May 19, 2024


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Kaitlyn Clark draws 13,000 fans in her preseason debut at home, as Indiana Fever wins 83-80

Kaitlyn Clark draws 13,000 fans in her preseason debut at home, as Indiana Fever wins 83-80

Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE/Getty Images

Caitlin Clark’s preseason home debut drew a large crowd.


More than 13,000 fans attended the match Caitlin Clark The Indiana Fever made its preseason home debut Thursday in an 83-80 win for the Indiana Fever over the Atlanta Dream.

The atmosphere inside Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis belies the low-key nature of the preseason game, with the crowd cheering loudly while… Clark She made her first bucket at home on a layup in the first half.

Clark finished with 12 points, eight rebounds and six assists, but had a tough night shooting, going 4-of-12 from the field and 2-of-9 from deep.

“Honestly, I don’t think I was that effective,” Clark told reporters after the match. “I thought more than anything I did a really good job of passing the ball and finding my teammates.

“I think I got into the paint, obviously I wanted to make some 3-pointers, but sometimes, that’s how you shoot.

“We really responded after having a bit of a slow start. Obviously we don’t want to have a slow start, but it’s good to see that we can respond and get the lead back and push through to the end.

NaLyssa Smith led the way for the Fever, scoring 21 points and grabbing six rebounds, as Indiana came back from a 15-point deficit in the second quarter to take the lead with 4:57 remaining in the third and never looked back.

Clark, L Choice No. 1 In this year’s WNBA Draft, she enjoyed a historic NCAA season with the Iowa Hawkeyes and is at the forefront of a new wave of interest in women’s basketball.

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Clark’s impact was in full swing as official attendance was announced Thursday at 13,028, a new preseason franchise record and nearly triple the Fever’s average home attendance of nearly 4,000 last season.

Clarke said it was “a lot of fun” playing in a packed, noisy arena and highlighted how important the Fever fans have been this season.

“I thought they were loud, I thought they were interested,” she said. “It was fun to see some people in some stuff at Iowa State, and then to see a lot of people dressed in fever gear. This is a preseason game on a Thursday night and there’s 13,000 people here.”

David L. Nemec/NBAE/Getty Images

Clark scored 12 points as the Fever earned its first preseason win.

“I think this just shows what it’s going to be like for us all season long and it’s going to help us. There are home games that will need to be won, so I’m excited for the home opener. I think it’s going to be a tough encounter against a really good team.” [the New York Liberty].

“It’s pretty incredible – 13,000 in a pre-season game is unheard of.”

The Fever begin the WNBA season at Mohegan Sun Arena against the Connecticut Sun on Tuesday night before the team’s home opener against the Liberty on May 16.