Hawkeyes Travel to No. 4 Purdue

Feb. 23, 2004

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THE SETTING
Iowa (15-10, 9-5) travels to West Lafayette, IN, to play No. 4 Purdue (23-2, 13-1) Thursday. Tip-off is slated for 6:05 p.m. (CST) in Mackey Arena (14,123). Thursday’s game will the Hawkeyes’ third straight contest against a ranked opponent.

Purdue is tied with Penn State for the top spot in the conference, while Iowa is in a four-way tie for third place with Michigan State, Minnesota and Ohio State.

ON THE AIR AND INTERNET
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 HISTORY
Iowa has played 842 games since beginning basketball in 1974. Overall, Iowa’s record is 513-329 (.609). That includes a 275-143 (.658) mark in Big Ten games and a 227-54 (.808) record in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

NUMBER OF THE WEEK – – 400
Iowa has three players that have scored 400 points this season. Jamie Cavey has collected 436, while Jennie Lillis and Kristi Faulkner have both scored 406. This season marks only the third time in school history that a trio has posted 400 points or more. Michelle Edwards (621), Shanda Berry (449) and Franthea Price (423) accomplished the feat during the 1987-88 season. Berry (497), Price (459), Jolette Law (445) and Robin Christian (409) are the only foursome to accumulate 400 points or more in a season, during the 1988-89 campaign.

IOWA VS. RANKED TEAMS
Thursday will be Iowa’s seventh game against a ranked opponent. Iowa is 2-5 against ranked opponents this year. The Hawkeyes defeated No. 18 Michigan State (78-67) and No. 11 Minnesota (81-61) and lost to No. 7 Penn State (70-58), No. 5 Purdue (90-79), No. 6 Minnesota (75-61), No. 8 Penn State (92-64) and No. 11 Kansas State (82-60).

Iowa 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

BIG TEN TOURNAMENT TICKETS
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.

NO. 7 PENN STATE DEFEATS IOWA ON “SENIOR DAY”
Tanisha Wright scored a game-high and season-best 24 points and 6-foot-6 freshman Reicina Russell grabbed a career-high 17 boards as seventh-ranked Penn State defeated Iowa 70-58 before a season-high 6,756 fans inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

The game was the last inside Carver for the three senior captains of the Iowa squad, Krist Faulkner, Jennie Lillis and Becca McCann and the first victory inside Carver for the Lady Lions since 2000.

Faulkner led the Hawkeyes with 18 points and junior center Jamie Cavey added 14, while sophomore forward Johanna Solverson had 11.

Missing from the high-scorers list, however, was Penn State standout Kelly Mazzante, who went 2-of-12 from the field and 0-of-3 at the line for a career-low four points in the match-up. She scored 30 points over the Hawkeyes last month at State College.

The win for the Lady Lions puts them in a two-way contest for first place in the league against fifth-rated Purdue, who Iowa faces on Wednesday. The Hawkeyes are battling Minnesota, Ohio State and Michigan State for a share of third place in the conference.

The Lady Lions held the Hawkeyes to 31.7 percent from the field, while making seven steals and four blocks in the game. They also out-rebounded the Hawks 46-39 overall, but 32-24 for defensive rebounds.

Rebounding was crucial for Penn State’s success according to Wright, who went 10-of-17 from the field and had six rebounds herself.

The transition game upset the Hawkeyes and Penn State got 24 points off of fast breaks. Iowa could only manage eight.

But Iowa wasn’t out the game from the beginning of the match-up that had four ties and six lead changes.

After a 5-0 start by Penn State, Faulkner took control the game with two jumpers and a 3-pointer a quarter of the way through the first half. Iowa maintained the lead until 8:19 in the first when Mazzante and Wright paired for quick transitional lay-ups.

After a free throw battle midway through the half, the Lady Lions mounted a 10-2 run to close the first half with a 33-27 advantage.

Iowa managed to get the game to within two on a Faulkner 3-pointer in the first three minutes of the second half, but after four Hawkeye fouls in less than 40 seconds at the halfway point, Penn State launched a 13-4 run. The Lady Lions gained an 18-point lead with about a minute to play.

ALL-TIME SERIES RECORDS
Purdue owns a slim 24-22 advanatge over the Hawkeyes, including an 11-9 edge in games played in West Lafayette.

The Boilermakers have won five consecutive games over Iowa, which is their longest winning streak in the 46-game series.

Iowa has lost four straight games at Mackey Arena. The Hawkeyes’ last victory in Mackey Arena was a 73-67 triumph on Feb. 6, 1998.

Purdue’s 27-point win (84-57) over Iowa in the semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament was its largest margin of victory over the Hawkeyes.

The Hawkeyes have played four overtime games against Purdue, which are the most against any Big Ten team.

SCOUTING PURDUE
No. 4 Purdue enters Thursday’s game against the Hawkeyes riding a season-best 14-game winning streak. Thursday will be the final home game for seniors Shereka Wright, Erika Valek, Beth Jones and Lindsey Hicks — all of whom are starters.

The Boilermakers are coming off a hard-fought 59-56 win over 20th-ranked Michigan State Sunday. The Spartans took a 26-22 advantage into halftime, but Purdue out-scored Michigan State 37-30 in the second half to pull out the victory. Purdue out-rebounded Michigan State (36-26) and out-scored the Spartans (14-4) in second chance points. Wright posted game highs in points (24) and rebounds (12), while freshman reserve Katie Gearlds tallied 14 points.

Wright ranks first on the team and fourth in Big Ten scoring (20.4). She also ranks second on the team and 13th in the league in rebounding (6.2). Gearlds ranks second on the squad in scoring (10.4) and third in blocks (12). Valek ranks third in scoring (8.8) and first in assists (99).

The Boilermakers boast a 13-1 home record this season. Purdue’s senior class is a combined 58-3 in home contests during their career.

Purdue is coached by Kristy Curry, who is in her fifth year as a college head coach, all with the Boilermakers. Curry’s overall record stands at 130-29 (.818).

IOWA, PURDUE NOTES

  • Iowa and Purdue played two common non-conference opponents: Kansas State and Houston. The Boilermakers defeated both Kansas State (79-69) and Houston (66-63), while the Hawkeyes lost to the Wildcats (82-60) and the Cougars (70-64).
  • The Hawkeyes rank in the top five in 11 statistical categories in the conference, including ranking first in scoring offense, free throw percentage, assists and defensive rebounds. The Boilermakers rank in the top five in 13 categories, including ranking first in scoring defense, scoring margin, steals and turnover margin.
  • Iowa Head Coach Lisa Bluder was an assistant coach on the 2001 gold medal Women’s World University Games that competed in Beijing, China. Bluder helped coach Purdue’s Shereka Wright, who ranked second on the team in scoring in the team’s eight games.
  • Iowa’s Kristi Faulkner drained a career-high five 3-pointers in a loss at Purdue last year. She finished with a then-career-high 27 points. In that same contest, Jennie Lillis scored her 1,000th career point with a jumper at the top of the key in the first half.
  • Iowa is 4-1 in games played on Feb. 26.

LAST MEETING
If it wasn’t Shereka Wright scoring for Purdue, it was Katie Gearlds. Between the two of them, the fifth-ranked Boilermakers had far too much firepower for Iowa.

Wright scored 21 of her season-high 34 points in the second half and Gearlds, a freshman, added a career-best 32, leading Purdue to a 90-79 victory Tuesday night. The duo’s scoring outburst marked the first time an Iowa defense has ever allowed two players to score 30 points or more in the same game.

Wright and Gearlds certainly had it going and Iowa had no answer for either in getting burned defensively for the second straight game. The Hawkeyes lost to Ohio State 93-82 last Thursday.

Purdue won its 11th straight game by pulling away after Iowa, which trailed by 12 late in the first half, got to within a point just after the break.

Wright, constantly beating her defender whether off the dribble or moving without the ball, made sure the Hawkeyes never got the lead. She scored 13 of the Boilermakers’ first 16 points in the second half, finishing that burst with two free throws for a 58-50 lead.

A turnaround by Gearlds and a bank shot by Lindsey Hicks stretched the lead to 62-50, and Iowa was never closer than seven points after that.

Jennie Lillis led Iowa with 23 points and Kristi Faulkner scored 17. Crystal Smith tied career highs in points (10), rebounds (6) and assists (4) in the defeat.

Gearlds, scoreless in Purdue’s previous game vs. Ohio State, matched her previous high with 17 points in the first half. She went 12-for-16 from the field, made all four of her 3-point shots and looked like someone who could score any time she felt like it.

RPI RANKINGS
Iowa ranks 35th in the latest RPI rankings and 25th in strength of schedule. Purdue ranks fourth in RPI and 26th in strength of schedule.

Iowa is the highest rated team in the RPI rankings with only 15 wins. Rutgers and Arkansas both have 16 wins and check in at No. 23 and No. 31, respectively. After Iowa, the team with the least amount of victories is Missouri (13), who ranks 41st.

After Thursday’s game at Purdue, Iowa will have played six games against teams currently ranked in the RPI top 10 (Purdue, No. 4; Penn State, No. 5; Kansas State, No. 8; Houston, No. 9). The Hawkeyes have also played No. 15 Minnesota twice.

The Hawkeyes are a perfect 9-0 against teams with an RPI over 100, 2-6 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.

Penn State ranks No. 5 in the RPI rankings, followed by Minnesota (15), Michigan State (21) and Ohio State (38).

HAWKEYES LIMITING THEIR MISTAKES
Iowa, who had trouble turning the ball over early in the season, has done a better job of possessing the ball the last four games. The Hawkeyes turned the ball over 14 times in each of their last four contests (Wisconsin, Indiana, Minnesota and Penn State). Before those four games, Iowa averaged 19.5 turnovers per game.

HOME, AWAY COMPARISONS
In 13 home games, Iowa out-scored its opponent by a 956-917 margin, shooting 44.5 percent from the field and holding opponents to a 42.7 shooting percentage. Iowa also posted 236 assists to its opponents’ 166. Hawkeye opponents shot a sluggish 66.3 percent from the free throw line in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

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.

WINS, LOSSES COMPARISONS
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).

Clearly, Iowa struggles to find the basket in its 10 defeats. The Hawkeyes converted only 40.8 percent of its attempts. Iowa also turns the ball over 3.4 times more in losses than wins. Hawkeye opponents have also collected 45 more steals than Iowa in its losses.

IOWA ON PACE TO BREAK FREE THROW RECORD
Iowa has converted 76.4 percent (372-487) of its free throws this year. The Hawkeyes are on pace to break the school record of 74.4 percent (338-455) set during the 1980-81 season. Iowa nearly broke the record last year, making 74.3 percent (512-689) of its attempts.

Iowa’s 76.4 percent from the charity stripe ranks second in the Big Ten next to Penn State. The Hawkeyes are shooting 78.8 percent (205-260) from the free throw line in conference games, which ranks first in the league.

THREE’S A CHARM
Iowa is the only team to have three student-athletes ranked in the top 10 in conference scoring. Jamie Cavey ranks sixth in scoring, while Jennie Lillis and Kristi Faulkner are tied for seventh.

The Hawkeyes are also the only league school to have three players ranked in the top 15 in assists. Lillis ranks 10th, followed by Lindsay Richards (12th) and Johanna Solverson (13th).

EXTRA WORK
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.

ROAD WARRIORS
The Hawkeyes are 7-4 in road games this year, including capturing the last four road conference games (Northwestern, Michigan State, Wisconsin and Indiana). Last year, Iowa finished the season 3-8 in road contests.

The last time the Hawkeyes won four Big Ten road games was during the 2001-02 season (Iowa was 5-3). The last time Iowa won seven overall road games was when the Hawkeyes posted seven during the 1997-98 season.

COMEBACK KIDS
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).

LILLIS BREAKS CAREER FREE THROW MARK
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 408 career free throws. Lillis is also the school record holder in career free throws attempted with 540. Amy Herrig (1995-99) was the previous record holder in both categories before Lillis broke her marks.

CLOSE GAMES
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.

HAWKEYES POST CAREER HIGHS
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 on Feb. 10.

Junior Jamie Cavey dished out a career-high six assists in Iowa’s victory at Indiana on Feb. 15.

IOWA CRANKS UP THE OFFENSE
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 (74.4). In fact, Iowa averaged 87.4 ppg its last eight games.

HAWKEYES SINK FREEBIES
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, .828; Faulkner, .859; Lillis, .830). Jamie Cavey is shooting 74.6 percent but has made 82.8 percent (48-58) from the free throw line the last 12 games.

RAINING THREES
The Hawkeyes tied a season high with ten 3-pointers at Wisconsin on Feb. 12. Iowa has made five or more triples in 14 of its last 17 contests. The Hawkeyes rank second in the league in 3-pointers made (5.88).

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

The Hawkeyes shot a season-low 11.1 percent (2-18) from beyond the arc in their loss to Penn State Sunday. The two treys made tied a season-low.

Iowa has made at least one 3-pointer in 173 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.

LILLIS NAMED ACADEMIC ALL-DISTRICT
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.

IOWA TIP-INS

  • Iowa has not lost three straight games this season.
  • Penn State’s Reicina Russell grabbed a game and career-high 17 rebounds in its win over Iowa last Sunday. The 17 rebounds are the most by an Iowa opponent since IUPUI’s Tiffany Kyser pulled down 15 boards on Nov. 23, 2002.
  • Kristi Faulkner has led Iowa in scoring the last two games, scoring 22 points vs. Minnesota and 18 vs. Penn State. The senior has scored in double figures 50 times while wearing the Black and Gold.
  • 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 eight opponents (Indiana, 31-30; Purdue, 39-38; Ohio State, 35-26; Michigan State, 43-35; Northwestern, 36-29). Wisconsin (41-35), Minnesota (31-29) and Penn State (46-39) 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 10 of the last 11 games and has attempted at least one 3-pointer in 16 of Iowa’ last 17 contests.
  • Jennie Lillis has played 40 minutes or more four times this year.
  • Iowa played in front of a season-high 6,756 fans in its final home game vs. Penn State on Feb. 22.

HAWKEYE DEFENSE COLLAPSES
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.

SOLVERSON POSTS FIRST CAREER DOUBLE-DOUBLE
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.

ONE AND THE BONUS
Jennie Lillis has attempted at least one free throw in 112-of-118 career games. She is the school record holder for career free throws made (408) and attempted (540).

The native of Urbandale, IA, has converted 408-540 (.756) career free throws. She has made 93-112 (.830) of her attempts this season, including 39 of her last 44 attempts (88.6 percent). Lillis ranks third in free throw percentage in conference only games (.850).

FAULKNER ON PACE TO BREAK SCHOOL RECORD
Senior Kristi Faulkner has converted .849 (259-305) 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.

FAULKNER: IOWA’S 3-POINT THREAT
Senior Kristi Faulkner ranks second on the squad in scoring (16.2), first in 3-pointers made (49), attempted (109) and percentage (.450) and fourth in rebounding (3.7). She has made at least one triple in 23-of-25 games this year. Faulkner has scored in double figures in 21-of-25 games, including posting 20 points or more seven times.

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 130 career 3-pointers, which ranks second in career triples at Iowa. She has posted 1,179 career points at Iowa, which ranks 12th. Faulkner is 52 points from moving past Lisa Long (1983-87) and into 11th place.

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

LILLIS AMONG ELITE GROUP
Jennie Lillis is among an elite group of Hawkeyes. Lillis is only the second Iowa player to amass 1,700 points and 800 rebounds (Cindy Haugejorde). In addition, 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 38 points to move into fourth place in scoring.

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 (16.2), 12th in rebounding (6.4), fifth in free throw percentage (.830), 10th in assists (3.24) and 11th in steals (1.84).

Lillis has drained a season-high twenty-five 3-pointers, besting last year’s total (5). She has made 31 career triples. She has made at least one 3-pointer in 10 of the last 11 contests. Lillis has attempted at least one triple in 17 of Iowa’s last 18 contests. She attempted a career-high seven 3-pointers at Michigan State on Feb. 1.

The three-time captain posted her first double-double of the season and 16th of her career vs. Saint Joseph’s (19 points, 10 rebounds).

FOUL PLAY
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).

CAVEY IMPROVES AT THE CHARITY STRIPE
Jamie Cavey’s free throw shooting is just one aspect of her game that she has improved on this year. Cavey has converted 94-126 (.746) from the charity stripe this year. Last year, she made 38-72 (.528) of her attempts.

Cavey has converted 82.8 percent (48-58) from the free throw line the last 12 games.

ATTENDANCE RANKINGS
Iowa ranks 25th in the nation in attendance (3,705). 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. 23.

CAVEY ON FIRE!!!
Jamie Cavey, who was named the Big Ten Player of the Week on Feb. 2, has been a dominant force in the middle this season.

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 18.2 and 17.4 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 eight 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.

THE NAME GAME
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.

SMITH HAVING BREAKOUT YEAR
Sophomore Crystal Smith has been Coach Bluder’s first guard off the bench this year, averaging 16.2 minutes per game. It can be argued that Smith is Iowa’s top defender, who ranks second (44) behind starter Jennie Lillis (46) for the team lead in steals. Smith ranks seventh in conference steals (2.21), 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 nine contests, and has been nominated for Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year.

CENTER OF ATTENTION
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.

BIG TEN RANKINGS — ALL GAMES
Iowa ranks first in Big Ten Conference scoring (74.2) and 3-point field goal percentage (.368), second in assists (17.28), 3-point field goals made (5.88) and free throw percentage (.764) and fourth in field goal percentage (.444).

Jamie Cavey ranks sixth in scoring (17.4) and fourth in field goal percentage (.561). Kristi Faulkner ranks seventh in scoring (16.2), first in 3-point percentage (.450), second in free throw percentage (.859) and fifth in 3-pointers made (1.96). Jennie Lillis ranks seventh in scoring (16.2), 12th in rebounding (6.4), 11th in steals (1.84), fifth in free throw percentage (.830) and 10th in assists (3.24).

NCAA TOURNAMENT PROJECTIONS
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.

HAWKEYES EARN TOURNAMENT HONORS
Kristi Faulkner was named the 2003 FIU Thanksgiving Classic Most Valuable Player. The senior averaged 20.5 ppg, 6.0 rpg and 2.5 apg in the two games. Senior Jennie Lillis, who averaged 17.0 ppg, 8.0 rpg and 2.5 apg was named to the all-tournament team.

The honor was Faulkner’s first of her career in a holiday tournament, while Lillis was named to a holiday tournament all-tournament team for the sixth time in her career.

Junior Jamie Cavey and senior Jennie Lillis were named to the KCRG-TV9 Hawkeye Challenge All-Tournament Team. It marked the third time Lillis earned the accolade, including being named the MVP last year. Cavey’s honor marked the first time that she was named to the Hawkeye Challenge all-Tournament squad in her three years with the Black and Gold.

HAWKEYES ON THE TUBE
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, March 20 – 5 p.m.

NEXT ACTION
The Hawkeyes conclude their regular season at Illinois on Sunday at 12:06 p.m. The game will be televised live on Fox Sports Chicago.