Historic talents of Lynette Woodard and Pearl Moore highlighted through Caitlin Clark’s scoring records.

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(ThyBlackMan.com) Arguably the story of women’s college basketball for the 2023-24 season has been Iowa superstar guard Caitlin Clark. Clark and LSU’s own superstar, forward Angel Reese, were the faces of the women’s college basketball season entering the season as returning All-Americans after leading their teams to the National Championship Game, won by LSU and Reese, amidst some controversy following that game. However, Reese’s season has been a bit bumpy while Clark’s scoring prowess has allowed her to climb the record books of the greatest scorers in Division I basketball history among both women and men.

Historic talents of Lynette Woodard and Pearl Moore highlighted through Caitlin Clark’s scoring records.

On March 3rd, Caitlin Clark became the NCAA Division I all-time leading scorer for either men or women as she climbed past LSU legend Pete Maravich’s record by hitting a free throw during the game to record her 3,668th career point. Prior to passing Maravich on the all-time scoring list, Clark passed basketball great Lynette Woodard’s 3,649 career points for the Division I women’s scoring record. While Clark has postseason games to tally more points as her Iowa team advances, the name of another basketball legend, Pearl Moore, stands ahead of her in scoring as well. Lynette Woodard and Pearl Moore played college basketball at a time when the recognition of women’s sports is much less publicized than now but Clark’s scoring records should remind basketball fans of their greatness they deserve accolades for.

Lynette Woodard is a Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inductee who was a four-time Kodak All-America at the University of Kansas. While the Kansas men’s basketball program is a blueblood for its rich history, Woodard was largely responsible for the golden years of the women’s basketball program including a Big Eight Conference Tournament championship in 1981. On the court, Woodard’s versatile scoring ability led to her scoring 3,649 career points. Unfortunately, during Woodard’s collegiate career from 1977 through 1981, women’s basketball was governed by the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women, known as AIAW, and not the NCAA so her name is not listed in NCAA record books. However, basketball historians recognize Woodard’s greatness for her Kansas achievements and other basketball achievements including being first female member of the world-famous Harlem Globetrotters in 1985.

Another Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer, Pearl Moore, will likely not be caught by Caitlin Clark before Clark heads to the WNBA following the end of this women’s college basketball season. Moore played before even Lynette Woodard did, as her career spanned from 1975-79 at small school Francis Marion College, now known as Francis Marion University. In contrast to Woodard, who was a bigger player, Pearl Moore used her speed and shooting skill as a 5’7 guard to score an incredible 4,061 career points. Moore averaged 30.6 points per game over her four seasons at Francis Marion and reached the 50-point mark on three occasions.  For her last collegiate game, she scored 60 points against the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, a single-game AIAW record.

Caitlin Clark is obviously an all-time college basketball great regardless of whether Iowa wins the NCAA Division I women’s basketball championship. Her three-point range has redefined women’s basketball today and she has picked up the mantle from recent women’s college basketball greats like Aliyah Boston and Breanna Stewart as the face of the sport. Looking at the record books of all-time great scorers that Clark has passed, it is important to give respect to greats like Lynette Woodard and Pearl Moore who did so as African/Black women during a time when even less respect is given to women’s athletics.

Staff Writer; Mark Hines