Caitlin Clark’s WNBA debut overshadowed by record turnover night: ‘We’ve got to help her out’

May 15, 2024
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Caitlin Clark recorded history in her WNBA debut on Tuesday night, although it wasn’t a stat the Indiana Fever were hoping to accomplish. 

Clark’s reputation as a prolific shooter didn’t translate well in her first regular season game, as the Connecticut Sun were able to limit her early on in their 92-71 victory at home. The former Iowa Hawkeyes’ star led the team with 20 points but was 5 of 15 from the field, including 4 of 11 from deep. 

Caitlin Clark faces a defender

Caitlin Clark of the Indiana Fever controls the ball, defended by DiJonai Carrington of the Sun, at Mohegan Sun Arena on May 14, 2024 in Uncasville, Connecticut. (Elsa/Getty Images)

Most notable was the Fever’s high turnover rate. Clark herself turned over the ball 10 times, marking the most of any player making their career debut in the WNBA. That record was previously set by Cynthia Cooper-Dyke when she had eight.

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“We don’t have a lot of practice time for our next one,” Fever coach Christie Sides said of Indiana’s quick turnaround to host the New York Liberty on Thursday night. 

“We’ll be in the gym tomorrow watching a lot of video, trying to figure out how not to turn the ball over 25 times for 29 points.” 

But Sides did not place the blame entirely on Clark. 

Caitlin Clark sits on the bench

Caitlin Clark of the Indiana Fever looks on from the bench during the Sun game at Mohegan Sun Arena on May 14, 2024, in Uncasville, Connecticut. (Elsa/Getty Images)

CONNECTICUT SUN ROUT INDIANA FEVER TO SPOIL CAITLIN CLARK’S WNBA DEBUT

“We’ve got to help her out. We’ve got to do a better job of coming back to the ball. We worked on that several times this week, just knowing that that was probably going to be what they were going to do,” she continued. 

“But we just have to do a better job of getting somebody back to the ball.”

For her role, Clark said after the game she won’t harp on the negative. 

“I’m disappointed, and nobody likes to lose, but I don’t think you can beat yourself up too much about one game,” Clark said. “I don’t think that’s going to help this team.” 

Caitlin Clark reacts during a WNBA

Caitlin Clark of the Indiana Fever reacts during the second quarter against the Sun at Mohegan Sun Arena on May 14, 2024, in Uncasville, Connecticut. (Elsa/Getty Images)

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The Fever will have to adjust without any time on the court, Sides lamented on Tuesday night. 

“There’s just so much that we need to work on, and this league – it’s not very kind to us right now with our schedule and what we have coming up next. To have to watch video and not be able to go out and work on something, it’s two different things.”

“It’s us trying to figure out how we can change and fix what we need to in 24 hours without a practice.”  

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