Hawkeyes Host No. 7 Penn State Sunday

Feb. 20, 2004

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Iowa (15-9, 9-4) hosts No. 7 Penn State (20-4, 12-1) Sunday in the annual Miracle Game presented by the Children’s Hospital of Iowa, to benefit the Children’s Miracle Network. Tip-off is slated for 2:05 p.m. in Carver-Hawkeye Arena (15,500). Tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for youths. Sunday’s showdown against Penn State will be the final home contest of the season.

The Hawkeyes enter Sunday’s game winners of eight of their last 10 contests, while the Lady Lions have won 13 of their last 14. Penn State and Purdue are tied for first in the league, while Iowa and Michigan State are tied for third.

Iowa will honor its 2004 senior class before and after Sunday’s game. There will be a brief senior ceremony before the game to salute seniors Kristi Faulkner, Jennie Lillis, Becca McCann and manager Kris Byam. The three senior players will grab the mic and talk to the Iowa fans immediately following the game.

All Iowa games are broadcast on the Hawkeye Radio Network. Listen to 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 and Karen Schulte call the action.

Fans can also follow the game’s progress with up-to-the-minute stats and play-by-play by clicking the “gametracker” link on the front page of www.hawkeyesports.com.

Iowa has played 841 games since beginning basketball in 1974. Overall, Iowa’s record is 513-328 (.610). That includes a 275-142 (.659) mark in Big Ten games and a 227-53 (.811) record in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Tickets are available for the 2004 Big Ten Women’s Tournament in Indianapolis, IN. The event is held March 4-8 in the Conseco Fieldhouse. An all-session (10 games) ticket costs $55. Fans interested in sitting in the Iowa section can call the UI Ticket Office at 1-800-IA-HAWKS.

Single-session tickets range from $10-$14 and can be purchased at all Ticketmaster outlets, including the Conseco Fieldhouse box office and www.ticketmaster.com.

Iowa has a difficult schedule down the stretch. The Hawkeyes’ next two games are against ranked opponents. The Hawkeyes host No. 7 Penn State (Feb. 22) and then travel to Purdue (Feb. 26). Iowa downed No. 11 Minnesota (81-61) on Thursday in Iowa City.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY Jennie Lillis!!!
Not only is Sunday “Senior Day”, but it is also Jennie Lillis’ 22nd birthday. Earlier this year, senior Kristi Faulkner celebrated her 23rd birthday scoring 22 points in 1 76-61 win at Northwestern on Jan. 29.

Sunday’s game will be Iowa’s sixth game against a ranked opponent. Iowa is 2-4 against ranked opponents this year. The Hawkeyes defeated then-No. 18 Michigan State (78-67) and then-No. 11 Minnesota (81-61) and lost to then-No. 5 Purdue (90-79), then-No. 6 Minnesota (75-61), then-No. 8 Penn State (92-64) and then-No. 11 Kansas State (82-60).

Iowa has recorded at least one home win over a ranked opponent in each of the last four years under Coach Bluder. These are Iowa’s most recent wins vs. nationally ranked opponents:

At Home: 81-61 over 11th-ranked Minnesota, 2/19/04
On the Road: 78-67 over 18th-ranked Michigan State, 2/1/04
Neutral Court: 80-77 over 13th-ranked Minnesota, 3/7/03, at Big Ten Tournament

Iowa hit Minnesota with something that caught the Gophers off-guard: aggressive defense from end to end.

Known more for its offense, Iowa harassed Minnesota with full-court pressure and half-court traps and rolled to an 81-61 victory behind 22 points from Kristi Faulkner.

Iowa kept its NCAA Tournament hopes alive with one of its most complete games of the season. The Hawkeyes shot 50 percent (29-58), forced 23 turnovers and were never threatened after taking an early 12-point lead.

Minnesota played its second full game without leading scorer Lindsay Whalen, who’ll be sidelined four to six weeks with a broken right hand. The Gophers won at Illinois without her Sunday, but she was missed in this one.

Janel McCarville led Minnesota with 12 points, but the Gophers needed more than that from their 6-2 center. McCarville picked up two quick fouls, got her fourth with 14:39 left and fouled out with 10:20 to go.

Faulkner drew a charge against McCarville for the fourth foul and drew the fifth on a jump shot. Jamie Broback added 10 points for the Gophers. Jamie Cavey scored 15 for Iowa.

Iowa could play aggressively on defense because Minnesota had no one who could beat a defender off the dribble, one of Whalen’s strengths.

Minnesota made only two field goals in the first 8:47 and turned the ball over nine times as Iowa jumped to a 19-7 lead. Reserve Crystal Smith sparked the defense with three steals, the last of which she took in for a layup. Smith finished with a career-high five thefts.

The Hawkeyes made four 3-pointers in stretching the lead to 35-13, and Tiffany Reedy’s spinning jump shot made it 40-18 late in the first half. Minnesota drew to 40-22 at halftime and cut the lead to 42-27 early in the second half on Shannon Bolden’s layup but got no closer.

Lillis hit a triple from the left wing and Cavey got behind the defense for a lay-up to return the lead to 20. Any chance Minnesota had of making a run ended when McCarville fouled out and Iowa went on to lead by as many as 25.

Penn State leads the all-time series 14-10, however the Hawkeyes own an 8-3 advantage in games played in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Iowa won the last two meetings in Iowa City (79-64 in 2001 and 80-75 in 2003); both times the Lady Lions were ranked. Penn State won this year’s earlier meeting (92-64) played in University Park, PA on Jan. 8.

There has been one overtime game played in the 24-game series, with the Lady Lions winning (69-66) in 1986. That contest was played in the first round of the NC State Classic before Penn State joined the Big Ten Conference.

Penn State is ranked seventh in both major polls this week. The Lady Lions have won two-straight games following Thursday’s 66-50 triumph over Wisconsin. Four players scored in double figures for Penn State. Jess Brungo scored a game-high 18 points. Tanisha Wright tallied 17 points, while Kelly Mazzante contributed 15 points and Jess Strom added 10. The Lady Lions are led by senior all-American Kelly Mazzante, who ranks first on the team in points (21.1), 3-pointers made (69) and attempted (207) and free throws made (77) and attempted (93). Her 21.1 scoring average ranks second in the conference. Wright ranks second on the team in scoring (14.8) and assists (104), while Reicina Russell leads the team in rebounding (6.3).

Penn State is battling Purdue for the top spot in the Big Ten standings. The two teams meet in the regular season finale in University Park, PA. The game will be televised on ESPN2. Penn State is coached by Rene Portland, who is in her 28th year as a head coach (641-220, .744) and 24th with the Lady Lions (554-191, .743).

Iowa ranks 37th in the latest RPI rankings and 37th in strength of schedule. Penn State ranks fifth in RPI and sixth in strength of schedule. Iowa is a perfect 9-0 against teams with an RPI over 100, 2-5 against teams in the top 25 and 4-4 against teams ranked 26-100. As a conference the Big Ten ranks first ahead of the Big XII and Pac-10. The rankings are released daily at www.wbca.org.

Purdue ranks No. 4 in the RPI rankings, followed by Minnesota (11), Michigan State (21) and Ohio State (38).

Kelly Mazzante scored 30 points, leading then-No. 9 Penn State to a 92-64 victory over Iowa on Jan. 8.

The Lady Lions scored the last eight points of the first half, then opened the second half with an 8-2 run, going up 48-28 with 17:34 left when Mazzante leaned in to split a triple team in the lane.

Three times Iowa was able to get within 17, the last time on a 3-pointer by Becca McCann that made it 70-53 with 6:55 left.

But Penn State closed the game with a 22-10 run, including consecutive 3-pointers by Mazzante.

It was the 27th time in her career that Mazzante scored at least 30 points. She’s only 42 points behind former Ohio State All-American Katie Smith on the Big Ten career scoring list.

Tanisha Wright scored 18 points for the Lady Lions, Amanda Brown added 14 and Jess Strom had 10. Jess Brungo had 10 rebounds.

Penn State also played tough defense, holding Iowa’s second-leading scorer, Kristi Faulkner, to just two points, more than 13 below her average.

Jennie Lillis led the Hawkeyes with 23 points, Johanna Solverson scored 16 and Jamie Cavey had 13.

Iowa closed to 32-26 on Cavey’s inside jumper with 2:14 left in the first half. But Penn State ended the half with an 8-0 run, with Jennifer Brenden’s last-second jumper making it 40-26 at halftime.


  • Penn State’s senior class of Kelly Mazzante, Melanie Croser and Jess Brungo have not won a game in Carver-Hawkeye Arena during their careers. Iowa is the only conference school they have not won at least one game.
  • Former Iowa standout Cara Consuegra (1997-01), who holds the Hawkeyes’ career assists mark (576), is in her third season as Director of Basketball Operations with Penn State. Iowa seniors Jennie Lillis and Becca McCann played with Consuegra her senior year. Kristi Faulkner practiced with the team, but did not play in any games due to transfer rules.
  • Penn State ranks second in conference scoring defense (56.5), scoring margin (+11.2), steals (9.85) and blocked shots (5.23). Iowa ranks first in scoring (75.7), free throw percentage (.791), defensive rebounds (24.08) and assists (17.77) and second in field goal percentage (.458) and 3-pointers made (6.23).
  • Penn State and Iowa share one common non-conference opponent: Kansas State. The Lady Lions defeated the Wildcats (69-56) in the championship game of the Junkanoo Tournament in the Bahamas on Nov. 29. The Hawkeyes dropped an 82-60 decision to Kansas State in Iowa City on Dec. 12.
  • Iowa’s Jennie Lillis scored a career-high 32 points at Penn State her sophomore year.
  • Iowa is 5-0 in games played on Feb. 22.

In 12 home games, Iowa has out-scored its opponent by a 898-847 margin, shooting 45.6 percent from the field and holding opponents to a 42.6 shooting percentage. Iowa has also posted 226 assists to its opponents’ 154.

In 12 games away from Iowa City, the Hawkeyes have out-scored its opponent by a slim 899-895 margin. Iowa averages 2.0 more rebounds on the road. Hawkeye opponents have recorded 127 steals to Iowa’s 82 on the road.

In Iowa’s 15 wins, Iowa boasts a +11.7 scoring margin. The Hawkeyes also shoot the ball well from the field (.469) and the charity stripe (.786).

The Hawkeyes have a better 3-point shooting percentage in their nine losses than in their 14 wins. Iowa has converted 40.1 percent of its 3-pointers in losses, while it makes 36.8 percent of its treys in victories. The Hawkeyes also turn the ball over 4.1 times more in losses than wins.

Iowa won its third (Wisconsin) and fourth (Indiana) straight road games in thrilling come-from-behind fashion.

You had to see Iowa’s overtime win at Wisconsin to believe it. The Hawkeyes overcame an eight-point deficit with 39 seconds left in regulation to defeat Wisconsin (87-82) in the Kohl Center.

Iowa trailed the Badgers by as many as 13 points with 6:49 left and six points with 20 seconds remaining in regulation. Undaunted, the Hawkeyes mounted one of the most exciting comebacks in school history. Iowa out-scored Wisconsin 21-8 the final 6:36 of regulation.

Kristi Faulkner scored an astonishing 15 points (four 3-pointers, one lay-up and one free throw) in the final 1:50 of regulation to help send the game into the extra session.

A Faulkner lay-up with 29 seconds left cut the Badgers lead to six (72-66). Following a Wisconsin (8-14, 2-10) turnover, Faulkner drained a 3-pointer from the wing with 17 seconds left to trim the lead to three (72-69). Jennie Lillis stole Wisconsin’s inbound pass and dished the ball to an open Faulkner in the corner, who sank the game-tying triple with seven seconds left. Wisconsin had an opportunity to win the game in regulation, but a lean-in jumper by Stephanie Rich came up short.

Faulkner and Lillis combined for 38 of Iowa’s 39 second half points, with Jamie Cavey scoring the other point on a free throw.

Lindsay Richards, who was held scoreless in regulation, made two huge 3-pointers in overtime to help the Hawkeyes maintain their hot shooting.

Iowa’s offense started slow at Indiana, scoring only four points in the first 7:30 of the game. The Hawkeyes rallied out-scoring the Hoosiers 31-15 the last 12:30 of the half. Iowa gained control of the contest with five minutes remaining and went on to win by nine points (78-69).

Iowa is the only team to have three student-athletes ranked in the top 10 in Big Ten scoring. Jamie Cavey ranks sixth in scoring, followed by Jennie Lillis (seventh) and Kristi Faulkner (ninth).

Iowa is also the only conference team to have three players ranked in the top 15 in assists. Lillis ranks 11th in assists, followed by Lindsay Richards (12th) and Johanna Solverson (13th).

Jennie Lillis became Iowa’s all-time free throws made leader when she converted 4-6 from the free throw line vs. No. 5 Purdue. The senior has made 403 career free throws. Lillis is also the school record holder in career free throws attempted with 534. Amy Herrig (1995-99) was the previous record holder in both categories before Lillis broke her marks.

Iowa has played seven games decided by seven points or less, winning five of the seven. The Hawkeyes had six games decided by seven points or less last year.

Seniors Jennie Lillis and Kristi Faulkner posted career highs in its thrilling overtime win at Wisconsin on Feb. 12.

Lillis collected career highs in field goals made (12) and attempted (21). She recorded a game and season-high 31 points — one point shy of a career high set at Penn State her sophomore season.

Faulkner recorded career highs in points (29), field goals made (11) and attempted (21), 3-pointers made (5) and minutes played (43).

Sophomore Crystal Smith matched career highs in points (10), rebounds (6) and assists (4) in the Hawkeyes’ home loss to No. 5 Purdue Tuesday night in Iowa City.

Junior Jamie Cavey dished out a career-high six assists in Iowa’s victory at Indiana last Sunday.

Iowa posted 90 points or more in three games this year. The school record is six times, set during the 2001-02 season.

The Hawkeyes rank first in conference scoring (74.9). In fact, Iowa averaged 80.1 ppg its last seven games.

Iowa is 3-5 in overtime games under Coach Bluder, including a 1-2 mark this season. The Hawkeyes’ 87-82 overtime win at Wisconsin on Feb. 12, was their first road overtime victory since a 65-58 victory at Kansas on Dec. 3, 1995 (Iowa defeated Oregon, 89-82, in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on March 17, 2001 on a neutral floor in Salt Lake City, UT). Iowa’s three overtime games this year tie a school record for most overtime contests in a season. Like this season, the Hawkeyes were 1-2 in overtime games during the 1997-98 season.

Iowa converted 91.7 percent (11-12) of its free throws vs. Ohio State on Feb. 5, which is a season best, and 90 percent (18-20) at Michigan State on Feb. 1. Three of Iowa’s starters are shooting at an 80 percent or better clip (Solverson, .840; Faulkner, .856; Lillis, .830). Jamie Cavey is shooting 75.0 percent but has made 84.6 percent (44-52) from the free throw line the last 11 games, including sinking her last 14 attempts.

The Hawkeyes tied a season high with ten 3-pointers at Wisconsin on Feb. 12. Iowa has made 45 3-pointers in its last six games (7.5). Iowa has made five or more triples in 14 of its last 16 contests. The Hawkeyes rank second in the league in 3-pointers made (6.04).

Iowa has converted 50 percent of its 3-point attempts in two of its last five games. The Hawkeyes were 7-14 vs. Purdue and 10-20 at Wisconsin.

Iowa has made at least one 3-pointer in 172 consecutive contests. It is a streak that has occurred over a span of seven seasons. The last time the Hawkeyes did not make a 3-pointer was against Purdue in the Big Ten Tournament on March 1, 1998.

Jennie Lillis has been named to the 2004 Academic all-District second team. The senior has a 3.51 GPA and will graduate in May with a degree in communication studies.


  • With results of last weekend’s action around the league, Iowa is assured no less than a sixth place finish in the Big Ten Conference. However, Iowa has much bigger aspirations; a victory Sunday coupled with a Michigan State loss will leave the Hawkeyes alone in third place.
  • Lillis (31), Faulkner (29) and Cavey (17) scored all but 10 of Iowa’s 87 points at Wisconsin – 93 percent of its offense. Becca McCann and Jenna Armstrong each scored two points each off the bench, while Lindsay Richards drained two clutch 3-pointers in overtime. In addition, Lillis and Faulkner combined for 38 or Iowa’s 39 second half points and 45 of its last 46 points in regulation – a span of 21:36.
  • Iowa is 9-0 this year when having a higher field goal percentage than its opponents, 12-0 when holding its opponents to 69 points or less and 11-1 when leading at halftime.
  • Iowa’s loss to Ohio State on Feb. 5 was its first (10-1) when leading at halftime. In addition, the loss was only Iowa’s fifth (59-5) when leading at the break under Coach Bluder the last four years.
  • Reserve Crystal Smith collected 10 steals against Minnesota this year — five in each contest.
  • Ohio State’s 93 points are the most points Iowa has yielded in a game played in regulation this year. The Hawkeyes allowed 101 points to in-state rival Iowa State in two overtimes on Dec. 3.
  • The Hawkeyes out-rebounded five of their last seven opponents (Indiana, 31-30; Purdue, 39-38; Ohio State, 35-26; Michigan State, 43-35; Northwestern, 36-29). Wisconsin (41-35) and Minnesota (31-29) out-rebounded Iowa.
  • Iowa finished its regular season with a 3-1 record against conference teams it plays only once (wins over Michigan, Northwestern and Michigan State and a loss to Ohio State).
  • Jennie Lillis has made at least one triple in the last 10 games and has attempted at least one 3-pointer in 15 of Iowa’ last 16 contests.

Iowa allowed 57 second half points to Ohio State, which are the most points it has ever yielded in a game in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The previous record was 54 by Wisconsin in 2000. Ohio State’s second half scoring outburst was one shy of an overall record set by Stanford (58) during the 1988-89 season.

Johanna Solverson registered her first career double-double, which she nearly accomplished in the first half vs. Ohio State on Feb. 5. The sophomore pulled down 12 rebounds and scored a season-high 17 rebounds. Solverson tallied 10 points and collected nine rebounds in the first frame. She has posted double figures in rebounding a team-best three times this year. Solverson is the second Hawkeye to record a double-double this year. Jennie Lillis collected her first double-double of the year and 16th of her career vs. Saint Joseph’s on Nov. 28.

Jennie Lillis has attempted at least one free throw in 111-of-117 career games. She is the school record holder for career free throws made (403) and attempted (534).

The native of Urbandale, IA, has converted 403-534 (.755) career free throws. She has made 88-106 (.830) of her attempts this season, including 34 of her last 38 attempts (89.5 percent). Lillis ranks fourth in free throw percentage in conference only games (.852).

Jennie Lillis is among an elite group of Hawkeyes. Lillis is about to become only the second Iowa player to amass 1,700 points and 800 rebounds (Cindy Haugejorde). She is one of only three Hawkeyes to score 300 points or more all four years (Haugejorde and Lindsey Meder).

Lills is arguably Iowa’s best complete player in its 30-year history. The native of Urbandale, IA, recently became the first-ever Hawkeye to rank in the top ten in the five major statistical categories at Iowa (scoring, rebounding, steals, assists and blocks). She ranks fifth in scoring and rebounding, sixth in steals, third in blocks and eighth in assists. She is one of only three Big Ten athletes to accomplish the feat (Minnesota’s Laura Coenen, 1981-85 and Illinois’ Tauja Catchings, 1996-00). Lillis will likely finish her career ranked fourth in scoring, fifth in rebounding, third in blocks, sixth in steals and eighth in assists. She needs 47 points to move into fourth place in scoring and two assists from moving into eighth in assists.

Lillis is a leader on and off the court. She has started all but one game in her career. The two-time all-Big Ten performer, also spends some of her free time at the University of Iowa Hospital & Clinics.

The senior ranks seventh in the league in scoring (16.5), 11th in rebounding (6.3), fifth in free throw percentage (.830), 11th in assists (3.21) and 10th in steals (1.83).

Lillis has drained a season-high twenty-five 3-pointers, besting last year’s total (5). Lillis has made 31 career triples. She has made at least one 3-pointer in 10 straight games and 13 of Iowa’s last 15 games. Lillis has attempted at least one triple in 16 of Iowa’s last 17 contests. She attempted a career-high seven 3-pointers at Michigan State on Feb. 1.

The three-time captain is the only Hawkeye to score in double figures in every game this year. She posted her first double-double of the season and 16th of her career vs. Saint Joseph’s (19 points, 10 rebounds).

Senior Kristi Faulkner has converted .846 (253-299) of her free throw attempts during her three years with the Hawkeyes. She will break Lindsey Meder’s school free throw percentage record of .799 (287-359) set 1998-2002.

Senior Kristi Faulkner ranks third on the squad in scoring (16.2), first in 3-pointers made (47), attempted (104) and percentage (.452) and fourth in rebounding (3.8). She has made at least one triple in 22-of-24 games this year. Faulkner has scored in double figures in 20-of-24 games, including posting 20 points or more seventimes.

Faulkner scored a game-high 22 points (8-19 FG, , 4-4 FT) in Iowa’s 20-point home win over No. 11 Minnesota. It marked the first time she led the Hawkeyes in scoring since posting 27 points vs. Indiana on Jan. 15.

Faulkner scored 15 of her career-high 29 points in the final 1:50 of regulation at Wisconsin on Feb. 12. She also registered career highs in field goals made (11) and attempted, 3-pointers made (5) and minutes played (43).

The native of Glen Ellyn, IL, celebrated her 23rd birthday in style, scoring 22 points (8-12 FG, 3-3 FT) and grabbing five rebounds playing in her hometown in Iowa’s win over Northwestern on Jan. 29. The senior tallied 16 of her points in the second half on a perfect 6-6 shooting from the field and 3-3 from the charity stripe.

She registered a game-high 26 points at Florida International, 22 points at Iowa State and 24 vs. Drake. She made a season-high four 3-pointers against the Cyclones. Faulkner scored a season-high 27 points, including her 1,000th career point in an Iowa uniform, in Iowa’s home win over Indiana on Jan. 15.

Faulkner has made 128 career 3-pointers, which ranks second in career triples at Iowa. She has posted 1,161 career points at Iowa, which ranks 12th. Faulkner is 70 points from moving past Lisa Long (1983-87) and into 11th place.

Faulkner was a third team all-Big Ten honoree last year.

Jamie Cavey has fouled out seven times this year, while Jennie Lillis has fouled out five times. Lillis fouled out only once in 33 games her junior year and three times in 29 contests her sophomore season.

As a team, Hawkeye players have fouled out 17 times this season, topping its total all of last year (9).

Jamie Cavey’s free throw shooting is just one aspect of her game that she has improved on this year. Cavey has converted 90-120 (.750) from the charity stripe this year. Last year, she made 38-72 (.528) of her attempts.

Cavey has converted 84.6 percent (44-52) from the free throw line the last 11 games, including sinking her last 14 attempts.

Iowa ranks 25th in the nation in attendance (3,453). The Hawkeyes are the sixth-highest Big Ten team ranked. Purdue ranks fifth, followed by Penn State (6), Minnesota (8), Wisconsin (13) and Michigan State (17). Rankings are as of Feb. 16.

Jamie Cavey, who was named the Big Ten Player of the Week on Feb. 2, has been a dominant force in the middle lately.

The junior is in the midst of a career season. Cavey averaged 3.7 points per game in Big Ten play last season and 5.6 ppg in overall play. So far this season, she ranks No. 5 in conference and No. 6 in overall play with 18.5 and 17.6 points per game, respectively. She has led Iowa in scoring on 13 occasions this season, and has chalked up at least 20 points in nine outings, including four of the last seven contests.

Cavey posted career highs in points (33), field goals made (14) and attempted (25) vs. Ohio State on Feb. 5. The 14 field goals made are the most in a game by a player in the Big Ten this year. Her 33 points mark the first time an Iowa player amassed 30 points or more since Jennie Lillis scored a career-high 32 points at Penn State on Feb. 10, 2002.

The native or Mechanicsville, IA, headlined the Hawkeyes in their win at Indiana on Feb. 15, scoring a game-high 25 points (8-14 FG, 9-9 FT), collecting a team-high eight rebounds and dishing out a career-high six assists.

Cavey sparked the Hawkeyes to their first two conference road wins of the season as Iowa defeated Northwestern (76-61) and No. 18 Michigan State (78-67).

In the 15-point win over the Wildcats, Cavey collected a team-high 24 points and eight rebounds while shooting 11-15 from the field (73.3 percent). She also added four assists and a steal in that outing.

Iowa recorded its first victory over a ranked team this season with an 11-point triumph against the Spartans on Feb. 1. Cavey tallied a team-best 21 points in that win while shooting 57.1 percent (19-29) from the field and 83.3 percent (5-6) from the free-throw line.

For the fourth consecutive season, Iowa started 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.

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.

Projections have begun for the NCAA Tournament and www.collegerpi.com has the Hawkeyes as a No. 11 seed in the Mideast Region in its third bracket projection. The web site has Iowa playing No. 6 seed Boston College in the first round, with the game being played in Baton Rouge, LA.

Iowa is one of six Big Ten teams (Penn State, Purdue, Minnesota, Michigan State and Ohio State) projected, while the web site projects the Big East and SEC (8) and Big XII (7) to lead the pack.

The web site will make projections every Tuesday afternoon leading up to the NCAA Tournament.

Sophomore Crystal Smith has been Coach Bluder’s first guard off the bench this year, averaging 16.3 minutes per game. It can be argued that Smith is Iowa’s top defender, who is tied with starter Jennie Lillis for the team lead (44). Smith ranks sixth in conference steals (2.38), the highest ranking non-starter.

Smith had one of the best games of her career vs. Illinois and Minnesota. The native of Haughton, LA, matched her career high with 10 points, blocked her first career shot, collected a career-high four assists and grabbed four rebounds vs. the Illini. Smith collected seven points (2-2 FG, 2-2 FT), three rebounds and a career-high five steals at Minnesota. Her five steals came while guarding one of the conference’s and nation’s top players — Lindsay Whalen.

Smith matched her career high in steals in Iowa’s last game against Minnesota in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The sophomore collected three of her game-high five thefts in the first half.

Recently, she matched career highs in points (10), rebounds (6) and assists (4) in Iowa’s loss to No. 5 Purdue on Feb. 10.

She scored a career-high 10 points on 4-5 from the field, bolstered by a perfect 2-2 from three-point range at Florida International. She also collected four rebounds, three of which were offensive, and two steals.

Smith scored seven of her eight points in the first half against the Hoosiers and finished the game with six rebounds. Five of her six rebounds were offensive — a career high.

She has collected two or more steals 13 times, including six of the last eight contests, and has been nominated for Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year.

Iowa ranks first in Big Ten Conference scoring (74.9) and 3-point field goal percentage (.381), second in assists (17.58), 3-point field goals made (6.04) and free throw percentage (.764) and third in field goal percentage (.450).

Jamie Cavey ranks sixth in scoring (17.6) and fourth in field goal percentage (.563). Kristi Faulkner ranks ninth in scoring (16.2), second in 3-point percentage (.452), second in free throw percentage (.856) and fifth in 3-pointers made (1.96). Jennie Lillis ranks seventh in scoring (16.5), 11th in rebounding (6.3), 10th in steals (1.83), fifth in free throw percentage (.830) and 11th in assists (3.21).

Iowa has nine regular season games that will be televised this year. KCRG-TV9 broadcast Iowa games against Houston, Iowa State, Drake, Wisconsin and Ohio State. Fox Sports Chicago televised Iowa game vs. Purdue and will show its regular season finale at Illinois (Feb. 29). Fox Sports North aired the Hawkeye games against Minnesota on Jan. 11 in Minneapolis and Feb. 19 in Iowa City.

“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 show 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-TV9. The show includes interviews with Coach Bluder and players and feature stories. Below is a list of the dates and times.

Saturday, February 21 – 5 p.m.
Saturday, March 20 – 5 p.m.

The Hawkeyes conclude their regular season with a pair of road games at Purdue (Feb. 26) and at Illinois (Feb. 29).