Iowa Opens Season Friday

Nov. 15, 2004

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Iowa opens its 2004-05 season when it hosts the annual KCRG-TV 9 Hawkeye Challenge Friday and Saturday in Carver-Hawkeye Arena (15,500). Tickets for Friday’s games are $7 for adults and $5 for youths. Admission Saturday is free to the public.

Fans can watch live stats for the Iowa games online by clicking the gametracker link on the front page of

The four-team tournament includes Iowa, Southern Illinois, Northern Illinois and Missouri. Listed below is the tournament schedule.

Friday, November 19
Northern Illinois vs. Missouri — 3 p.m.
Southern Illinois vs. Iowa — 5:30 p.m.

Saturday, November 20
Iowa vs. Northern Illinois/Missouri — 1 p.m.
Southern Illinois vs. Northern Illinois/Missouri — 3:30 p.m.

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. Brent Balbinot and Karen Schulte call the action.

Hawkeye fans may purchase a 16-game season ticket package for only $70. Senior citizens and faculty/staff can purchase season tickets for $56, while the price for students is $35. There is also a “Family Pack” for $145 that includes admission for two adults and two youths. Tickets can be purchased online by logging on to or by calling 1-800-IA-HAWKS. Fans may also order tickets in person at the UI Ticket Office.

Iowa has played 846 games since beginning basketball in 1974. Overall, Iowa’s record is 514-332 (.608). That includes a 276-144 (.657) mark in Big Ten games and a 227-54 (.808) record in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Iowa is 4-0 in season opening games under fifth-year Head Coach Lisa Bluder. The Hawkeyes defeated Marquette (70-57) in 2000, Gonzaga (69-54) in 2001, IUPUI (84-75, ot) in 2002 and Butler (83-60) in 2003. This marks the third consecutive year that Iowa opens its season hosting the KCRG-TV 9 Hawkeye Challenge.

Iowa is 2-3 in games played on November 19 and 3-1 in contests played on November 20.

For the first time under Coach Bluder’s tenure, Iowa will have three colored jerseys this season (white, black and gold). The last time Iowa played in gold jerseys was during the 1999-00 season.

Northern Illinois, a member of the Mid-American Conference, holds a slim 5-4 advantage in the series that began with a 58-37 Hawkeye victory in 1974. The series is tied 2-2 in contests played in Iowa City. The Hawkeyes hold a 7-5 edge in games played against schools from the MAC.

Iowa is 4-1 against Big XII opponent Missouri, including a 3-0 mark in contests played in Iowa City. The Hawkeyes won the first four meetings before the Tigers pulled out a 75-65 victory in Columbia, MO, last December. Iowa maintains a 34-29 advantage in games played against Big XII opponents.

Friday will be the first meeting between Iowa and Missouri Valley Conference opponent Southern Illinois. Iowa is 35-35 all-time against schools from the MVC.

This will be the 19th year that Iowa has hosted the Hawkeye Challenge. The Hawkeyes have won 15 of the 18 tournaments, including five of the last six. Iowa boasts a 32-4 tournament record. The Hawkeyes have won 11 of their last 12 contests in the tournament, with their last loss coming in last year’s championship to Houston (70-64).

Southern Illinois returns seven letterwinners, including two starters from a 3-24 squad last year.

At the helm is new Head Coach Dana Eikenberg. If that name sounds familar to Hawkeye fans, it should. Eikenberg served as an assistant coach under Head Coach Angie Lee for three seasons at Iowa (1997-2000). The native of Clinton, IL, spent the past four seasons as head coach at UM-Kansas City. Also on the sidelines as a Southern Illinois assistant coach is former Iowa guard Susan Koering. The Stanwood, IA, native played four years for the Hawkeyes and graduated in 1997.

The Salukis are led by senior Danette Jones, who averaged a team second-best 9.1 ppg last season. A second-team all-MVC scholar-athlete, she ranked second on the team in both 3-pointers made (47) and assists (40). Daphney Desamours also returns for her senior year after averaging 4.7 ppg and collecting 36 assists.

Southern Illinois defeated St. Louis Goldstar (77-69) in its only exhibiton game on Nov. 7. Jones tallied a game-high 23 points, while Desamours registered 21 points and pulled down a game-high nine rebounds. The Salukis shot a blistering 63.6 percent (14-22) from the field in the second half and 45.9 percent (28-61) for the game.

Five of Eikenberg’s scholarship athletes from UM-Kansas City have transferred to Southern Illinois. However, four of the five will have to sit out this season due to NCAA regulations.

Northern Illinois finished 2003-04 with a 12-16 overall record, including a 7-9 mark in the MAC. The Huskies return eight letterwinners from last year’s squad that finished fifth in the conference.

Northern Illinois split its two exhibition games. The Huskies dropped their opener (67-59) to the Chicago Challengers, but defeated St. Xavier (76-42). Northern Illinois crashed the boards in both games, collecting 50 rebounds vs. Chicago and 59 against St. Xavier. The Huskies failed to sink the long ball, however, converting 2-13 and 2-14 from beyond the arc vs. Chicago and St. Xavier, respectively.

Kristin Wiener scored a team-high 19 points, bolstered by 13-14 shooting from the free throw line, in the loss to Chicago. Ten players scored three or more points in the Huskies’ triumph over St. Xavier. Nikita Denise came off the bench to score a game-high 18 points on 9-10 shooting from the field.

The Huskies are coached by Carol Hammerle, who enters her 32nd year as head coach and her seventh at Northern Illinois. Her overall record stands at 529-325 (.619), while she is 72-99 (.424) at Northern Illinois.

Missouri returns five letterwinners, including two starters from a 2003-04 squad that made its eighth NCAA Tournament appearance and finished with a 17-13 record. Missouri tied a school record by reaching the postseason for the fifth consecutive year (3 WNIT, 2 NCAA). The Tigers posted a 7-9 conference record tying for seventh.

The Tigers played one exhibition game, defeating Central Missouri State (71-52) on Nov. 12. Missouri collected 10 blocks and out-rebounded CMS 44-32. The Tigers were led by junior C’stelle N’Garsanet, who scored 20 points and registered 14 rebounds, three blocks and two steals in 29 minutes. Senior Megan Roney tallied 11 points and pulled down six rebounds. Fifty-nine of Missouri’s 71 points were scored by its starters.

Missouri is coached by Cindy Stein, who enters her 10th year as a head coach and her eighth with the Tigers. Stein boasts a 166-104 (.615) overall record and a 101-79 (.561) mark at Missouri.

Iowa and Southern Illinois share three common opponents this season (Wisconsin, Drake and Creighton). Iowa, Missouri and Northern Illinois do not share any common opponents.

Forwards Krista VandeVenter (Osseo, MN) and Stacy Schlapkohl (Durant, IA) and guards Abby Emmert (Winterset, IA) and Jeneé Graham (Bolingbrook, IL) join the Hawkeye roster this season.

Schlapkohl is the Durant HS record holder in eight statistical categories and received a school-record 17 letters in four sports. VandeVenter was runner-up Miss Minnesota and was the Osseo HS Female Athlete of the Year her senior year. Emmert is a four-time all-conference selection and is the Winterset HS career leader in assists and scoring. Graham was the Bolingbrook HS Gatorade Player of the Year and was a Chicago Tribune all-State honorable mention her senior season.

Point guard Abby Emmert and power forward Krista VandeVenter are slated to start Friday’s regular season opener vs. Southern Illinois. Both started Iowa’s two exhibition contests.

Emmert and VandeVenter will become the first Iowa freshmen duo to start since the 1994-95 season where newcomers Tiffany Gooden and Tangela Smith started 17 and 15 games, respectively.

Iowa’s 2004-05 schedule is ranked 74th according to the Hawkeyes’ opponents’ 2003-04 records. As a conference, the Big Ten ranks first.

Head Coach Lisa Bluder announced that Ebone Pope (Ottumwa, IA) has been added to the 2004-05 roster as a walk-on. The 5-9 guard will wear No. 15.

Pope was a two-year starter at Marshalltown Community College. Pope averaged a team-best 11.3 ppg, 6.0 rpg and 2.7 apg last year. She was team captain, earned first team all-conference and first team all-tournament honors last season. She averaged 9.0 ppg and earned all-region honorable mention accolades her freshman year.

She graduated from Ottumwa High School in 2002, where she averaged 14.5 ppg, 3.5 apg and 3.3 rpg. Pope earned second team all-conference laurels her junior and senior years. Her high school team competed in the state tournament her senior season.

Pope joins Kristi Faulkner (2001-04) as the only walk-ons to make a Hawkeye roster under Coach Bluder.

The Hawkeyes won their two exhibition games, dropping the Australian Institute of Sport (81-74) and Truman State (86-55).

Five players scored in double figures against the Australian Institute of Sport. Crystal Smith lead the way, scoring a game-high 18 points (8-11 FG). The junior also pulled down four rebounds and collected four steals. Iowa took a 46-34 halftime lead and stretched its lead to 56-36 after going on a 10-2 run the first two minutes of the second half. The Hawkeyes shot 50 percent (6-12) from beyond the arc. Senior Jenna Armstrong paced the Hawkeyes’ 3-point shooting, sinking 4-6 from downtown. Armstrong finished with 12 points and four rebounds. Other Hawkeyes in double figures include Jamie Cavey (12), Morgan Kasperek (10) and Johanna Solverson (10).

Iowa’s 31-point victory over Truman State was bolstered by 49.1 percent (28-57) shooting. The Hawkeyes also out-rebounded the Bulldogs by 23 (51-28), recording more offensive boards (21) than their defensive boards (15). VandeVenter led the Hawkeyes, collecting 12 points, 11 rebounds, three assists and two blocks. Cavey added 17 points and four rebounds. Armstrong scored in double figures for the second straight game, posting 15 points on 3-5 shooting from the field and 8-11 from the charity stripe.

Senior Lindsay Geoffroy received a medical hardship and will no longer play basketball for the Hawkeyes. Geoffroy played in 25 games for Iowa. The senior will serve as a student assistant coach this season.

Junior point guard Lindsay Richards underwent successful surgery on July 7 to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament in her right knee.

Richards is expected to make a full recovery and hopes to return to the Hawkeye lineup in January. The native of Barrington, IL, sustained the injury during practice with the Big Ten All-Stars before the team left for Australia in early-June. This is the second time in as many years she has undergone surgery to repair a damaged ACL in her right knee. Richards’ first ACL injury came in a home game against Denver on December 12, 2002.

Richards started all 29 games for the Hawkeyes last year. She ranked fifth on the team in scoring (5.4 ppg) and free throw percentage (39-51, .765), second in assists (85) and fourth in steals (27). Her 2.93 assists average ranked 11th in the Big Ten. Richards was also an academic all-Big Ten selection last year.

Before injuring her knee as a freshman, she played in eight games as a reserve, averaging 4.5 ppg, 1.6 rpg and dishing out 29 assists. Richards will not receive a medical redshirt for her freshman season.

Abby Emmert will become only the second Iowa freshman to start at point guard. Prior to this season, Cara Consuegra was Iowa’s only freshman to start at point guard (1997).

Iowa (16-13, 10-6) tied for fourth in the always difficult Big Ten Conference race and received an at-large berth to the NCAA Tournament, its 15th overall. The Hawkeyes came on strong down the stretch winning six of their final 10 regular season games. Iowa finished the season playing the 14th most difficult schedule in the nation and was ranked No. 37 in the final RPI rankings.

Jennie Lillis was a second team all-Big Ten selection, while Kristi Faulkner and Jamie Cavey nabbed third team accolades.

A team record eight student-athletes were named to the winter Academic all-Big Ten Team: Jenna Armstrong, Jamie Cavey, Kristi Faulkner, Morgan Kasperek, Jennie Lillis, Becca McCann, Tiffany Reedy and Linday Richards. The eight selections were the most among the 11 Big Ten women’s basketball teams.

Iowa had three players score 450 points last season. Jamie Cavey (487) led the Hawkeyes, followed by Kristi Faulkner (469) and Jennie Lillis (463), marking the first time in school history that a trio posted 450 points or more in a single season.

Iowa ranked eighth nationally in free throw percentage (.769), 19th in assists (16.7) and scoring offense (73.4) and 21st in 3-point field goal percentage (.364). Kristi Faulkner ranked 13th nationally in free throw percentage (.868) and Jamie Cavey ranked 19th in field goal percentage (.562).

The Hawkeyes were 8-5 in road games, including capturing five of the last six conference road games (Northwestern, Michigan State, Wisconsin, Indiana and Illinois). 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.

Iowa was the only team to have three student-athletes ranked in the top 10 in conference scoring. Jamie Cavey ranked sixth in scoring, followed by Kristi Faulkner (seventh) and Jennie Lillis (ninth). The Hawkeyes were also the only league school to have three players ranked in the top 15 in assists. Lillis ranked 10th, followed by Lindsay Richards (11th) and Johanna Solverson (12th).

Iowa converted 76.9 percent (433-563) of its free throws. The Hawkeyes shattered the school record of 74.4 percent (338-455) set during the 1980-81 season. Iowa’s 76.9 percent from the charity stripe ranked second in the Big Ten (Penn State). The Hawkeyes converted 78.9 percent (228-289) from the free throw line in conference games, which ranked first.

The Hawkeyes tied a season high with ten 3-pointers at Wisconsin on Feb. 12. The Hawkeyes ranked first in the league in 3-pointers made (6.07). Iowa has made at least one 3-pointer in 177 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.

Looking back on the 2004 season, you can point to two road games that helped propel the Hawkeyes to an at-large berth in the 2004 NCAA Tournament. Iowa trailed at Marquette 59-49 with 3:58 left in the game. The Hawkeyes finished with a flurry, out-scoring the Golden Eagles 16-3 to end the game and give the Hawkeyes the win.

Just over two months later, Iowa recorded one of its most amazing comebacks in school history. You had to see it to believe it! The Hawkeyes overcame an eight-point deficit with 39 seconds left in regulation to defeat Wisconsin, 87-82, in an overtime thriller at Madison, WI, on Feb. 12. 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 contest into overtime.

Jamie Cavey, who was named the Big Ten Player of the Week on Feb. 2, was a dominant force in the post last season. Cavey averaged 3.7 points per game in Big Ten play and 5.6 ppg in overall play. In 2003-04, she ranked No. 4 in conference and No. 6 in overall play with 16.8 and 17.1 points per game, respectively. She led Iowa in scoring on 14 occasions, and 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 last year. Her 33 points marked 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.

Jamie Cavey’s free throw shooting was just one aspect of her game that she has improved on last year. Cavey converted 107-141 (.759) from the charity stripe in 2003-04. Last year, she made 38-72 (.528).

Crystal Smith was Coach Bluder’s first guard off the bench, averaging 16.5 minutes per game. Smith was Iowa’s top defender, ranking second (49) behind starter Jennie Lillis (56) for the team lead in steals. Smith ranked eighth in conference steals (1.94), the highest ranking non-starter. She had two 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.


  • Iowa did not lose three-straight games last season.
  • Iowa was 10-0 last 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) were the most in the Big Ten last season. Iowa’s 55 rebounds at Missouri (12/30/03) and 17 steals vs. Drake (12/21/03) ranked as the second most in the conference last year.
  • Iowa’s 3-point field goal percentage of .364 ranked second in school history (min. 225 att.).
  • The Hawkeyes’ scoring average of 73.4 ranks seventh in Iowa history. Iowa’s 1987-88 squad averaged 77.6 ppg to set the school record.
  • Johanna Solverson led Iowa in rebounding nine times last year.
  • Crystal Smith collected 10 steals against Minnesota last year — five in each contest.
  • Iowa had a 3-1 record against conference teams it played only once during the regular season (wins over Michigan, Northwestern and Michigan State and a loss to Ohio State).
  • Iowa won at least one game against every Big Ten school last year except Penn State, Purdue and Ohio State.
  • Iowa scored 180 points (90 ppg) in two games vs. Illinois.

Iowa’s roster features five players from the state of Iowa (Jamie Cavey, Abby Emmert, Ebone Pope, Tiffany Reedy and Stacy Schlapkohl). The Hawkeyes also have four players from the state of Illinois (Lindsay Richards, Johanna Solverson, Jeneé Graham and Morgan Kasperek). Iowa’s 12-person roster also features players from Missouri (Jenna Armstrong), Minnesota ( Krista VandeVenter) and Louisiana (Crystal Smith).

For the first time under Coach Bluder, Iowa will start its season with a returning starting center.

Since Bluder began coaching the Hawkeyes in 2000 Iowa has had a different center to start the season. Randi Peterson was Iowa’s starter in 2000-01, followed by Beatrice Bullock (2001-02), Tracy Schrupp (2002-03) and Jamie Cavey (2003-04). Peterson, Bullock and Schrupp were all seniors.

Cavey becomes Iowa’s first center to start consecutive seasons since Amy Herrig (1998-99).

Catch all the University of Iowa women’s basketball games over the Internet at Fans can listen to live or replay previously played games. Just click on the “Multimedia” link near the top of the page. There is a cost for the service.

“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 7:30-8:30 p.m. The first show is set to air November 29 from Bob’s Your Uncle. Fans can call toll-free at (800) 332-5401 or locally at (319) 365-0600.

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

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

Iowa plays its second holiday tournament in as many weeks when the Hawkeyes play in the Junkanoo Jam in the Freeport, Bahamas, Nov. 26-27. The four-team tournament field features Akron, Florida, Iowa and Oklahoma. The Hawkeyes open tournament play against Florida next Friday at 12 p.m. (CT). The trip will mark Iowa’s first-ever visit to the Bahamas.

Iowa leads the inaugural Hy-Vee Cy-Hawk Series 3-2. Iowa recorded a 17-10 football victory on Sept. 11 in Iowa City. Iowa State posted a 6-1 women’s soccer victory on Oct. 31 in Ames.

A point system will track each institution’s performance and will culminate in one institution winning the annual trophy for the Hy-Vee Cy-Hawk Series. Intercollegiate athletic teams from Iowa and Iowa State will square off in head-to-head competition nine different times during the 2004-05 academic year. The competition this year is in men’s basketball, women’s basketball, wrestling, women’s gymnastics, women’s soccer, softball and women’s swimming and diving. Additional points will be available for each school to secure based on successful performance in the classroom by its student-athletes. Listed below is the upcoming competition schedule:
Dec. 1, W. Basketball — 2 points
Dec. 4, W. Swimming and Diving — 2 points
Dec. 5, Wrestling — 2 points
Dec. 10, M. Basketball — 2 points
Jan. 28, W. Gymnastics — 2 points
Feb. 19, W. Gymnastics — 2 points
Apr. 19, Softball — 2 points
2 points for an institution if the student-athlete graduation rate for all student-athletes is greater than the national average for all student-athletes.