Hawkeyes To Face Ohio State In Big Ten Action

Jan. 6, 2005


Iowa (12-2, 0-1) will play its first Big Ten Conference road game at Ohio State (11-3, 0-1) Saturday, Jan. 5, as both teams try to rebound after having winning streak stopped on Wednesday. Game time is 12:07 p.m. ET at the Schottenstein Center (19,200) in Columbus, OH.

Iowa had a nine-game winning streak stopped in a 65-63 loss to Michigan in Iowa City. Ohio State had won six straight games before an 84-65 loss at top-ranked Illinois.

Radio: Iowa games are broadcast on the Hawkeye Radio Network. Gary Dolphin handles the play-by-play with color commentator Bob Hansen.

Television: ESPN Regional will carry the game to a network of stations throughout the Big Ten Conference viewing area, including KGAN in Cedar Rapids. Jim Barbar and Bill Hosket will call the action.

Iowa has played 2,324 games since beginning basketball in 1902. Overall Iowa’s record is 1,387-936 (.597). That includes an 866-304 (.740) record in home games, a 521-633 (.451) record in games away from Iowa City, a 657-645 (.505) mark in Big Ten games and a 272-78 (.778) record in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Iowa is ranked 14th by the Associated Press and the Hawkeyes are 15th in the ESPN/USA Today coaches poll. Iowa began the season receiving no votes in either poll. The Hawkeyes are 10th in the RPI rankings and 18th in the Sagarin Ratings.

With 12 wins in its first 13 games, Iowa has its best start under Coach Steve Alford. Iowa, in 2001, posted a 10-1 mark to start the season and ended the year with a 23-12 overall record. Iowa began both the 1997-98 and 1998-99 seasons with a 13-1 record.

Iowa’s nine-game win streak matched the best streak for an Iowa team under Alford, as the Hawkeyes opened the 2000-01 season with nine straight wins. The Hawkeyes also had six-game win streaks in 2003-04 and 2001-02. Iowa has 12 non-conference wins (not including post-season) for the first time since 1988-89.

Iowa’s basketball program has been well recognized on the internet for its play during the non-conference portion of the season. On espn.com, ESPN analyst Dick Vitale selected the Hawkeyes as his “Team of the Week” for their 83-53 win over Texas Tech. CollegeInsider.com selected sophomore guard Adam Haluska as its “Star of the Week” for his play in the win over Texas Tech. Haluska matched his career high with 21 points, hitting 7-9 field goals, 3-3 three-pointers and 4-5 free throws. CollegeInsider.com selected Coach Steve Alford for its “Mid Season” Jim Phelan Coach of the Year honor. The Jim Phelan Coach of the Year honor is awarded in March. Gregg Doyel, writing for cbssportline.com, recently featured the Iowa guard court of Jeff Horner, Peirre Pierce and Adam Haluska as one of the best in the nation.

Iowa has won its first Big Ten road game of the season in three of five seasons under Coach Steve Alford, including an 83-68 win at Minnesota in 2003-04. The Hawkeyes won at Penn State in 2001 and at Northwestern in 2003. Iowa lost it initial Big Ten road game in 2000 (at Michigan State) and 2002 (at Ohio State).

Junior guard Jeff Horner ranks among the top 11 in the Big Ten Conference in seven statistical categories. Horner is third in the league in three-point field goal percentage (49.4%), second in assists (6.1), third in three-pointers per game (2.7), seventh in assist/turnover ratio (+2.5) and steals (1.7), 10th in scoring (14.6) and 11th in free throw percentage (77.6%).

Iowa’s practice time over the holiday break has changed from the normal time frame, forcing a change in Coach Alford’s media conferences during that time.

Iowa’s practice time during the break is 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The media gathering scheduled for Jan. 13 will be held after practice at 3 p.m. Hawkeye players will be available that day from the conclusion of practice until 3 p.m. Thanks for your cooperation in the schedule change.

The Iowa basketball program and the National Iowa Varsity Club are sponsoring a re-union of Iowa’s 1980 Final Four team when the Hawkeyes host Minnesota Saturday, Jan. 15. The Silver Anniversary of the Final Four team is part of Letterman’s Day, as all former men’s basketball lettermen are invited to attend the Big Ten Conference game. Game time is 1:32 p.m. and tickets are available at the UI Athletic Ticket Office in Carver-Hawkeye Arena, by calling 1-800-IA-HAWKS or ordering online at www.hawkeyesports.com.

Members of the 1980 Final Four team will be recognized during the game and will be available from 12:15 to 1 p.m. Saturday for an autograph session on the concourse of Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Iowa’s most recent trip to the Final Four came in 1980 in Indianapolis, IN, with the Hawkeyes losing to eventual national champion Louisville in the semi-finals and Purdue in the consolation game. The Hawkeyes began their tournament run with wins over Virginia Commonwealth and North Carolina State in Greensboro, NC. Iowa moved on to Philadelphia, PA, where it scored wins over Syracuse and Georgetown. The Hawkeyes ended the season with a 23-10 overall record.

Members of the 1980 Final Four team included seniors Mike Arens and Ronnie Lester, juniors Greg Boyle, Vince Brookins, Mike Henry, Steve Krafcisin and Steve Waite, sophomores Kenny Arnold, Kevin Boyle and John Darsee and freshmen Mark Gannon, Tom Grogan, Bob Hansen and Mike Heller.

IOWA COACH Steve Alford
Steve Alford (pronounced ALL-ford) is in his sixth season as the head coach at the University of Iowa and his 14th season as a college head coach. Alford holds a career record of 257-150 (.631), including a 101-73 (.580) record at Iowa, a 78-29 (.729) record in four seasons (1992-95) at Div. III Manchester College and a four-year record (1996-99) of 78-48 (.619) at Southwest Missouri State. Alford ranks fifth among Iowa’s head basketball coaches in career wins and he is 34-47 (.420) in Big Ten games at Iowa. Alford is 8-5 in the NCAA Tournament (3-2 in Div. I and 5-3 in Div. III) and 2-4 in the NIT.

Alford led Iowa to the 2001 Big Ten Conference Tournament title and into the second round of the NCAA Tournament in his second season with the Hawkeyes. Iowa earned a return trip to the title game of the Big Ten Conference Tournament in 2002 and advanced to the NIT in post-season play in 2002, 2003 and 2004. The Hawkeyes set a Big Ten Conference Tournament record with seven straight wins over two seasons (2001-2002) before a last-second loss in the first round of the 2003 tournament. Alford’s record in the event is 8-4 in his five seasons.

Alford led Southwest Missouri State to the NCAA Sweet 16 in 1999 and in 1995 Manchester advanced to the NCAA championship game before suffering its first defeat of the season.

Alford is a 1987 graduate of Indiana, where he led the Hoosiers to the 1987 NCAA title. Alford was a member of the 1984 U. S. Olympic team that earned the Gold Medal and he was the 26th player selected in the NBA Draft following his senior season. Alford played four seasons in the NBA before beginning his coaching career.

At Indiana, Alford started 120 of 125 games in four seasons. He served as team captain in 1987 when the Hoosiers were 30-4. Steve concluded his college career as Indiana’s all-time scoring leader with 2,438 points and he holds the Indiana record for career steals with 178. He was a consensus first team All-American and the Big Ten MVP as a senior.

Alford is a member of the Manchester College M Association Hall of Fame and the Indiana University Athletics Hall of Fame. In 2001 he was named one of the “Top 50 Athletes” in the history of the state of Indiana and was selected as a member of the 15-man Indiana University all-Century team. A year ago he was one of five players selected to ESPN’s Big Ten Conference Silver Anniversary team, honoring Big Ten players from the past 25 seasons. Alford is 5-6 vs. Ohio State. He has not coached against Buckeye Coach Thad Matta.

Thad Matta is in his first season as the head coach at Ohio State and his fifth year overall as a college head coach. Matta has guided the Buckeyes to an 11-3 record and his career mark stands at 113-34.

Matta joined the Ohio State staff after serving as the head coach at Xavier for three seasons. He posted a 78-23 record in three season at Xavier (2002-04) and had a one-year record of 24-8 as Butler’s head coach in 2000-01, taking his alma mater to the NCAA Elite Eight.

Matta was the 2001 Midwestern Collegiate Conference Coach of the Year as Butler won regular season and post-season tournament titles. In 2002 he led Xavier to regular season and post-season tournament titles in the Atlantic 10 Conference and was named Coach of the Year. He was a 2003 Naismith National Coach of the Year finalist and he was the 2004 Ohio Coach of the Year.

Matta is 0-0 vs. Iowa and Hawkeye Coach Steve Alford.

Iowa’s 78-67 win at Ohio State a year ago marked Iowa’s fourth win in five games at OSU’s Value City Arena, and it was Iowa’s eighth win in its last nine visits to Columbus. The Hawkeyes won their final four games in St. John Arena, then won their first two games in OSU’s new home. After a loss at OSU in 2002, Iowa has won in Columbus in each of the past two seasons. Iowa is the only visiting team with four wins in the arena. Iowa’s 72-62 loss in 2002 is its only loss in the facility and marked Iowa’s first loss in Columbus since the 1994 season.

Iowa holds a 71-65 advantage over Ohio State in the series that began with a 17-16 Ohio State win in 1915. Iowa won both meetings during the 2004 season, 79-65 in Iowa City and 78-67 in Columbus. Iowa has won three of the last four meetings, but the Buckeyes have won six of the last 10. The Buckeyes had won four straight games in Carver-Hawkeye Arena before Iowa won in 2004.

Ohio State holds a 40-26 advantage in games played in Columbus, but Iowa has won eight of the last nine there. Iowa was the first opponent to win at the Schottenstein Center, taking a 71-68 win in 1999. The Hawkeyes won 67-64 in 2000, 71-64 in 2003 and 78-67 in 2004.

The visiting team in the series has won eight of the last 10 games and OSU has won two of three games over the last three years at neutral sites in the Big Ten Tournament. Nine of the last 13 meetings have been decided by 10 points or less, with six decisions by five points or less.

Ohio State has posted an 86-20 record at The Schottenstein Center, including a 9-0 mark this season, losing just 14 Big Ten games there. Iowa has won four of five games in the new facility.

Iowa won both meetings last season, winning 79-65 in Iowa City and 78-67 in Columbus.

Iowa used a solid defense, good shooting from three-point range and a low number of turnovers in the home win last Jan. 24. Iowa matched its season-low with just eight turnovers, while collecting nine steals and forcing 16 OSU turnovers. Iowa led by as many as 15 points in the first half before leading 30-20 at intermission. Ohio State was never closer than eight in the second half. The Hawkeyes made 16-18 free throws in the final four minutes to keep the margin in double figures.

The Hawkeyes shot 50% (8-16) from three-point range and added 29-45 free throws. The Iowa defense held Ohio State to 35.6% shooting from the field, including just 20% from three-point range. OSU won the rebounding battle, 43-37, but Iowa also blocked eight shots.

Jeff Horner led Iowa, as he collected 20 points, eight rebounds and seven assists. Horner connected on 4-5 field goals (all three-point attempts) and 8-8 free throws. Brody Boyd added 19 points, all in the second half, and Pierre Pierce scored 15. Greg Brunner matched Horner with eight rebounds and Pierce had six.

Brandon Fuss-Cheatham led Ohio State with 17 points, while J.J. Sullinger added 15. Terence Dials led OSU with eight rebounds. Tony Stockman, who led OSU in scoring at the time, did not play.

Iowa shot 62.1% from the field in the first half and 56.3% for the game in the win in Columbus. After the teams traded baskets in the early going, Iowa took a 9-8 lead on a short jumper by Pierre Pierce and the Hawkeyes led the rest of the way. Iowa scored the final six points of the period to take a 44-36 halftime advantage.

Iowa scored the first five points of the second half to lead by 13 points and Ohio State was never closer than seven. Along with shooting 56.3% from the field, the Hawkeyes shot 60% (9-16) from three-point range. Ohio State, despite the 38-26 rebounding advantage, shot just 42.9% from the field and 25% from three-point range.

Brody Boyd scored a career-high 25 points to lead Iowa, as he connected on 8-12 field goal attempts, 6-9 three-pointers and 3-4 free throws. Pierre Pierce added 19 points and Glen Worley and Jeff Horner each added 12. Worley led Iowa with 10 rebounds and Horner added seven assists.

OSU was led by Tony Stockman and Velimir Radinovic led OSU with 16 points apiece, while Terance Dials added 14 and Ivan Harris 11.

Iowa and OSU have met in three of the last four Big Ten Tournaments. Iowa won 75-66 in the quarter-finals in 2001 and went on to win the tournament. The teams met in the championship game in 2002, with the Buckeyes winning 81-64 victory. OSU defeated Iowa 66-64 in the first round of the 2003 Big Ten Tournament. The teams also met at a neutral site in 1968, with OSU defeating Iowa 85-81 in a playoff game in West Lafayette, IN after the teams tied for the Big Ten regular season title. Ohio State was ranked 24th in the nation when Iowa won at the Big Ten Tournament in 2001 and the Buckeyes were fifth in the nation when Iowa won at OSU in 2000. Iowa was ranked 14th nationally when OSU won in Iowa City in 2001 and Iowa was ranked ninth in both polls when OSU won in Iowa City in 2002. Iowa and Ohio State have played one common opponent. Iowa defeated Texas Tech 83-53 at the United Center in Chicago, while the Buckeyes defeated the Red Raiders 77-71 in Dallas, TX. Iowa Coach Steve Alford posted a 1-1 record vs. Butler University when OSU Coach Thad Matta was an assistant coach there. OSU Coach Thad Matta was an administrative assistant at Butler when Iowa defeated the Bulldogs 114-92 early in the 1991-92 season in Tampa, FL. Brandon Miller, OSU’s director of Basketball Operations, played for Iowa Coach Steve Alford for one season when Alford was the head coach at Southwest Missouri State. OSU assistant John Groce was a player at Taylor University (Upland, IN) in 1991-92 when Taylor earned two wins over Manchester College and Coach Steve Alford. Iowa and Xavier both took part in the Wooden Tradition in Indianapolis, IN early in the 2003-04 season. Iowa and Coach Steve Alford defeated Louisville in overtime, while Xavier and Coach Thad Matta lost to Indiana in overtime. Matta’s Xavier team later defeated Louisville in the first round of the 2004 NCAA Tournament. Steve Alford’s Southwest Missouri State team defeated Southern Illinois twice during the 1998-99 season when OSU assistant Coach Alan Major was on the Saluki staff.

Coach Steve Alford collected win No. 100 as Iowa’s head coach in the 73-63 victory over Air Force. Career victory No. 250 came in the 88-53 win over Centenary in early December. His career mark stands at 257-150.

Alford is 101-73 at Iowa, moving into fifth place on the Iowa list for coaching victories.

Iowa’s top four coaches in career wins include Tom Davis (269), Lute Olson (168), Rollie Williams (139) and Bucky O’Connor (114).

Iowa got off to a slow start and saw a second half rally fall short as its nine-game winning streak was snapped in a 65-63 home loss to Michigan Wednesday. Michigan shot 53.3% from the field and 63.3% from three-point range in the opening half in building a 44-30 advantage at the midway point. Iowa rallied in the opening part of the second half, pulling to within one point, 47-48, on a jumper by Greg Brunner with 11:42 remaining. Jeff Horner hit a three-point basket with 1:31 to play, forcing the first tie of the game at 59-59. Iowa had one shot a the lead before missing a shot while trailing by a single point. Michigan increased the advantage to 65-62 with 26 seconds left on a pair of free throws before Iowa missed a three-point attempt. Iowa got the ball back with eight seconds remaining after Michigan missed two free throws, and Pierre Pierce was fouled on a three-point attempt with 1.6 seconds remaining. Pierce missed the first free throw attempt before making the second. His intentional miss on the third attempt missed the rim and Michigan ran out the clock from there.

Iowa held the Wolverines to just 21 points in the second half and forced 25 turnovers in the game, but the first half deficit and Michigan’s 40-28 rebounding edge was too much to overcome. Iowa made all eight of its free throw attempts in the first half, but missed all eight three-point attempts. In the second half, Iowa made 4-8 treys, but shot just 53.8% (7-13) from the foul line.

Pierce led Iowa with 15 points, while Horner, Brunner and Adam Haluska each added 14. Brunner led Iowa with eight rebounds and Pierce added six rebounds and five assists.

Illinois used an 11-7 start to the second half to pull away and went on to an 84-65 win over Ohio State Wednesday in Champaign, stopping OSU’s six-game win streak. A 19-5 spurt by Illinois over the final 10 minutes sealed the victory.

Illinois shot 56.3% from the field in the first half, but still led by just six, 46-40, at intermission as OSU shot 57.1% from the field. The Buckeyes lost their shooting touch in the second half, shooting just 38.1%. OSU shot 49% for the game, including 47.6% (10-21) from three-point range, but the Buckeyes shot just 50% (7-14) from the foul line and were out-rebounded by a 39-23 margin. Illinois was guilty of just six turnovers as OSU had no steals.

Guard Tony Stockman led OSU with 19 points and forward Ivan Harris added 14 as only two Buckeyes scored in double figures. Terence Dials led his team with six rebounds

As a team, Iowa ranks 10th nationally in assists per game (17.3) and blocked shots (6.7), 12th in three-point percentage (40.6%) and 19th in scoring (79.8).

Individually, center Erek Hansen is third in blocked shots (4.1) and guard Jeff Horner is ninth in three-point field goal percentage (49.4%), 15th in assists per game (6.1) and 21st in three-point field goals per game (2.7).

Ryan Kennedy (6-7, 210) is a sophomore forward who has joined the Iowa basketball team as a walk-on. Kennedy attended Roosevelt High School in Des Moines as a prep.

Kennedy earned honorable mention all-conference recognition as a prep senior, serving as team captain and earning team MVP honors.

Iowa set its second single-game record of the season in a loss to North Carolina and tied that record in wins over North Carolina-Greensboro and Saint Louis. The Hawkeyes blocked 12 shots in each of those games to break the previous record of 11, set in an 80-65 win at Drake on Jan. 4, 1993.

Junior center Erek Hansen led the way with five blocks against the North Carolina and UNC Greensboro, and he had seven in the win over Saint Louis.

Iowa set school and Carver-Hawkeye Arena records in its opening win over Western Illinois by making all 20 of its free throw attempts. Six Hawkeyes contributed to the record, with Pierre Pierce and Erek Hansen each making four. The previous best for a perfect free throw percentage (18-18) came in a win at Indiana in 1979. The previous record for Carver-Hawkeye Arena was 94.7%, when Iowa made 18-19 attempts vs. Wisconsin in 2001.

Several new faces have been big contributors in Iowa’s first 14 games. The newcomers are averaging 23.6 points and 11.6 rebounds per outing.

Junior college transfer Doug Thomas scored 14 points and led Iowa with nine rebounds in the opening win over Western Illinois, and he added 10 rebounds vs. UNC Greensboro. Thomas added eight points and five rebounds vs. North Carolina and he had six rebounds in the win over Texas.

Sophomore Adam Haluska has scored in double figures in 11 of 14 games, including a career-high 21 points vs. Drake and Texas Tech and 20 in a home win over Iowa State.

In the win at Drake, freshman Carlton Reed scored 14 points, while freshman Alex Thompson added five rebounds in the win over Texas Tech.

Newcomers contributed 31 points and 13 rebounds in the opening win, 37 points and 11 rebounds vs. North Carolina, 39 points and 15 rebounds in the win at Drake, 22 points and 15 rebounds vs. Centenary and 27 points and 19 rebounds vs. UNC Greensboro.

Iowa’s back-to-back wins over Louisville and Texas marks the second time Iowa has won consecutive games against ranked opponents under Coach Steve Alford. The Hawkeyes, during the 2002-03 season, defeated 20th-ranked Michigan State 68-64 and 8th-ranked Illinois 68-61.

Steve Alford has posted a 17-24 record against ranked opponents as Iowa’s head coach. Iowa, this season, has defeated 11th-ranked Louisville 76-71 and 13th-ranked Texas 82-80, with a loss to 11th-ranked North Carolina. Those three games were at the Maui Invitational.

Alford’s Hawkeye teams are 5-8 when playing teams ranked in the top 10, including wins over top-ranked Connecticut (70-68 in 1999-00), 2nd-ranked Missouri (83-65 in 2001-02), 5th-ranked Ohio State (67-64 in 1999-00), 7th-ranked Illinois (78-62 in 2000-01) and 8th-ranked Illinois (68-61 in 2002-03). The eight losses to top 10 teams have been once to top-ranked (Duke, 2001-02), once to 3rd-ranked (Illinois, 2000-01), twice to 4th-ranked (Michigan State, 1999-00 and 2000-01), twice to 5th-ranked (Tennessee, 2000-01 and Missouri, 2001-02), once to 9th-ranked (Kentucky, 2000-01) and once to 10th-ranked (Illinois, 2002).

In the 41 games against ranked teams, Alford and his Iowa team are 6-7 in home games, 8-8 at neutral sites and 3-9 when playing ranked teams in their home arena.

Junior center Erek Hansen has collected 53 blocked shots in 13 games, moving among Iowa’s leaders in blocks for a season and career. A year ago Hansen blocked 40 shots in 22 games. The 53 blocks rank seventh best for a single season and his 93 career blocks ranks fifth among Iowa’s career leaders. Hansen had a career-best seven blocked shots vs. Iowa State and Saint Louis and he had six blocks in a win over Texas Tech and a loss to Michigan. He has blocked five or more shots in seven of the 13 games he has played, and he is averaging eight points and 3.4 rebounds while shooting 47.7% from the field and 70.4% from the free throw line. He had a career-high 14 points vs. Northern Iowa and he had 11 points and six rebounds vs. Texas.

Junior guard Jeff Horner is off to a fast start, ranking among national leaders in assists and three-point field goals while averaging 14.6 points per game. Horner is averaging 6.1 assists, 4.6 rebounds and 1.7 steals per game. Horner had a career-high 27 points in the win over Texas and he led the Maui Invitational in scoring with 63 points in three games. He added 21 points, eight rebounds and six assists in a win at Drake.

Horner made 15-23 three-point attempts in the three games in Hawaii, moving into Iowa’s top 10 in both three-pointers and three-point attempts. Horner was named Big Ten Player of the Week for his play in Maui. The honor is the second of Horner’s career, as he earned it last Feb. 9 after leading Iowa to a double-overtime win at Indiana. He added his first career scoring and assist double-double in the win over UNC Greensboro with 14 points and a career-best 11 assists. He added 16 points and nine rebounds in the win over Northern Iowa. Horner scored Iowa’s final five points in the last 95 seconds against the Panthers and he added 12 points and seven assists in a win over Iowa State.

He is shooting 46.6% from the field, 49.4% from three-point range and 77.6% from the free throw line. Horner was named to the all-tournament team at the Maui Invitational and he was co-MVP (with teammate Pierre Pierce) of Iowa’s Gazette Hawkeye Challenge.

Junior guard Pierre Pierce is proving to be a very versatile player through Iowa’s first 14 games. Pierce is averaging 16.9 points, 4.3 assists and 5.6 rebounds per game and he leads the team (and the Big Ten) with 36 steals. He has scored in double figures in all 14 games, has at least five assists in seven games and five or more rebounds in 11 games.

Pierce made a three-point basket in the final minute to lead Iowa in a win over Texas, scoring 18 points vs. the Longhorns and 16 points vs. Louisville in Iowa’s first two games of the Maui Invitational. He added 15 points, five rebounds, four assists and two steals in a win over Texas Tech and a season-high 24 points vs. Saint Louis. Pierce was named co-MVP (along with teammate Jeff Horner) of Iowa’s Gazette Hawkeye Challenge.

Junior forward Greg Brunner is Iowa’s top returning rebounder and he is averaging 7.6 rebounds this season. Brunner, who ranked second in the Big Ten in rebounding last season, had a season-best 13 rebounds in the win over Iowa State and 11 vs. Western Carolina and Saint Louis. He had 10 rebounds vs. Louisville, nine vs. UNC Greensboro and eight on three occasions. Brunner has scored in double figures in 12 games, with a season-high of 23 in the win over Northern Iowa. He is shooting 53.2% from the field and 69.7% from the foul line. He was named to the all-tournament team of Iowa’s Gazette Hawkeye Challenge.

Sophomore Adam Haluska scored a career-high 21 points in wins over Texas Tech and Drake as he has scored in double figures in 12 of 14 games. Playing against his former school, he added 20 points in a win over Iowa State, hitting 4-8 treys. Haluska had 19 points in the loss to North Carolina and 17 points vs. UNC Greensboro. He matched his career-high of four assists in the win over Northern Iowa and played an outstanding defensive game. In his first season at Iowa, Haluska is shooting 51.3% from the field and 82.5% from the free throw line while averaging 13.7 points and 3.8 rebounds per game.

Junior Doug Thomas is making a major contribution to Iowa’s rebounding efforts, as he is fourth on the team with an average of 4.4 per game. Thomas had nine rebounds in his first game as a Hawkeye and added a season-best 10 in a win over UNC Greensboro. Thomas had six points and six rebounds in the win over Texas Tech. Thomas is averaging 4.5 points while shooting 61.1% from the field and 79.2% from the foul line.

Iowa has outscored its opponents 506-443 in the first half and 611-512 in the second half. Iowa has led at halftime in nine of 14 games and the Hawkeyes have outscored their opponent in the second half in 11 games.

Iowa and Texas are currently the only two schools in the nation that have both their men’s and women’s basketball teams ranked in the top 20, along with having their football team in the top 20 in the final rankings. The Iowa football team finished eight in the football rankings, the Hawkeye men are ranked 14th and 15th, respectively, in the two major polls and the Iowa women are ranked 17th.

In addition, Iowa teams also currently appearing in the top 20 are wrestling and both men’s and women’s gymnastics. During the fall, the Iowa cross country team finished 13th at the NCAA championships and the field hockey team finished in the top 20 after being one of 16 teams selected for the NCAA Tournament in that sport.

Iowa’s contest at Drake was the only true road game for the Hawkeyes in non-conference play. Iowa played three neutral site games at the EA Sports Maui Invitational and played Texas Tech at the United Center in Chicago. In the 70-63 win over Iowa State, Iowa held the Cyclones without a three-point basket as ISU missed all six of its attempts. That marks the first time an Iowa opponent did not make at least one three-point basket since early in the 2001-02 season, when Iowa State missed all eight of its three-point attempts in a 78-53 loss to Iowa in Ames. As a team, Iowa set two Gazette Hawkeye Challenge tournament records and tied a third, in a win over UNC Greensboro. The Hawkeyes set a tournament record and tied their own school record with 12 blocked shots. That record was set earlier this season in a loss to North Carolina. Iowa also shot 57.9% (11-19) from three-point range to set a tournament record and the 11 three-point field goals tied a tournament mark. Iowa has had four players or more score in double figures in 11 of 14 games, with a season-best six players in the win over Western Illinois. Iowa is 1-0 when six players score in double figures, 1-0 when five players score 10 points or more, 7-2 when four reach double figures, 1-0 with three in double figures and 2-0 when two are in double figures. Iowa has four players averaging between 12.9 and 16.9 points per game and four players averaging between 4.4 and 7.6 rebounds per outing. Iowa is 9-0 when leading at halftime and 3-2 when trailing at intermission. Iowa is 7-2 when controlling the opening tip and 5-0 when not controlling the tip. Iowa is 6-1 in games decided by 10 points or less, and has not played an overtime game. Under Steve Alford, Iowa is 31-6 when shooting at least 50% from the field, including 6-1 this season. North Carolina and Northern Iowa are the only Iowa opponents to shoot over 50% from the field this season. Last season, Iowa was 0-5 when its opponent shot at least 50% from the field.

Iowa is seeking a fifth straight winning season, a streak that would match the second longest consecutive winning seasons record in Iowa basketball history. Iowa’s longest streak of consecutive winning seasons is seven, from 1950 through 1956. Pops Harrison, Bucky O’Connor and Rollie Williams all coached the Hawkeyes during those years. Only a 10-10 record in 1949 kept Iowa from 13 consecutive winning seasons (1944-56).

Lute Olson coached Iowa to five straight winning seasons from 1979-83, George Raveling and Tom Davis combined to coach Iowa to winning seasons from 1985-89 and Davis coached Iowa to winning seasons from 1995-99.

Iowa’s tri-captains for the season include juniors Greg Brunner, Jeff Horner and Pierre Pierce. Pierce, a native of Westmont, IL, started all 29 games a year ago, leading the team in scoring (16.1) while averaging 5.7 rebounds per game. Brunner, a native of Charles City, started 26 of 29 games. His 8.2 rebounds per game were a team best and ranked second in the Big Ten. Horner, a Mason City native, has started all 69 games over the past three seasons. He led the team in assists in each of the last two seasons while also averaging 13 points and 5.3 rebounds last year.

Fans of the University of Iowa basketball program may join Iowa Coach Steve Alford and radio announcer Gary Dolphin each week during the season for the “Hawk Talk with Steve Alford” radio call-in show. The show takes place each week at Carlos O’Kelly’s Mexican Café in Iowa City. The show airs from 6-7:30 p.m. on the following dates: Jan. 10, 17, 24, 31; Feb. 7, 14, 21, 28; and Mar. 7.

Iowa is idle during the middle of the week before hosting Minnesota Saturday, Jan. 15 at 1:32 p.m. Iowa will recognize its 1980 Final Four team that day.