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Caitlin Clark’s WNBA era is off to a slow start following the Fever loss

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The Caitlin Clark era in the WNBA has officially begun, although it got off to a slow start.

Clark went scoreless for nearly the first 15 minutes before getting more comfortable and finishing with 20 points in the Indiana Fever’s 92-71 loss to the Connecticut Sun today.

She missed her first four shots before finally getting on the board midway through the second period.

The NCAA’s all-time scoring leader in Division I stole the ball around the foul line and drove the length of the court before putting the ball in. Clark had said before the game that she thought her first basket would come on a layup as it was a “high percentage” shot.

Clark later added two free throws and hit a three-pointer with 29.9 seconds left in the first half to finish the first 20 minutes with seven points, hitting two of her seven shot attempts.

She carried some of that momentum into the third quarter when she scored five of her points in an attempt to recover the fever, but it just wasn’t enough.

Before her first basket, Clark struggled and got into trouble early.

Her first shot was a drive to the basket that bounced hard off the glass and into the hands of Aliyah Boston for a putback.

Clark missed a runner in the lane, then her 3 from the left wing just came out. She did have an assist on one basket and threw a nifty behind-the-back pass to teammate Boston, but last season’s Rookie of the Year was called for a traveling foul.

Meanwhile, Clark was called for two fouls on the defensive end. The second drew loud cheers from the sold-out crowd. The crowd had given the No. 1 pick in the draft a loud ovation when she was announced during the pregame introduction.

Before the game, Clark admitted she was looking forward to her WNBA debut. It was one of four games on the league’s opening night to conclude the WNBA’s 28th season. New York, second in the WNBA Finals, visited Washington to start the night.

She was in the hotel most of the day and had to wait to get on the field when her team arrived almost 2:30 before tipoff.

“I just want to go out and play,” she said. ‘I’ve had plenty of time to think about it. Still, this is exciting. This is fun. … There’s just a different buzz in the air.

Even before she played a WNBA game, Clark made her mark in the pros. The league draft had record viewership and her No. 22 Indiana Fever jerseys flew off the shelves. There were hundreds of fans milling around the arena in Clark jerseys and T-shirts.

Three WNBA teams have already moved their games to larger arenas to meet demand for tickets to see her play.

Her Connecticut debut was a sellout – the Sun’s first sellout in a season opener since they played their first game at Mohegan Sun Arena in 2003 after moving from Orlando. There is also a huge media turnout with almost four times as many entries for this game as for a normal Sun match.

Clark’s home debut will be on Friday when the Fever host the New York Liberty.