Jan. 18, 2005
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Iowa (13-3, 1-2) travels to face top-ranked Illinois (18-0, 4-0) Thursday, Jan. 20. Game time is 6:05 p.m. at Assembly Hall (16,500) in Champaign.
Iowa defeated Minnesota 66-60 at home Saturday in its last outing. Illinois remained undefeated with a 78-66 win at Northwestern Saturday.
ON THE AIR
Radio: Iowa games are broadcast on the Hawkeye Radio Network. Gary Dolphin handles the play-by-play with color commentator Bob Hansen.
Television: ESPN will carry the game to a national cable audience. Brent Musburger, Steve Lavin and Erin Andrews will call the action.
IOWA AT ILLINOIS ON ESPN HD
Iowa’s contest at Illinois will be shown in high definition television on ESPN, marking Iowa’s first game on HD. There are 67 college games that will be shown on HD on ESPN and ESPN2 from Jan. 1 through the end of March. Ten Big Ten Conference games scheduled for HD, including first round and quarter-final games in the Big Ten Tournament. This is Iowa’s only game during the regular season in which high definition TV is scheduled to be used.
Iowa has played 2,326 games since beginning basketball in 1902. Overall Iowa’s record is 1,388-937 (.597). That includes an 867-304 (.740) record in home games, a 521-634 (.451) record in games away from Iowa City, a 658-646 (.505) mark in Big Ten games and a 273-78 (.778) record in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
IN THE RANKINGS
Iowa is ranked 23rd by the Associated Press and 24th in the ESPN/USA Today coaches poll. Iowa began the season receiving no votes in either poll. The Hawkeyes are 23rd in the RPI rankings and 22nd in the Sagarin Ratings.
Illinois is the top-ranked team in both polls. This is the fifth time a Steve Alford coached Iowa team has faced Illinois when the Illini have been ranked in the top 10. Iowa lost to Illinois when it was ranked third (63-89 in 2001) and 10th (66-77 in 2002) and defeated the Illini when they were ranked seventh (78-62 in 2001) and eighth (68-61 in 2003).
This is Iowa’s first game against the top-ranked team in the nation since the Hawkeyes lost to Duke 80-62 on Nov. 27, 2001. That game, part of the Big Ten-ACC Challenge, was played at the United Center in Chicago.
IOWA OFF TO FAST START
With 12 wins in its first 13 games, Iowa enjoyed 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.
ALFORD VS. TOP TEAMS
Iowa Coach Steve Alford will be facing the top-ranked team in the nation for the fourth time in his career as a Division I head coach and for the third time as Iowa’s head coach. Alford is 1-2 in three previous contests against No. 1 teams.
In Alford’s final game as the head coach at Southwest Missouri State, top-ranked Duke defeated Alford’s squad 78-61 on Mar. 19, 1999, in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. Duke went on to the championship game, losing to Connecticut in the finals.
In Alford’s first game as the Iowa head coach, Nov. 11, 1999, the Hawkeyes defeated Connecticut 70-68 in the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic in Madison Square Garden. The Huskies were the defending NCAA champions and were ranked No. 1 in the nation to start the season.
Alford and Iowa’s most recent contest against a top-ranked team came on Nov. 27, 2001 as part of the ACC-Big Ten Challenge. Iowa met top-ranked Duke at the United Center in Chicago and the Blue Devils scored an 80-62 win. Duke won the 2001 NCAA title before losing to Indiana in the 2002 Sweet 16.
PIERCE SURPASSES 1,000 POINTS
Junior guard Pierre Pierce, with his 18 points in the win over Minnesota, became the 36th player in Iowa basketball history to reach 1,000 career points. Pierce has scored 1,002 points in 80 games, an average of 12.5 per outing. Pierce had a career-high 31 points in the recent loss at Ohio State, becoming the first Hawkeye player to scored over 30 points in a game since Luke Recker had 31 points in a win at Missouri in December, 2001.
Guard Dean Oliver was the most recent Iowa player to reach 1,000 points in three seasons, surpassing the milestone in his junior season in 1999-00. Glen Worley, a senior a year ago, is the most recent member of the 1,000-Point Club. Along with Pierce at 1,002 points, junior Jeff Horner currently has 858 career points and junior Greg Brunner is at 758 points.
Iowa has had three 1,000-point scorers on the roster in the same season on three occasions. Jess Settles, Kenyon Murray and Chris Kingsbury in 1996, Roy Marble, B.J. Armstrong and Jeff Moe in 1988 and Marble, Armstrong and Ed Horton in 1989.
RECOGNITION ON THE NET
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, Pierre Pierce and Adam Haluska as one of the best in the nation.
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 258-151 (.631), including a 102-74 (.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 35-48 (.422) 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 2-6 vs. Illinois and 2-2 vs. Illini Coach Bruce Weber.
ILLINOIS COACH BRUCE WEBER
Bruce Weber is in his second season as the head coach at Illinois, but he is no stranger to Big Ten basketball. Weber was an assistant coach at Purdue from 1981-98 before taking over as the head coach at Southern Illinois prior to the 1998-99 season. Weber is now in his seventh year as a head coach and his career mark stands at 147-61, including a 44-7 record at Illinois and a 103-54 mark in his five seasons at Southern Illinois. Weber also served as an assistant coach for one season at Western Kentucky (under Gene Keady) before his stint at Purdue.
Weber guided Illinois to the Big Ten regular season title a year ago as the Illini closed the regular season with 10 straight wins. The Illini fell to Wisconsin in the title game of the Big Ten Tournament and advanced to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Tournament.
Weber led Southern Illinois to three post-season appearances in his five years, including NCAA Tournament invitations in 2002 and 2003. The Salukis earned Missouri Valley Conference titles in both 2002 and 2003 and advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16 in 2002.
Weber is 2-0 against Iowa and he holds a 2-2 record vs. Hawkeye Coach Steve Alford.
Illinois holds a 70-64 advantage in the series that began with a 46-36 Iowa win in 1908. A year ago, Illinois defeated Iowa 88-82 Jan. 17 in Champaign and 78-59 Feb. 25 in Iowa City, giving the Illini six wins in the last eight meetings. The teams met just once in 2002 and 2003, with Illinois winning at home in 2002 and Iowa winning at home in 2003. Prior to 2001-02, Iowa and Illinois had met at least twice in every season since 1974.
Illinois holds a 54-14 advantage in games played in Champaign, where the Illini have won four straight over Iowa and 15 of the last 16 meetings. Iowa’s last win at Assembly Hall came by a 78-72 margin during the 1998-99 season. Illinois plays at Iowa Feb. 19.
Illinois has been ranked in the top 25 in six of the eight meetings since Steve Alford has been Iowa’s head coach.
- Illinois has won 14 straight home games since the 88-82 win over Iowa in Champaign a year ago, and non of those 14 wins have had a final margin closer than Iowa’s six point loss. In those 14 games since defeating Iowa, the closest final score has been the 65-57 win over Wisconsin last Feb. 18.
- Illinois and Iowa have played one common opponent, with Illinois defeating Ohio State 84-65 in Champaign and OSU defeating Iowa 81-69 in Columbus.
- Both Iowa Coach Steve Alford and Illinois Coach Bruce Weber were head coaches in the Missouri Valley Conference before taking their current positions in the Big Ten. Alford was the head coach at Southwest Missouri State for four seasons and Weber was the head coach at Southern Illinois for five years. The two coaches met twice during the 1998-99 season, with Alford’s team winning 76-62 and 72-68 (OT).
- Illinois Coach Bruce Weber was an assistant coach at Purdue when Iowa Coach Steve Alford was a player at Indiana. Purdue won five of eight meetings against Indiana during Alford’s playing career.
- Iowa’s roster includes just one player from Illinois, junior Pierre Pierce from Westmont.
- Illinois’ Jack Ingram is a transfer from Tulsa. Ingram played against Iowa early in the 2000-01 season as a freshman, when Iowa scored a 66-65 win in the finals of the Gazette Hawkeye Challenge. Ingram had three rebounds in that contest. Ingram had two points and four rebounds in the two meetings a year ago.
- Tracy Webster is in his first season on the Illinois staff. Webster played at Wisconsin and was an assistant coach at Purdue last season. Illinois is the only team Iowa has not played at least once in the Big Ten Conference post-season tournament.
ILLINOIS WON TWICE IN `04
Illinois won both meetings last season, taking an 88-82 decision Jan. 17 in Champaign and winning 78-59 Feb. 25 in Iowa City.
Illinois used a 10-0 scoring run to start the second half and shot 68% from the field over the final 20 minutes in the home win last season. The Hawkeyes played well in the first half, building a 43-38 advantage at halftime. Iowa used a 14-0 scoring run in the first half to rally from a six-point deficit, shooting 57.1% from the field and 88.9% (16-18) from the free throw line.
Brody Boyd made two free throws midway through the second half to give Iowa its final lead, and the score was tied for the final time at 59-59 with 9:32 remaining. Illinois went ahead by six points before Iowa pulled within two, with 1:47 to play, for the final time. Two costly turnovers in the final two minutes cost Iowa a chance for the win as the Illini connected on 9-10 free throws in the final four minutes and Iowa missed its only two attempts.
After shooting just 38.2% in the first half, Illinois made 17-25 field goal attempts in the second half. The Illini also made 3-5 three-point attempts and 13-15 free throws in the final 20 minutes. Iowa shot a season-best 55.3% from the field and a season-best 80.6% (25-31) from the free throw line. The Hawkeyes also won the rebounding battle by a 29-26 margin, but were guilty of 19 turnovers, eight more than Illinois.
Pierre Pierce led Iowa’s scoring attack with 26 points. Boyd added 20 points and Greg Brunner led Iowa with seven rebounds.
Roger Powell led the balanced Illinois attack with 20 points and five rebounds. Nick Smith added 18 points, Deron Williams 17, Dee Brown 14 and Luther Head 13.
Illinois later used a solid all-around performance to win 78-59 in Iowa City, its first win in Carver-Hawkeye Arena since 2000. The Illini shot 58.5% from the field and won the rebounding battle by a 38-25 margin. Iowa struggled with its shooting from the start. Despite shooting just 38.5% from the field in the first half, the Hawkeyes trailed by just four points with 3:50 left in the period. Illinois, however, scored the final six points in the last minute of the half to take a 39-28 advantage.
Illinois expanded the advantage to 14 points in the opening minute of the second half before a five-point surge by Jeff Horner cut the margin to nine with 19 minutes to play. But that was as close as Iowa would get. Iowa’s shooting improved slightly in the second half to 40.7%, but the Hawkeyes made just 2-9 three-point attempts in the second half. Illinois shot 66.7% from the field in the final 20 minutes, including 5-6 (83.3%) three-point attempts. Horner led Iowa’s scoring with 20 points, while Greg Brunner added 18 points and seven rebounds and Pierre Pierce scored 10.
Dee Brown led Illinois with 18 points and 10 assists, while Luther Head added 16 points and 10 rebounds. Deron Williams scored 13 points and Roger Powell added 12.
IOWA STOPS MINNESOTA
Iowa used a solid defensive effort against one of the top shooting team in the Big Ten in taking a 66-60 win over Minnesota in Iowa City. The Hawkeyes held Minnesota to 33.3% shooting in the game after the Gophers came into the game shooting over 51% for the season.
Iowa led from the beginning, jumping to a 10-2 advantage in the first five minutes. The Hawkeyes led by as many as 16 points in the first half before maintaining a 32-26 margin at halftime. The Gophers shot just 29% from the field in the opening half.
Despite struggling with its own field goal accuracy, Iowa led the entire second half, building the margin back to as many as 13 points on two occasions. The final margin of six points was as close as Minnesota would get in the second half as Iowa made 20-26 free throws in the final 20 minutes and won the game despite not scoring a field goal in the final 10 minutes.
Along with holding Minnesota to poor shooting, the Hawkeye defense forced 20 turnovers and came up with 10 steals. Pierre Pierce held Minnesota’s leading scorer, Vincent Grier, to six points, including just one field goal. Grier had scored in double figures in each of Minnesota’s first 15 games.
Along with the strong defensive effort, Pierce led Iowa with 18 points and added eight rebounds, two assists and two steals. Adam Haluska added 15 points and Jeff Horner scored 12. Greg Brunner added his sixth double-double of the season with 13 points and 11 rebounds and freshman Seth Gorney added five rebounds.
ILLINOIS WINS AT NORTHWESTERN
Illinois survived a hot shooting Northwestern team to score a 78-66 win in Evanston. Northwestern shot 57.1% from the field in the game, including 50% from three-point range, but it wasn’t enough to stop the Illini. Illinois built a 42-34 lead at intermission and then shot 51.9% in the second half to maintain its advantage.
Illinois held a 31-25 rebounding advantage and collected 11 steals while forcing 16 Northwester turnovers. Luther Head led Illinois with 26 point, hitting 9-14 field goals. Roger Powell added 15 points and Dee Brown scored 12. Powell and James Augustine led Illinois with seven rebounds each and Deron Williams added nine assists.
HAWKEYES AMONG NCAA LEADERS
As a team, Iowa ranks seventh nationally in blocked shots per game (6.4), 18th in assists (16.4), 23rd in three-point percentage (39%) and scoring (78.2) and 25th in field goal percentage (474).
Individually, center Erek Hansen is fourth in blocked shots (3.8) and guard Jeff Horner is ninth in three-point field goal percentage (47.1%), 15th in assists per game (5.8) and 21st in three-point field goals per game (2.6).
HAWKEYES TIE BLOCK RECORD, AGAIN
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 SETS FREE THROW MARK
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.
The Hawkeyes are shooting 78.6% (55-70) from the free throw line through three Big Ten games.
ANOTHER STRONG SCHEDULE
As has been the case in recent years, the Iowa schedule is very demanding. Eight of Iowa’s 13 non-conference games were against teams that advanced to post-season play a year ago. Iowa this season is 7-2 against teams that were in post-season play a year ago, including a 5-1 record vs. teams that were in the 2004 NCAA Tournament.
Iowa took part in the EA Sports Maui Invitational early in the season, defeating #11 Louisville and #13 Texas, while falling to #11 North Carolina. The non-conference slate also included Northern Iowa, Iowa State, Texas Tech and Air Force and Saint Louis, teams that participated in post-season play a year ago.
Iowa will play 16 games against teams that advanced to post-season play a year ago.
IOWA VS. RANKED FOES
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 5-9 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 nine 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 twice to 10th-ranked (Michigan State, 2000 and 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.
HANSEN ON BLOCKS CHART
Junior center Erek Hansen has collected 57 blocked shots in 15 games, moving among Iowa’s leaders in blocks for a season and career. A year ago Hansen blocked 40 shots in 22 games. The 57 blocks rank seventh best for a single season and his 97 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 15 games he has played, and he is averaging 6.9 points and 3.1 rebounds while shooting 45.1% 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.
HORNER OFF TO FAST START
Junior guard Jeff Horner is off to a fast start, ranking among national leaders in assists and three-point field goals while averaging 14.1 points per game. Horner is averaging 5.8 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 44.7% from the field, 47.1% from three-point range and 79.7% 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.
PIERCE WELL BALANCED
Junior guard Pierre Pierce is proving to be one of the most versatile players in the Big Ten Conference. Pierce is averaging 17.9 points, 3.9 assists and 5.8 rebounds per game and he leads the team (and the Big Ten) with 41 steals. He has scored in double figures in all 16 games, has at least five assists in seven games and five or more rebounds in 13 games.
Pierce is averaging 21.3 points in Big Ten games, including a career-high 31 points vs. Ohio State, where he made 12-20 field goal attempts and 5-8 free throws. He added 18 points and eight rebounds in a win over Minnesota.
While leading the Hawkeyes in scoring, Pierce continues to prove his worth in all phases. He leads the team in steals and is second in rebounds and assists. In Iowa’s most recent outing he held Minnesota’s leading scorer, Vincent Grier, to just six points. Grier had averaged over 17 points a game in Minnesota’s first 15 games, scoring in double figures in every game. Pierce held Grier to 1-6 shooting from the field in leading Iowa’s defensive effort in the 66-60 win.
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 had 24 points vs. Saint Louis. Pierce was named co-MVP (along with teammate Jeff Horner) of Iowa’s Gazette Hawkeye Challenge.
BRUNNER WORKING THE BOARDS
Junior forward Greg Brunner is Iowa’s top returning rebounder and he is averaging 8.1 rebounds this season. Brunner ranks second among current Big Ten players with six scoring and rebounding doubles-doubles this season and 15 in his career. Brunner had 13 points and 11 rebounds vs. Minnesota, raising his rebounding average to 10.0 per game in Big Ten play.
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, Saint Louis, Ohio State and Minnesota. He had 10 rebounds vs. Louisville, nine vs. UNC Greensboro and eight on three occasions. Brunner has scored in double figures in 14 games, with a season-high 23 in the win over Northern Iowa. He is shooting 53.6% from the field and 71.6% from the foul line. He was named to the all-tournament team of Iowa’s Gazette Hawkeye Challenge.
HALUSKA HITS NEW HIGH
Sophomore Adam Haluska scored a career-high 21 points in wins over Texas Tech and Drake as he has scored in double figures in 13 of 16 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. His best game in Big Ten play came in the most recent win over Minnesota, where he scored 15 points and collected two steals. In his first season at Iowa, Haluska is shooting 48.1% from the field and 82.1% from the free throw line while averaging 13.1 points and 3.4 rebounds per game.
THOMAS HELPS ON THE GLASS
Junior Doug Thomas is making a major contribution to Iowa’s rebounding efforts, as he is fourth on the team with an average of 4.2 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 4.7 points while shooting 61.4% from the field and 80.8% from the foul line.
SCORING BY HALVES
Iowa has outscored its opponents 570-516 in the first half and 682-580 in the second half. Iowa has led at halftime in 10 of 16 games and the Hawkeyes have outscored their opponent in the second half in 12 games.
- Iowa suffered consecutive Big Ten losses for the first time since 2003, when the Hawkeyes lost at Indiana (in OT) on Mar. 1 and at Michigan State Mar. 5. This marks the first season Iowa has lost its first two conference games of the season since 1993-94 when the Hawkeyes lost their first four league games.
- 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 12 of 16 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, 8-2 when four reach double figures, 1-0 with three in double figures and 2-1 when two are in double figures.
- Iowa has four players averaging between 13 and 17.9 points per game and four players averaging between 4.2 and 8.1 rebounds per outing.
- Iowa is 10-0 when leading at halftime and 3-3 when trailing at intermission.
- Iowa is 7-2 when controlling the opening tip and 6-1 when not controlling the tip.
- Iowa is 7-1 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.
SEEKING FIVE STRAIGHT IN `05
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.
HALK TALK WITH Steve Alford
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. 17, 24, 31; Feb. 7, 14, 21, 28; and Mar. 7.
IOWA ON THE TUBE
Every Iowa game throughout the 2004-05 will be televised. Iowa appeared on national cable television (ESPN and ESPN2) in three games in the Maui Invitational and the Dec. 21 game vs. Texas Tech was a national cable telecast on ESPN2. Iowa games not selected for national coverage will be televised regionally by ESPN Plus, while several conference games are scheduled to be carried throughout the Big Ten Conference viewing area as part of the Big Ten regional network agreement with ESPN Plus.
Iowa returns home to host Purdue Saturday at 1:32 p.m. The Following week the Hawkeyes visit Northwestern (Jan. 26) and host Indiana (Jan. 29).