Behind Carrington’s play, Connecticut has a 49-39 lead over Indiana at halftime.

Clark had just four points, on a layup and two free throws, until 30 seconds to play, when she connected on a 3 on Indiana’s baseline out-of-bounds play. It was her first score on Carrington directly, who got caught in a screen.

Part of Indiana’s problem the first half was that the Fever throw the ball away too much — 13 times, to be exact (Clark had five of them, with just one assist). Connecticut has turned those into 16 points.

Ty Harris has 11 points and DeWanna Bonner has 10 for the Sun. NaLyssa Smith is the only Fever player in double figures, with 11 points.

Caitlin Clark hits first 3-pointer

Clark finally hit from long range off a designed play in the final minute of the first half.

Caitlin Clark gets first points in WNBA

It took a quarter and a half, but Caitlin Clark got her first WNBA points with a baseline layup in the second quarter of the Indiana Fever’s opening game against the Connecticut Sun.

Clark started the game 0-for-4 from the field and 0-for-2 from beyond the arc before making her first bucket. Clark spent much of the first quarter on the bench in foul trouble.

The host Sun led the Fever, 34-25, with 4:50 left in the first half.

Sun 19, Fever 13: Caitlin Clark still looking for first points after first quarter

We’ve been informed by our man on the ground that no, Mohegan Sun Arena is not selling Caitlin Clark jerseys.

But there’s no question why this game is a sellout.

Thousands have shown up to watch the No. 1 pick in the 2024 draft, and voiced their displeasure when Clark was whistled for her second foul early in the first quarter. At the time of that call, Clark was 0-for-3 from the field, with one assist and one turnover.

She was sent to the bench for most of the back half of the first, which helped Connecticut take a 19-13 lead at the end of the first period. Ty Harris has been an early bright spot for the Sun, scoring nine points, all on 3s.

Meanwhile NaLyssa Smith, who looked great in both of the Fever’s preseason games, has continued her tear, scoring seven quick points, grabbing three rebounds and blocking a shot.

Caitlin Clark checks back in

Caitlin Clark checked back in to her first WNBA regular-season game after racking up two early fouls against the Connecticut Sun.

Clark also missed her first three shots of the game before taking a seat on the bench.

After assisting on the first play of the game to give the Indiana Fever an early lead, Clark opted into a shoot-first mentality on Indiana’s next few possessions and came up empty-handed.

Clark’s second foul was loudly booed by the sellout crowd at Mohegan Sun Arena. Many fans in attendance arrived in Clark gear, be it of the Iowa or Indiana variety.

WNBA season kickoff: Mystics lead Liberty at half

Just a reminder that Caitlin Clark isn’t the only show in town tonight.

At halftime, the Washington Mystics lead the New York Liberty 43-40 after a 3 from Shakira Austin with 5.6 seconds to play before the break.

The halftime score might turn some heads considering the Liberty were one of the so-called “super teams” that came together during free agency in 2023, and played for the WNBA championship last year.

The first game of the 2024 season — New York-Washington tipped off about 30 minutes before Indiana-Connecticut — has been the Jonquel Jones show, as the 2021 WNBA MVP already has 14 points and four rebounds. Sabrina Ionescu, meanwhile, already has five assists (and only one turnover). Not bad for a guard known more for hitting 3s like Steph Curry.

Meanwhile, Stefanie Dolson has scored 11 points for Washington, and Ariel Atkins has already grabbed three steals.

One thing to remember: Because the WNBA season is so short compared to the NBA, and some of the league’s stars will miss games due to the Olympics, every single game matters when we talk league standings and playoff seeding.

Caitlin Clark gets into early foul trouble in season opener

This was not the start that Indiana Fever rookie Caitlin Clark had hoped for.

The No. 1 overall pick in the 2024 WNBA draft picked up two early fouls midway through the first quarter. And she was still looking for her first points. After five minutes of play, Clark was 0-for-3 from the field and missed her only 3-point shot attempt, though she did dish an assist early in the contest.

The Connecticut Sun lead 10-7 at the first TV timeout.

Indiana Fever vs. Connecticut Sun tips off at Mohegan Sun Arena


PG Erica Wheeler
SG Caitlin Clark
SF Katie Lou Samuelson
PF NaLyssa Smith
C Aliyah Boston


PG Tyasha Harris
SG DiJonai Carrington
SF DeWanna Bonner
PF Alyssa Thomas
C Brionna Jones

Caitlin Clark builds on ’99 soccer team’s moment in lifting women’s sports 

A year and a half ago, a vast majority of Americans had no idea who she was, an athletic young woman tucked away in a Midwestern university town, known to women’s college basketball fans but otherwise hidden from the gaze of the national media.  

Now Caitlin Clark is the most popular athlete in the nation, the driving force behind the greatest days in the history of women’s sports, America’s girl next door all grown up and the personification of everything the country was hoping Title IX might give us.  

Read more from Christine Brennan here. 

2024 WNBA rookies to watch 

 The 2024 WNBA rookie class is one of the most anticipated in history, led by none other than Caitlin Clark, the scoring phenom from Iowa who re-wrote the college record books.  

But she’s not the only newcomer expected to make a big impact, and do so immediately. There hasn’t been this sort of attention and excitement around WNBA rookies since 2013, when Brittney Griner, Elena Della Donne and Skylar Diggins-Smith joined the league.  

To get you ready for the 2024 WNBA season that tips Tuesday, USA TODAY Sports’ Lindsay Schnell gives a primer on the nine rookies she thinks will have the biggest impact this season. 

Read more from Lindsay Schnell here. 

How to watch Indiana Fever vs. Connecticut Sun 

The Fever at Sun will be televised on ESPN2 with Ryan Ruocco (play-by-play), Rebecca Lobo (analyst), and Holly Rowe (sideline) on the call. 

How to stream Indiana Fever vs. Connecticut Sun 

Streaming options for Fever at Sun include the ESPN app, ESPN+, Disney+ and Fubo. 

The game will also be available on demand on the WNBA’s League Pass upon its conclusion. Fans can get League Pass by downloading the WNBA app. 

SIGN UP FOR FUBO:Access to WNBA games during the season 

When is Caitlin Clark’s first home game with the Fever? 

The Fever’s home opener is Thursday against the New York Liberty.

What to know about 2024 WNBA season 

Arguably one of the most highly-anticipated WNBA seasons in the league’s history has arrived. 

The 2024 WNBA season is set to tip off, and it is shaping up to be one of the most exciting times in professional women’s basketball. The game and interest in the league has exploded to new heights, and the incoming draft class has generated more buzz. 

College stars such as Caitlin Clark, Angel Reese, Cameron Brink and more will be making their debuts at the professional level, but there is already plenty of stars they’ll go up against, including New York Liberty forward and 2023 Most Valuable Player Breanna Stewart, Liberty guard Sabrina Ionescu and Las Vegas Aces forward A’ja Wilson. Can the rookies lead their teams to immediate success? Or will star-studded teams continue to shine? 

Read more from Lorenzo Reyes and Jordan Mendoza here. 

2024 WNBA GM survey predictions 

The WNBA on Tuesday released results from its survey of team general managers, who made predictions for the season. 

Here are some of their picks:  MVP: A’ja Wilson of the Las Vegas Aces. Wilson, who guided Las Vegas to back-to-back championships in 2022 and 2023, received 67 percent of the MVP votes. The Connecticut Sun’s Alyssa Thomas, the 2023 MVP runner-up, was next with 25 percent, and reigning MVP Breanna Stewart of the New York Liberty was third with eight percent.
Best defender: Wilson, a two-time WNBA Defensive Player of the Year, received 42 percent of the votes to finish ahead of Thomas, who was second with 25 percent.
Rookie of the Year: The Fever’s Caitlin Clark, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2024 WNBA draft, received 92 percent of the votes. The Los Angeles Sparks’ Cameron Brink, the No. 2 overall pick, got the remaining eight percent.
Most likely to have breakout season: Aliyah Boston of the Indiana Fever. Boston won WNBA Rookie of the Year honors last season.

10 bold predictions for WNBA season 

The 28th WNBA season tips off tonight, so it’s time to start thinking about what’s in store for women’s professional basketball the next few months.   

There’s never been more excitement around the women’s game. With a star-studded draft class, a team going for its third consecutive championship and a Summer Olympics that will help drum up interest in women’s basketball, the WNBA is headed into its most-anticipated season since the league debuted almost three decades ago.   

So what can we expect this summer? For starters, Caitlin Clark will lead the WNBA in assists and make the Olympic team. Read Lindsay Schnell’s bold predictions here.  

WNBA’s newest team now has a name 

The WNBA’s newest team, which will join the league from the Bay Area in 2025, now has a name. 

The league announced that the new team will be named the Golden State Valkyries and displayed a new logo and colors on its new website. The team’s colors are known as Valkyrie Violet. 

The announcement coincides with the start of the WNBA’s 28th season, which tips off tonight at 7 p.m. ET when the New York Liberty take on the Washington Mystics, one of four games on the schedule. 

The team said that a Valkyrie originates ‘from Norse mythology and that the nickname represents’ a host of warrior women who are fearless and unwavering – flying through air and sea alike.’ Read more from Scooby Axson here. 

Las Vegas Aces star lands Nike shoe deal 

Las Vegas Aces star A’ja Wilson is the latest athlete to get her own signature shoe, announcing the news Saturday as the two-time defending champions were preparing to play a preseason exhibition against the Puerto Rican national team. 

Wilson joins New York Liberty guard Sabrina Ionescu as WNBA players to have a Nike signature shoe in recent years. Indiana Fever rookie Caitlin Clark reportedly signed a deal worth $28 million that would also include her own signature shoe with Nike. 

Read more from Scooby Axson here. 

What time is Indiana Fever vs. Connecticut Sun?  

The Fever-Sun tip off at 7:30 p.m. ET at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. 

How did Caitlin Clark play in WNBA preseason 

In what was maybe the most-anticipated preseason game in the 28-year history of the WNBA, Clark and the Fever played in Dallas against the Wings on May 3. Indiana dropped the game, 79-76, but Clark played well in her first-ever WNBA action. 

She started the game and played 28 minutes, and finished 6-of-15 from the floor – including 5-of-13 from 3-point range – to score 21 points. She also added three rebounds, two assists and two steals, but committed five turnovers. She made all but one of her five free throw attempts. 

As she did throughout her college career at Iowa, Clark flashed her ability to elude defenders in the perimeter with her dribbling and showed off her deep range. 

In Indiana’s second preseason game, Clark and the Fever beat the Atlanta Dream, 83-80. Clark played 32 minutes and went 4-of-12 from the field, including two-of-nine from 3-point range, to finish with 12 points. Similar to her first game, Clark committed a game-high six turnovers, but she added eight rebounds and six assists. 

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