Caitlin Clark vs. Paige Bueckers stats comparison: A look behind the numbers between the Iowa, UConn stars

It’s not often fans get to see two of college basketball’s greatest players sharing the court at the same time, but that’s the case in the 2024 Final Four when Caitlin Clark and Iowa take on Paige Bueckers and UConn for a spot in the national championship. 

Clark and Bueckers have followed similar paths to where they are now. The pair are former teammates, representing the red, white, and blue at the U-19 level together in 2019. The two entered the NCAA at the same time, wasting no time becoming household names in the women’s college hoops world. The duo are also two of the biggest stars in college basketball, making the women’s sport must-watch television. 

The UConn sensation and the Iowa superstar already bested talented counterparts in the Elite Eight. Clark and the Hawkeyes outdueled Angel Reese and LSU to reach Cleveland, while Bueckers led the Huskies to a win over JuJu Watkins and USC — all on the same night. 

The two previously met on the court in the Sweet Sixteen during the 2021 NCAA Tournament. Bueckers (18 points, nine rebounds, eight assists) led UConn to a dominant 92-72 win over Iowa, with Clark managing 21 points in the defeat. 

But the twosome have grown leaps and bounds since their meeting during their freshman campaigns. Now, the March Madness bracket has pitted Clark and Bueckers against one another on the biggest stage — and with the sport reaching astronomical heights it’s never seen. 

With a showdown for the ages on the horizon this weekend, here is a deeper dive into the stats comparing Clark and Bueckers. 

MORE: Has Iowa ever won a championship in women’s basketball?

Caitlin Clark vs. Paige Bueckers stats

Caitlin Clark vs. Paige Bueckers per game stats 2024

On the surface, for the 2023-24 season, Clark has the edge over Bueckers statistically.

A large part of that has to do with Clark’s usage. Opponents know that Iowa is going to run the offense through Clark — and she’s that cold of a killer that it doesn’t matter. She is the No. 1, 2, and 3 option for Lisa Bluder’s crew, and she has earned that right. 

However, for UConn, Bueckers is not the lone star like Clark is for Iowa. She has a dominant partner in Aaliyah Edwards, creating a dangerous 1-2 punch for the Huskies. That means her output per game may not be as eye-popping as Clark’s. 

With that said, Bueckers is a more efficient shooter. Clark takes so many more attempts than her UConn counterpart, which is why she averages over 30 points a game. Bueckers may come in at an average of 21.9 points per contest, but she sinks baskets at a higher clip than Clark. The UConn standout also is better defensively than the Iowa senior, as Bueckers totals more steals and blocks than Clark does. 

Caitlin Clark vs. Paige Bueckers stats 2024

Stat per Game Caitlin Clark Paige Bueckers
Points 31.7 21.9
Assists 8.9 3.8
Rebounds 7.3 5.1
Steals 1.8 2.2
Blocks 0.6 1.4
Field Goal % 46 53.4
3-Point % 38.0 41.8
Free Throw % 86.2 83.4

MORE: The Sporting News 2023-24 Women’s College Basketball All-America Team

Caitlin Clark vs. Paige Bueckers advanced stats 2024

Stat per Game Caitlin Clark Paige Bueckers
Player Efficiency Rating (PER) 43.8 41.1
True Shooting % 61.5 64.6
Effective Field Goal % 57.4 61.2
3-Point Attempt Rate 60.4 34.8
Free Throw Attempt Rate 30.5 29.1
Points Produced 1,083 674
Usage % 40.5 28.3
Win Shares 11.8 11.1

Caitlin Clark vs. Paige Bueckers career stats

When you look at the body of work over the pair of stars’ entire time in the NCAA, it’s a similar tale that follows this season — Clark averages more on offense than Bueckers does, while the UConn star is a more efficient shooter and defender than her Iowa opponent. 

The two entered the NCAA at the same time, joining their respective programs for the 2020-21 season. Neither wasted any time adjusting to the collegiate level. 

MORE: History of UConn women’s basketball championships

Clark has averaged at least 26.6 points per game her entire NCAA career. She finally got over the 30-point threshold this season, but she has been among the top scorers at the D-1 level for the past four seasons. She has averaged at least seven assists and five rebounds per game every season since joining the Hawkeyes. 

As for Bueckers, her numbers have been a little less consistent. She came in and averaged 20 points as a freshman, then that number dropped to 14.6 as a sophomore, though injuries contributed to that decline. It has since bounced back up to 22.0 for this season, giving her a career average just under 20 points per game. In addition, her assists have dropped off from 5.8 her first year to 3.9 each of the past two seasons she played, while her rebounds averages have floated right between four to five. 

Of course, we would be remiss not to mention the fact that Bueckers has played in far fewer games than Clark has. Due to injuries, she only played in half the 2021-22 season and missed the entirety of the 2022-23 campaign. 

Caitlin Clark vs. Paige Bueckers career stats

Stat per Game Caitlin Clark Paige Bueckers
Points 28.5 19.8
Assists 8.3 4.5
Rebounds 7.1 4.8
Steals 1.5 2.1
Blocks 0.5 0.9
Field Goal % 46.4 53.2
3-Point % 37.8 46.0
Free Throw % 85.9 83.3

Caitlin Clark vs. Paige Bueckers career advanced stats

Stat per Game Caitlin Clark Paige Bueckers
Player Efficiency Rating (PER) 39.2 35.3
True Shooting % 61.0 62.7
Effective Field Goal % 56.2 60.0
3-Point Attempt Rate 51.9 32.0
Free Throw Attempt Rate 34.2 23.0
Points Produced 4,000 1,544
Usage % 37.9 26.4
Win Shares 40.9 24.9

Caitlin Clark vs. Paige Bueckers career awards

If there is one consistent theme when it comes to Bueckers and Clark, it’s that the two have quite impressive cases of hardware. 

Bueckers swept the national awards as Player of the Year in 2021, beating out Clark for the honors. The Iowa star responded by earning all of the Player of the Year awards in 2023. 

Both have multiple First-team All-American selections, multiple conference Player of the Year honors, multiple First-team All-conference nods, and multiple conference tournament MVP recognitions. Both Clark and Bueckers won their respective conference Freshman Player of the Year awards, as well. 

The 2024 honors have not all been revealed, and that may end up being the deciding factor if people are looking to see who has the “edge” in the awards department. However, there is no wrong answer when debating who has had the more impressive collegiate career between Clark and Bueckers. 

Award Caitlin Clark Paige Bueckers
AP Player of the Year 2 (2023, 2024) 1 (2021)
John R. Wooden Award 1 (2023) 1 (2021)
Naismith College Player of the Year 2 (2023, 2024) 1 (2021)
USBWA National Player of the Year 1 (2023) 1 (2021)
First-team All-American (USBWA) 4 (2021-2024) 2 (2021, 2024)
First-team All-American (AP) 3 (2022-2024) 2, (2021, 2024)
WBCA Coaches’ All-American 3 (2021-2023) 1 (2021)
Conference Player of the Year 3 (2022-2024 2, (2021, 2024)
First-team All-conference 4 (2021-2024) 2, (2021, 2024)
Conference Freshman of the Year 1 (2021) 1 (2021)
Conference tournament Most Outstanding Player 3 (2022-2024) 2, (2021, 2024)

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