March 2, 2004
The fourth-seeded Iowa Hawkeyes (16-11, 10-6) open Big Ten Tournament play against fifth-seeded Michigan State (20-7, 10-6) in the quarterfinals Friday at approximately 1:20 p.m. (CST) in the Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, IN. The winner advances to the semifinals to face either No. 1 Penn State, No. 8 Wisconsin or No. 9 Indiana at 2:30 p.m. (CST). Both Iowa and Michigan State won its regular season finale’s on the road.
Friday will mark the first-ever meeting between the Hawkeyes and Spartans in a Big Ten Tournament contest. The Hawkeyes have reached the semifinals five times and won the Big Ten Tournament in 1997 and 2001. Michigan State will be looking for its first conference tournament victory since 1999. The Spartans have lost their last four tournament openers.
BIG TEN TOURNAMENT TICKET INFORMATION
Fans can purchase tickets at the Conseco Fieldhouse box office. Single session tickets range from $10-$14. An all-session ticket (10 games) costs $55. Fans interested in sitting in the Iowa section can call the UI Ticket Office at 1-800-IA-HAWKS.
ON THE TUBE
Fox Sports Chicago will televise all Big Ten Tournament games with the exception of the championship game, which will be shown on ESPN2. Dave Eanet and Toni Roesch will call the action for the games carried on Fox Sports Chicago. Pam Ward and Nancy Lieberman will be on hand to call the championship game on ESPN2.
ON THE AIR
All Iowa Big Ten Tournament games will be broadcast on the Hawkeye Radio Network. Listen to the 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.
Iowa has played 844 games since beginning basketball in 1974. Overall, Iowa’s record is 514-330 (.609). That includes a 276-144 (.657) 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 (462) leads the Hawkeyes, followed by Kristi Faulkner (442) and Jennie Lillis (433). 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 BIG TEN TOURNAMENT HISTORY
The Hawkeyes won their second Big Ten Tournament title in dramatic fashion three years ago when Iowa upset the defending tournament champion Purdue Boilermakers (75-70) in Grand Rapids, MI. Iowa holds an overall record of 11-8 in Big Ten Tournaments. The Hawkeyes have never faced Michigan or Michigan State in a conference tournament game.
Iowa has been the No. 4 seed twice before, winning its first tournament title in 1997 and losing in the quarterfinals in 2002.
SERIES RECORDS AT BIG TEN TOURNAMENT
The Hawkeyes are 3-0 against Illinois (1996, 1997 and 2001); 2-1 vs. Indiana (1997, 2001 and 2002); 2-0 against Minnesota (1995 and 2003) and Ohio State (1998); 2-2 vs. Northwestern (1997, 1999, 2000 and 2003); 0-1 against Penn State (1995) and Wisconsin (1982); and 1-3 vs. Purdue (1996, 1998, 2001 and 2003).
BIG TEN TOURNAMENT HISTORY
This year marks the 11th time that the Big Ten Conference will be hosting a conference tournament. This year’s tournament will be the fourth year that the Conseco Fieldhouse will host the Big Ten Tournament. The Big Ten held a tournament in 1982, then resumed the tournament in 1995 and has held a tournament every year since then. Three year’s ago, the tournament was held in Grand Rapids, MI, which was a first for the conference tournament. Prior to the 2001 tournament and the 1982 tournament, which was held at Michigan State, the seven other tournaments have been held in Indianapolis, IN. Only five teams have won the conference tournament. Purdue has won the most conference tournaments with four, followed by Iowa and Penn State with two. Ohio State and Indiana have each won one.
FOURTH SEED NOTES
The fourth seed has posted an 11-7 mark in Big Ten Tournament games. The fourth seed is 5-4 in quarterfinal games. The fourth seed has reached the championship game three times the last nine tournaments, capturing the title twice. Iowa won its first conference tournament in 1997 as the No. 4 seed, notching victories over Northwestern (73-63), Indiana (87-53) and Illinois (63-56). Purdue won its first league tournament in 1998. The Boilermakers also reached the championship game in 1996 as the fourth seed, but lost to second-seeded Penn State.
IOWA VS. RANKED TEAMS
Iowa has played eight games against ranked opponents. The Hawkeyes are 2-6 against ranked opponents this year. The Hawkeyes defeated No. 18 Michigan State (78-67) and No. 11 Minnesota (81-61) and lost to No. 4 Purdue (84-55), 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
HAWKEYES WIN REGULAR SEASON FINALE
Needing a win to remain in a fourth place tie with Michigan State, the Hawkeyes prevailed with a convincing 89-64 win at Illinois on Feb. 29.
Both Iowa and Illinois were cold shooting in the first half. The Hawkeyes shot 33.3 percent (12-36), while Illinois converted 41.2 percent (14-34) of its shot attempts from the field. Despite its cold shooting, Iowa took a two-point (35-33) halftime lead.
Iowa came out of the locker room on fire, scoring on eight of its first nine possessions of the second half and building a 17-point (52-35) advantage. The Hawkeyes continued their red-hot shooting for a majority of the game until the game was well in hand. Iowa led by as many as 34 points (88-54) with 4:29 left.
The Hawkeyes forced 23 Illinois turnovers and converted those miscues into 28 points. The Fighting Illini did out-rebound the Hawkeyes (52-38).
Kristi Faulkner scored a game-high 25 points (10-17 FG, 2-2 FT) and dished out four assists against her former team. After two subpar games, Jennie Lillis rebounded with an outstanding effort, collecting 20 points (6-13 FG, 5-6 FT) and grabbing four rebounds. Jamie Cavey contributed 14 points (5-9 FG, 4-5 FT) and five rebounds, while Lindsay Richards collected eight points (2-3 FG, 4-5 FT) and a career-high four steals.
The 25-point loss was Illinois’ largest losing margin of the season. The previous high was 18, which also came against the Hawkeyes. Iowa totaled 180 points (90 ppg) in two games against Illinois this season.
For the first time this season, all 11 Hawkeyes scored at least one point. Iowa scored a season-high 54 second half points in the win.
SCOUTING MICHIGAN STATE
The Spartans snapped a three-game losing skid in their regular season finale at Indiana on Feb. 29. Michigan State defeated Indiana (60-51) in overtime in Bloomington, IN. The Spartans out-scored the Hoosiers 9-0 in the extra session en route to their 20th victory of the season. Kelli Roehrig notched a double-double (14 points, 11 rebounds) to lead the Spartans. Lindsay Bowen scored a team-high 19 points, while Liz Shimek added eight points and pulled down 10 rebounds. Michigan State out-rebounded Indiana (41-26) and collected 14 steals to Indiana’s six. The Spartans converted 24 Hoosier turnovers into 20 points.
Bowen ranks first on the team in scoring (12.9) and second in assists (63). Shimek ranks first on the team in rebounding (8.2) and second in scoring (10.7). Kristin Haynie ranks first on the squad in assists (109) and third in scoring (9.3).
Michigan State is the conference leader in scoring defense (55.1).
The Spartans are coached by Joanne P. McCallie, who is in her 12th year as a college head coach and her fourth with Michigan State. McCallie’s overall record stands at 233-122 (.656) and 66-49 (.574) with the Spartans.
ALL-TIME SERIES RECORDS
Iowa holds a 28-14 advantage in the Michigan State series. The Hawkeyes are 1-1 against the Spartans on neutral floors. Michigan State defeated Iowa 83-54 in the 1976 Big Ten Championships, while Iowa downed the Spartans 63-58 in the 1980 Big Ten Championships.
Iowa has won five of the last six meetings against Michigan State.
There has been only one overtime game in the 42-game series history. Michigan State defeated Iowa (71-70) in double overtime on Jan. 15, 1995. The game was the Hawkeyes’ first-ever contest to extend to two overtimes.
The Hawkeyes are 8-5 in road games this year, including capturing five of the last six road conference games (Northwestern, Michigan State, Wisconsin, Indiana and Illinois). Last year, Iowa finished the season 3-8 in road contests.
The last time the Hawkeyes won five Big Ten road games was during the 2001-02 season (Iowa was 5-3). The last time Iowa won eight overall road games was when the Hawkeyes posted nine during the 1993-94 season.
LAST MEETING AGAINST MICHIGAN STATE
Jamie Cavey and Kristi Faulkner combined for 40 points against the Big Ten’s top defense, and Iowa showed it could stop teams, too, in beating No. 18 Michigan State 78-67 in the Breslin Center.
Cavey had 21 points and Faulkner added 19 as the Hawkeyes scored the last 11 points, including nine from the foul line, in their fifth-straight win.
The Spartans were allowing 53.6 points per game before surrendering a season-high total. They also shot just .310 from the field and .133 from 3-point range.
The Hawkeyes overcame a 60-54 deficit, then pulled away at the foul line after shooting only four free throws to the Spartans’ 31 in the first 37 minutes.
Jennie Lillis added 14 points, including 6-for-6 foul shooting in the last two minutes. But while she was held in check for most of the game, Cavey and Faulkner got loose near the basket and on the perimeter, respectively.
Michigan State was led by Lindsay Bowen with a game-high 22 points, all in the final 28 minutes. But the Spartans were out-scored 30-6 from 3-point range.
The Hawkeyes entered the game as the league’s best 3-point shooters and reinforced that reputation. Iowa also shot .900 at the line once its players got opportunities.
Michigan State shot just .290 from the field and .111 on 3-pointers in the second half, when it was outscored 47-33. The Spartans also were out-rebounded 26-14 in the last 20 minutes of their first loss in seven games.
Iowa posted season highs in 3-pointers made (10) and attempted (30) and free throw percentage (.900, 18-20). The win was Iowa’s first road victory over a ranked opponent since defeating 16th-ranked Wisconsin 76-64 on Feb. 7, 2002.
IOWA, MICHIGAN STATE NOTES
- Michigan State is 5-10 in Big Ten Tournament games. Michigan State Head Coach Joanne P. McCallie is 0-3 in Big Ten Tournament games, while Iowa Head Coach Lisa Bluder is 5-2 in conference tournament contests.
- Iowa was the Big Ten leader in scoring offense (74.1), free throw percentage (.789) and assists (16.81) in conference games only. Michigan State led the league in steals (9.88) and 3-point field goal percentage (.360).
- Michigan State ranked in the top five in 12 statistical categories, while Iowa ranked in the top five in 10 statistical categories.
- Iowa ranks first in scoring offense (74.0) and Michigan State ranks first in scoring defense (55.1) in all games. The Hawkeyes dropped 78 points on the Spartans in East Lansing, MI, on Feb. 1.
- Iowa and Michigan State and the Big Ten’s two best free throw shooting teams. The Hawkeyes converted 78.9 percent of its attempts, while the Spartans shot at a 75.6 clip in conference games.
- Iowa has one Michigan native on its roster: Becca McCann (Saginaw). There are no Iowans on Michigan State’s roster.
- Both Michigan State Head Coach Joanne P. McCallie and Iowa Football Head Coach Kirk Ferentz began their respective head coaching careers at the University of Maine. McCallie mentored the Black Bears for eight seasons (1992-2000), while Ferentz was at Maine for three years.
- Spartan Assistant Coach Janel Grimm Burgess is a native of North English, IA, and was a four-year starter and two-time all-Big 12 honoree while playing for Iowa State (1994-98). Burgess played against the Hawkeyes twice during her career with the Cyclones. She scored 25 points in a loss to Iowa in Ames in 1996 and recorded 18 points in Iowa State’s triumph over the Hawkeyes in Iowa City in 1997.
Iowa ranks 37th in the latest RPI rankings and 22nd in strength of schedule. Michigan State ranks 22nd in RPI and 42nd in strength of schedule.
Iowa is the second highest rated team in the RPI rankings with 16 wins. Arkansas ranks 31st with 16 victories.
The Hawkeyes have played six games against teams currently ranked in the RPI top 10 (Penn State, No. 2; Purdue, No. 4; Houston, No. 8; Kansas State, No. 9).
The Hawkeyes are a perfect 9-0 against teams with an RPI over 100, 1-6 against teams in the top 25 and 6-5 against teams ranked 26-100. As a conference the Big Ten ranks first ahead of the Big XII and the Pac-10. The rankings are released daily at www.wbca.org.
Penn State ranks No. 2 in the RPI rankings, followed by Purdue (5), Michigan State (22), Minnesota (29) and Ohio State (33).
The Big Ten Conference has four teams ranked in the top 15 in strength of schedule. Penn State ranks second, followed by Purdue (5), Illinois (12) and Iowa (15).
IOWA ALL-TIME RECORD VS. THE BIG TEN
All-Time Series Records — Last Meeting:
Iowa leads Illinois, 36-15 — W, 89-64, on Feb. 29 in Champaign
Iowa leads Indiana, 33-12 — W, 78-69, on Feb. 15 in Bloomington
Iowa leads Michigan, 31-10 — W, 69-58, on Jan. 25 in Iowa City
Iowa leads Michigan St., 28-14 — W, 78-67, on Feb. 1 in East Lansing
Iowa leads Minnesota, 36-17 — W, 81-61, on Feb. 19 in Iowa City
Iowa leads Northwestern, 33-12 — W, 76-61, on Jan. 29 in Evanston
Iowa leads Ohio State, 24-17 — L, 82-93, on Feb. 5 in Iowa City
Penn State and Iowa tied, 13-13 — L, 58-70, on Feb. 22 in Iowa City
Purdue leads Iowa, 25-22 — L, 55-84, on Feb. 26 in West Lafayette
Iowa leads Wisconsin, 29-18 — W, 87-82 (OT), on Feb. 12 in Madison
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 five of its last six games. The Hawkeyes turned the ball over 14 times in games against Wisconsin, Indiana, Minnesota and Penn State and only 12 times at Illinois.
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 14 games away from Iowa City, both Iowa and its opponents scored 1,043 points. Hawkeye opponents have recorded 144 steals to Iowa’s 98 on the road. Also, Iowa opponents have recorded 64 blocks to Iowa’s 27 away from Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
WINS, LOSSES COMPARISONS
In Iowa’s 16 wins, the Hawkeyes boasted a +12.6 scoring margin. Iowa averaged 77.8 ppg in its victories. The Hawkeyes also shot the ball well from the field (.468) and the charity stripe (.789). Both Iowa and its opponents collected 140 thefts in Hawkeye victories.
Clearly, Iowa struggled to find the basket in its 11 defeats. The Hawkeyes converted only 40.7 percent of its attempts. Iowa also turns the ball over 3.2 times more in losses than wins. Hawkeye opponents have also collected 48 more steals than Iowa in its losses.
FAULKNER ON PACE TO BREAK SCHOOL RECORD
Senior Kristi Faulkner has converted .851 (262-308) 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.
IOWA ON PACE TO BREAK FREE THROW RECORD
Iowa has converted 76.6 percent (395-516) 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 76.6 percent from the charity stripe ranks second in the Big Ten next to Penn State. The Hawkeyes are shooting 78.9 percent (228-289) from the free throw line in conference games, which ranks first in the league.
Iowa is the only team to have three student-athletes ranked in the top 10 in conference scoring. Jamie Cavey ranks sixth in scoring, followed by Kristi Faulkner (seventh) and Jennie Lillis (eighth).
The Hawkeyes are also the only league school to have three players ranked in the top 13 in assists. Lillis ranks 11th, followed by Lindsay Richards (12th) and Johanna Solverson (13th).
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.
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 414 career free throws. Lillis is also the school record holder in career free throws attempted with 548. Amy Herrig (1995-99) was the previous record holder in both categories before Lillis broke her marks.
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.
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, .863; Lillis, .825). Jamie Cavey is shooting 75.2 percent but has made 83.1 percent (54-65) from the free throw line the last 14 games.
ONE AND THE BONUS
Jennie Lillis has attempted at least one free throw in 114-of-120 career games. She is the school record holder for career free throws made (414) and attempted (548).
The native of Urbandale, IA, has converted 414-548 (.755) career free throws. She has made 99-120 (.825) of her attempts this season, including 56 of her last 66 attempts (84.8 percent). Lillis ranks fourth in free throw percentage in conference only games (.838).
The Hawkeyes tied a season high with ten 3-pointers at Wisconsin on Feb. 12. Iowa drained nine at Illinois on Feb. 29. Iowa has made five or more triples in 16 of its last 19 contests. The Hawkeyes rank second in the league in 3-pointers made (6.0).
Iowa converted 50 percent of its 3-point attempts vs. Purdue (7-14) and at Wisconsin (10-20).
The Hawkeyes shot a season-low 11.1 percent (2-18) from beyond the arc in their loss to Penn State on Feb. 22. The two treys made tied a season-low.
Iowa has made at least one 3-pointer in 175 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.
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.
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.
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).
- Iowa has not lost three straight games this season.
- Iowa is 10-0 this year when having a higher field goal percentage than its opponents, 13-0 when holding its opponents to 69 points or less and 12-1 when leading at halftime.
- The Hawkeyes’ 37 field goals made vs. Illinois (1/2/04), 80 field goal attempts at Iowa State (12/3/03) and thirty 3-point field goal attempts at Michigan State (2/1/04) are the most in the Big Ten this season. Iowa’s 55 rebounds at Missouri (12/30/03) and 17 steals vs. Drake (12/21/03) rank as the second most in the conference this year.
- Iowa’s 3-point field goal percentage of .364 ranks second in school history (min. 225 att.).
- The Hawkeyes scoring average of 74.0 currently ranks sixth in Iowa history. Iowa’s 1987-88 squad averaged 77.6 ppg to set the school record.
- Iowa’s defense yields 72.6 ppg, which ranks as the third highest opponent scoring output in Iowa history. Hawkeye opponents scored 77.8 ppg during the 1980-81 season and 72.7 during 1981-82.
- 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.
- Iowa’s senior class of Kristi Faulkner, Jennie Lillis and Becca McCann won at least one game in every Big Ten arena except Purdue.
- Penn State’s Reicina Russell grabbed a game and career-high 17 rebounds in its win over Iowa on Feb. 22. The 17 rebounds are the most by an Iowa opponent since IUPUI’s Tiffany Kyser pulled down 15 boards on Nov. 23, 2002.
- Johanna Solverson led Iowa in rebounding nine times this year.
- Kristi Faulkner led Iowa in scoring two of the last three games, scoring 22 points vs. Minnesota and 18 vs. Penn State. The senior has scored in double figures 51 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’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 have been out-rebounded their last three games; Minnesota (31-29), Penn State (46-39) and Purdue (41-24).
- 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 12 games and has attempted at least one 3-pointer in 17 of Iowa’ last 18 contests.
- Jennie Lillis has played 40 minutes or more four times this year.
- Iowa won at least one game against every Big Ten school this year except Penn State, Purdue and Ohio State.
- Iowa scored 180 points (90 ppg) in two games vs. Illinois.
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 11 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 eighth in the league in scoring (16.0), 13th in rebounding (6.2), fifth in free throw percentage (.825), 11th in assists (3.15) and 12th in steals (1.78).
Lillis has sank a season-high twenty-eight 3-pointers, besting last year’s total (5). She has made 34 career triples. She has made at least one 3-pointer in 11 of the last 13 contests. Lillis has attempted at least one triple in 19 of Iowa’s last 20 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).
FAULKNER: IOWA’S 3-POINT THREAT
Senior Kristi Faulkner ranks second on the squad in scoring (16.4), first in 3-pointers made (54), attempted (122) and percentage (.443) and fourth in rebounding (3.6). She has made at least one triple in 25-of-27 games this year. Faulkner has scored in double figures in 23-of-27 games, including posting 20 points or more eight times.
Faulkner tallied a game-high 25 points (10-17 FG, 2-2 FT) against her former team in Iowa’s 89-64 triumph at Illinois.
She 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 135 career 3-pointers, which ranks second in career triples at Iowa. She has posted 1,215 career points at Iowa, which ranks 12th. Faulkner is 16 points from moving past Lisa Long (1983-87) and into 11th place.
Faulkner was a third team all-Big Ten honoree the last two years.
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 (74.0), second in assists (17.04), 3-point field goals made (6.0), 3-point field goal percentage (.364). and free throw percentage (.766) and third in field goal percentage (.443).
Jamie Cavey ranks sixth in scoring (17.1) and fourth in field goal percentage (.566). Kristi Faulkner ranks eighth in scoring (16.4), first in 3-point percentage (.443), second in free throw percentage (.863) and fifth in 3-pointers made (2.0). Jennie Lillis ranks eighth in scoring (16.0), 13th in rebounding (6.2), 12th in steals (1.78), fifth in free throw percentage (.825) and 11th in assists (3.15).
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 100-133 (.752) from the charity stripe this year. Last year, she made 38-72 (.528) of her attempts.
Cavey has converted 82.5 percent (52-63) from the free throw line the last 13 games.
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. 4 in conference and No. 6 in overall play with 17.6 and 17.1 points per game, respectively. She has led Iowa in scoring on 14 occasions this season, and has chalked up at least 20 points in nine outings.
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.
SMITH HAVING BREAKOUT YEAR
Sophomore Crystal Smith has been Coach Bluder’s first guard off the bench this year, averaging 16.1 minutes per game. It can be argued that Smith is Iowa’s top defender, who ranks second (44) behind starter Jennie Lillis (47) for the team lead in steals. Smith ranks eighth in conference steals (1.94), 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 and was nominated for Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year.
HAWKEYES ON THE TUBE
Iowa had nine regular season games that were televised this year. KCRG-TV9 broadcast Iowa games against Houston, Iowa State, Drake, Wisconsin and Ohio State. Fox Sports Chicago televised Iowa’s game vs. Purdue and its regular season finale at Illinois. Fox Sports North aired the Hawkeye games against Minnesota on Jan. 11 in Minneapolis and Feb. 19 in Iowa City. Fox Sports Chicago will air all games at the Big Ten Tournament except the championship game, which will air on ESPN2.