Hawkeyes To Host KCRG-TV 9 Hawkeye Challenge

Nov. 18, 2003

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Iowa opens its 2003-04 season when it hosts the annual KCRG-TV 9 Hawkeye Challenge Friday and Saturday in Carver-Hawkeye Arena (15,500). Single day tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for youth. The four-team tournament includes Iowa, Butler, Gonzaga and Houston. Listed below is the tournament schedule.

Friday, November 21
Gonzaga vs. Houston, 5 p.m.
Butler vs. Iowa, 7:05 p.m.

Saturday, November 22
Consolation Game, 5 p.m.
Championship Game, 7:07 p.m.

This weekend’s Iowa games will be be broadcast on the Hawkeye Radio Network. Mark Allen and Karen Schulte will call the action on Friday, while Brent Balbinot and Karen Schulte will broadcast Saturday night’s contest.

KCRG-TV 9 will televise Iowa’s Saturday game at 7 p.m. John Campbell and former Hawkeye Amy Herrig will call the action.

Iowa has played 817 games since beginning basketball in 1974. Overall, Iowa’s record is 498-319 (.610). That includes a 266-138 (.658) mark in Big Ten games and a 220-48 (.821) record in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Iowa is 3-0 in season opening games under fourth-year head coach Lisa Bluder. The Hawkeyes defeated Marquette (70-57) in 2000, Gonzaga (69-54) in 2001 and IUPUI (84-75, ot) in 2002. This marks the second-consecutive year that Iowa opens its season hosting the KCRG-TV 9 Hawkeye Challenge.

For the second consecutive year, senior Jennie Lillis was named to the Preseason All-Big Ten team at the annual Big Ten Conference Media Day held Oct. 26 in Rosemont, IL. The three-time captain was the only player to be ranked in the top ten in scoring, rebounding, steals and blocks in the Big Ten last year.

Hawkeye fans can purchase a 15-game season ticket package for $70 for the 2003-04 season. Senior citizens and faculty/staff can purchase season tickets for $56, while the price for students is $35. There is also a “Family Pack” for $145 that includes admission for two adults and two youths. Tickets can be purchased online by logging on to www.hawkeyesports.com or by calling 1-800-IA-HAWKS. Fans may also order tickets in person at the UI Ticket Office.

Groups of 20-39 can purchase tickets for $5, while groups of 40 or more can buy tickets for $3. Tickets must be purchased in advance. There are no group sales on gameday.

Lisa Bluder (pronounced BLUE-dir) enters her fourth season as the head coach at the University of Iowa and her 20th season as a college head coach. Bluder, 41, has a career record of 413-178 (.699), including a 57-36 (.613) record at Iowa, a 187-106 (.638) record in 10 seasons (1990-2000) at Drake and a six-year mark (1984-90) of 169-36 (.824) at St. Ambrose.

In her first season with the Hawkeyes, Bluder transformed a struggling program into a 21-game winner. Iowa finished second in the Big Ten, won the conference tournament and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Bluder became Iowa’s third coach to be named Big Ten Coach of the Year. She was also honored as the College Coach of the Year by the Women’s Basketball News Service and was named the WBCA District 6 Coach of the Year. Iowa’s 2001-02 squad finished fourth in the Big Ten and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the second consecutive year.

Last year, Bluder guided the Hawkeyes to its first-ever WNIT appearance. Iowa, which had nine underclassmen on its roster, advanced to the quarterfinals before falling to Creighton. In her 10 years at Drake, Bluder brought great success and tradition to the Bulldog program and established herself as one of the top coaches in the country. She led Drake to five 20-plus win seasons in the last six years, including five post-season appearances. She guided the Bulldogs to eight Missouri Valley Conference Tournament appearances, reaching the semifinals six times and winning the tournament four times. Bluder was also named the Conference Coach of the Year three times as Drake.

Bluder began her coaching career at St. Ambrose, where she coached six successful seasons building the Bees into a NAIA powerhouse. During her tenure at St. Ambrose, Bluder guided the Bees to four straight national tournaments, including two consecutive Final Four appearances. The 1990 St. Ambrose team was ranked No. 1 and Bluder was named the NAIA Converse Coach of the Year.

A graduate of Linn-Mar High School in Marion, IA, Bluder was a three-year starter at Northern Iowa. She graduated from UNI in 1983 with a bachelor’s degree in marketing. Bluder and her husband David have two daughters, Hannah (6) and Emma (3) and one son, David (1).

Bluder has never faced Butler or Bulldog Coach Beth Couture.

Iowa won its two exhibition games during the preseason. The Hawkeyes first defeated Athletes in Action (90-89) and then bounced the reigning Division II champions South Dakota State (86-72).

Against AIA, Iowa trailed 89-88 with 2.9 seconds left. Sophomore Johanna Solverson threw Iowa’s inbound pass the length of the floor to senior Jennie Lillis, who pivoted and drove to the basket and sank the game winning layup at the buzzer.

The Hawkeyes had four players score in double figures. Senior Kristi Faulkner tallied a team-high 20 points (8-16 FG, 2-2 FT), Lillis contributed 18 points (8-12 FG, 2-3 FT) and five rebounds, Solverson added 11 points (5-11 FG, 1-1 FT) and eight rebounds, while junior Jamie Cavey posted 15 points (6-8 FG, 3-4 FT) and three rebounds.

Iowa had four starters in double figures in its 14-point win over the Jackrabbits. Lillis paced the Hawkeyes, scoring a game-high 24 points (10-15 FG, 3-4 FT) and grabbing five rebounds. Cavey contributed 19 points (7-17 FG, 5-6 FT) and a team-high seven rebounds. Faulkner added 18 points (6-10 FG, 4-5 FT), while sophomore Lindsay Richards tallied 10 points (4-6 FG, 2-3 FT). The Hawkeyes out-rebounded SDSU (44-33).

This will be the 18th year that Iowa has hosted the Hawkeye Challenge. The Hawkeyes have won 15 of the 17 tournaments, including the last five. Iowa boasts a 31-3 record in tournameny games. The Hawkeyes have won their last 10 games in the tournament, with their last loss coming to Washington (63-62) in the 1997 championship game.

Last year, Iowa bounced IUPUI (84-75, ot) in the first round and then defeated Charlotte (85-70) in the championship game.

Iowa has sank at least one three-pointer in 148 consecutive games. It is a streak that has occurred over a span of six seasons. The last time the Hawkeyes did not drain a three-pointer was against Purdue in the Big Ten Tournament on March 1, 1998.

Butler returns 11 letterwinners, including all five starters from last year’s squad that went 6-23 and tied for eighth in the Horizon League. The Bulldogs have added three talented freshmen to help bolster their lineup this season.

Butler lost its exhibition game to the Reebok Lady Stars (75-70) on Nov. 5. Senior guard Nancy Bowden, who was named to the Pre-season Horizon League first team, led the Bulldogs in scoring 13 points and collecting five rebounds and five assists. Freshman Ellen Hamilton added 14 points and two rebounds, while sophomore Jessica Monaco contributed seven points and six rebounds off the bench.

Bowden enters her final season sixth on the Bulldogs’ career assists list.

Butler is coached by second-year coach Beth Couture.

The Bulldogs posted one of the biggest turnarounds in West Coast Conference history last year. Gonzaga went from last place in 2001-02 to second place in 2002-03, the second-best leap in WCC history. The Bulldogs finished with an 18-12 overall record and return 12 letterwinners, including four starters this season. Gonzaga’s top returnees are first team all-WCC Ashley Burke and honorable mention Shannon Mathews.

Gonzaga won its exhibition game against Strakonice Czech Republic (76-63) on Nov. 10. Burke paced the Bulldogs with 20 points and three steals. Freshman Rachel Kane tallied 13 points and two steals, while Ashley Anderson collected 10 points and six rebounds.

Third-year head coach Kelly Graves’ second game as coach of Gonzaga came against the Hawkeyes in the 2001 Great Alaska Shootout. Iowa defeated the Bulldogs (90-72) in the championship game. Graves has posted a 34-53 (.391) mark with the Bulldogs.

The Cougars enter the 2003-04 season returning nine letterwinners, including four starters. Houston is led by Chandi Jones, who was the nation’s leading scorer last year (27.5 ppg). The senior also averaged 8.1 rpg last season for the Cougars who finished with a 15-13 overall mark and tied for seventh in Conference USA.

Houston defeated Everyones Internet (60-49) in its first exhibition game on Nov. 5 and the Houston Jaguars (83-49) in its second preseason contest on Nov. 9. Jones averaged 16.5 ppg and 6.5 rpg in the two games. Junior center Sancho Lyttle recorded double-doubles in both games. Lyttle collected 19 points and 22 rebounds vs. Everyones Internet and 19 points and 13 rebounds against the Houston Jaguars.

Houston will have the height advantage in the tournament, having two players that are 6-4 and two that are 6-5.

Houston is coached by Joe Curl, who has posted a 72-77 (.483) record with the Cougars in six years.

Iowa is 1-0 against all three teams in the KCRG-TV 9 Hawkeye Challenge. The Hawkeyes defeated Butler (72-67) in the first round of the 1996 NCAA Tournament in Iowa City. Iowa bounced Gonzaga (90-72) in the first round of the 2001 Great Alaska Shootout. The Hawkeyes defeated Houston (59-44) in the first round of the 1993 USC Christmas Tournament.

Iowa played a great game against Gonzaga in 2001. The Hawkeyes defeated the Bulldogs, 90-72, in the Great Alaska Shootout championship. The Hawkeyes broke the school record for three-pointers made (12) and attempted (32) and assists (29). Kristi Faulkner posted her first career double-double, collecting a career-high 10 assists and scoring 10 points. Jennie Lillis tallied 13 points and registered five assists.

Three Hawkeyes were named to last year’s KCRG-TV 9 Hawkeye Challenge all-Tournament team. Jennie Lillis was named the Most Valuable Player, while Tiffany Reedy and Johanna Solverson were named to the all-Tournament team.

Lillis was also named to the all-Tournament team in 2001.

Iowa is only two wins away from notching its 500th career win as a program. If the Hawkeyes win the KCRG-TV 9 Hawkeye Challenge, they will accomplish the feat during their annual tournament. In addition, this year is the Hawkeyes’ 30th year as a varsity sport.

Coach Bluder is nine games away from coaching in her 600th career game as a head coach. She holds a 413-178 (.699) mark in 591 contests.

Senior forward Jennie Lillis is one of 35 players named to the 2004 State Farm Wade Trophy Watch List. This prestigious award is presented to the nation’s top player.

Lillis, who is a three-time captain, was an all-Big Ten first team selection last year by the media and a second team choice by the media her sophomore season. Lillis was also named to the preseason all-Big Ten squad for the second straight year.

Garnered as “The Mother of Modern Women’s Collegiate Basketball,” Lily Margaret Wade pioneered an unprecedented dynasty in women’s basketball, which led to the growth and popularity of the sport during the 1970s.

Highlighting the 2004 list is last year’s recipient, Connecticut senior Diana Taurasi. Lillis is one of five Big Ten players named to the list. Other league players include Penn State senior Kelly Mazzante, Purdue senior Shereka Wright, Minnesota senior Lindsay Whalen and junior Janel McCarville.

Four the fourth consecutive season, Iowa will start its season with a new starting center. Junior Jamie Cavey has solidified herself as Iowa’s starting center in preseason practice.

Since Coach Bluder began coaching the Hawkeyes in 2000 Iowa has had a different center start the season. Randi Peterson was Iowa’s starter in 2000-01, followed by Beatrice Bullock (2001-02) and Tracy Schrupp (2002-03). Peterson, Bullock and Schrupp were all seniors. Cavey is the first junior starting center Coach Bluder has coached at Iowa.

Jamie Cavey was perfect from the floor in two games. Cavey was a perfect 7-7 from the field in scoring a then-career-high 14 points at Creighton (Dec. 12). The native of Mechanicsville, IA, bested that performance with her 21 points on 9-9 shooting from the field and 3-4 from the free throw line against Marquette in the second round of the WNIT (Mar. 23). Cavey set a school and Carver-Hawkeye Arena record for field goal percentage in a single game with her 9-9 shooting performance. In the process, she posted career highs in points (21), field goal percentage (1.000, 9-9) and field goals made (9) and tied a career high in field goal attempts (9).

Hawkeye freshman Deb Remmerde suffered a stress fracture in her left foot during a practice in early November. Coach Bluder is hoping to have Remmerde back by Iowa’s game at Iowa State on Dec. 3.

The native of Rock Valley, IA, is the Iowa High School all-time scoring leader. She holds career state records for free throw and three-point percentage. Remmerde was named Iowa’s Miss Basketball her senior year and was the Class 1A State Tournament MVP.

Iowa (18-15, 6-10) received its first-ever invitation to the Women’s National Invitation Tournament. The Hawkeyes advanced to the quarterfinals before falling to the Missouri Valley Conference co-champion Creighton Bluejays. A youthful Hawkeye squad that included nine underclassmen defeated Saint Louis in the first round, 93-64, then Marquette in the second round, 76-73.

Iowa’s pre-season non-conference strength of schedule ranking is 63rd, according to the WBCA. The Hawkeyes’ overall strength of schedule, including conference games, is 29th. All 11 Big Ten teams rank in the top 60 in overall strength of schedule. Penn State ranks first among Big Ten teams (No. 5), followed by Illinois (No. 8) and Purdue (No. 11).

Five of Iowa’s opponents are ranked in the preseason ESPN/USA Today poll. Kansas State (No. 5), Penn State (No. 8), Purdue (No. 9), Minnesota (No. 13) and Ohio State (No. 15).

Jennie Lillis was a first team all-Big Ten selection by the media and a second team choice by the coaches last season. She was also a WBCA Region 6 All-America Honorable Mention. Kristi Faulkner was named to the all-Big Ten third team by both the media and coaches, while Johanna Solverson was named to the all-Big Ten Freshman Team.

500 CLUB
Jennie Lillis and Kristi Faulkner became the first and only Iowa duo to collect 500 points or more in the same season. Faulkner (539) and Lillis (537) joined Cindy Haugejorde, Michelle Edwards, Lindsey Meder, Franthea Price, Tangela Smith and Amy Herrig as the only Hawkeyes to record 500 points or more in a single season.

Iowa’s three victories over Northern Iowa (98-68), Iowa State (64-39) and Drake (72-52) gave it the mythical state championship. The Hawkeyes boasted a 25.0 average margin of victory against the three in-state opponents. Iowa’s victories snapped a four-game losing streak to Drake and a five-game losing skid to Iowa State.

Iowa was the only Big Ten school to have two student-athletes ranked in the top five in scoring in both all games and conference-only contests. Kristi Faulkner ranked fourth and Jennie Lillis fifth in both all games and conference-only contests.

Jennie Lillis begins her senior year ranked ninth in career scoring (1,299), tenth in rebounding (647), 13th in steals (134) and third in blocks (88). She is only 21 points from topping Amy Herrig (1995-99) for eighth on Iowa’s career scoring chart and seven rebounds from moving past Shanda Berry (1986-89) for ninth in career rebounds

Jennie Lillis has attempted at least one free throw in 87-of-93 games she has played during her three-year career. She is on pace to break both the school’s career free throws made and attempted records. Lillis has made 315 free throws and has attempted 428. The two-time all-Big Ten performer is 17 free throws attempted and 75 free throws made from breaking both records.

Jennie Lillis posted a team-best nine double-doubles, which ranked as the second-most by a Big Ten athlete. She posted back-to-back double-doubles on four occasions. Kristi Faulkner registered her first career double-double in Iowa’s victory over Missouri, while April Calhoun recorded a double-double against Denver.

Iowa opens its 13-game regular season home schedule with the annual KCRG-TV 9 Hawkeye Challenge this weekend. Besides eight exciting Big Ten Conference home games, Iowa hosts Big 12 power Kansas State (Dec. 12), in-state rival Drake (Dec. 21) and last year’s Missouri Valley Conference co-champions Creighton Bluejays (Dec. 28).

The Hawkeyes play every Big Ten school twice except Northwestern, Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State. Iowa will play the Buckeyes and Wolverines at home, while it will visit the Wildcats and Spartans.

Point guard Lindsay Richards sustained a season-ending knee injury in Iowa’s home win over Denver on Dec 12. The native of Barrington, IL, underwent successful surgery on Dec. 19 to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament in her right knee. Prior to her injury, Richards played eight games, averaging 17.6 minutes per contest, 4.5 ppg, 3.6 apg and 1.6 rpg.

Richards is Iowa’s starting point guard this season.

Senior Jennie Lillis has been Iowa’s leader on and off the court the last couple years. The native of Urbandale, IA, averaged 14.8 ppg, 6.0 rpg and 2.6 apg her sophomore season and 16.3 ppg and 7.2 rpg last season. She has started all but one game in her career and currently has 1,299 career points, which is ninth-best on Iowa’s all-time scoring chart. She also has collected 647 rebounds, which is 10th-best all-time. Lillis is on pace to finish her career in the top-five in career rebounding and top-10 in career scoring. Lillis, who was a WBCA Region 6 All-American Honorable Mention last year, was the only Big Ten athlete ranked in the top 10 in the conference in scoring, rebounding, blocks and steals. She scored 20 points or more 10 times and posted double figures in 29 of Iowa’s 33 games.

After directing the Hawkeyes’ offense her sophomore season, Faulkner was shifted to the shooting guard position and put up career numbers. A third team all-Big Ten selection last year, Faulkner ranked first on the team in scoring (16.3 ppg), three-pointers made (52) and attempted (156) and free throw percentage (145-165, .879) and second in assists (90) and third in rebounding (4.0 rpg). The 145 free throws made set a school record.

Faulkner scored in double figures 29 times, including scoring 20 points or more in 11 games. She posted career highs in points twice (29) and rebounds twice (8).

Iowa has two players with the first name Lindsay (Geoffroy and Richards). The Hawkeyes also have two Jennie’s on its team. Senior forward Jennie Lillis and athletic trainer Jennie Hartgrave.

Jenna Armstrong, Jamie Cavey, April Calhoun, Kristi Faulkner, Jennie Lillis and Becca McCann were all named to the Academic All-Big Ten team last year. Iowa’s six Academic all-Big Ten selections is a new school record.

Listen to all the Iowa women’s basketball games on KXIC-AM 800 in Iowa City, WHO-AM 1040 in Des Moines and WMT-AM 600 in Cedar Rapids. Mark Allen returns for his third season as the play-by-play voice, while Karen Schulte enters her fourth season handling the color commentary.

Statistics and play-by-play accounts of all Iowa home games will be available live on the internet. The statistical program allows viewers to read the play-by-play action just moments after it takes place, and to view all individual and team statistics while the game is in progress.

The program can be accessed through www.hawkeyesports.com and then clicking on the Gametracker link.

Catch all the University of Iowa women’s basketball games over the Internet at www.hawkeyesports.com. Fans can listen to live or replay previously played games. Just click on the “Multimedia” link near the top of the page.

Media can download color headshots of the Iowa Hawkeye players and coaching staff at: http://women.hawkeyebasketball.com.

“HAWK TALK WITH Lisa Bluder”
Catch “Hawk Talk with Lisa Bluder”, the radio call-in program Monday nights featuring Iowa Hawkeye women’s head coach Lisa Bluder, on KXIC-AM 800 in Iowa, WHO-AM 1040 in Des Moines and WMT-AM 600 in Cedar Rapids from 6-7 p.m. The first show is set to air November 24, and is broadcast live from the Chili’s Restaurant in Coralville. Fans can call toll-free at (800) 332-5401 or locally at (319) 365-0600.

“THE Lisa Bluder TV SHOW”
“The Lisa Bluder Show” returns for its second season. Fans can watch the show once a month on KCRG-TV 9. The show includes interviews with Coach Bluder and players and feature stories. Below is a list of the dates and times.

Saturday, November 22 – 6:30 p.m.
Saturday, December 20 – 5 p.m.
Saturday, January 24 – 5 p.m.
Saturday, February 21 – 5 p.m.
Saturday, March 20 – 5 p.m.

The Hawkeyes play their next five games away from Iowa City. Iowa begins its five-game roadie next weekend at the four-team Florida International University Thanksgiving Classic, Nov. 28-29 in Miami, FL. The Hawkeyes play Saint Joseph’s in the first round and will play either FIU or Appalachian State in either the consolation or championship game.