Caitlin Clark breaks another women's basketball record in WNBA debut

The WNBA is having a moment, and Caitlin Clark is leading the charge. The Indiana Fever's No. 1 overall pick made her regular season debut on Tuesday night,  

while the on-court results showed that the former Iowa Hawkeye will face a learning curve in her rookie season, the TV ratings proved that Clark's mere presence has already catapulted the WNBA to unprecedented heights.  

ESPN reported that the game between Clark's Indiana Fever and the Connecticut Sun broke a network ratings record that had stood for nearly two decades. The game, which aired on ESPN2, ESPN+, and Disney+, had an average viewership of more than 2.1 million, with a high of 2.3 million.   

This represented a 60 percent increase over the previous record holder, a 2004 game featuring Diana Taurasi's professional debut with the Phoenix Mercury.  

Clark's performance revealed why she is the most anticipated rookie in WNBA history, but it also demonstrated that she will face much tougher competition in the pros than she did in college.   

Clark led the Fever with 20 points; however, she was extremely  

Indiana finished last in the Eastern Conference last season, putting them in position to draft Clark in the first place. The team's 13-27 record was the second-worst in the league (and the inverse of the Sun's 27-13 record), and it was still a significant improvement over the previous year, when the Fever went 5-31.  

The Fever have not made the playoffs since 2016, but the presence of fellow No. 1 overall pick and 2023 unanimous WNBA Rookie of the Year Aliyah Boston  

Indiana more than double its win total last year, and with Clark now in the mix, even better things should be on the way for the franchise in the near future.  

The Fever will play their second game tonight, and it will be an even tougher test, as the defending Eastern Conference champion New York Liberty, led by Breanna Stewart and Sabrina Ionescu, visit Indiana for the first game of a home-and-home series.  

Clark's home debut will undoubtedly draw a raucous crowd to Gainbridge Fieldhouse,  

 Clark's home debut will no doubt result in a delirious crowd at Gainbridge Fieldhouse, and viewers at home can watch on Amazon Prime to see if she and the Fever can bounce back from their opening night loss.


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