Hawkeyes Host No. 9 Michigan State

Feb. 15, 2005

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THE SETTING
Iowa (16-7, 5-7) will host its second consecutive game against a top-ten opponent Thursday night when the Hawkeyes entertain No. 9 Michigan State (22-3, 11-2). Tip-off is slated for 7:05 p.m. in Carver-Hawkeye Arena (15,500). Tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for youths.

ON THE AIR AND THE INTERNET
All Iowa games are broadcast on the Hawkeye Radio Network. Listen to Iowa women’s basketball games on KXIC-AM 800 in Iowa City, WHO-AM 1040 in Des Moines and WMT-AM 600 in Cedar Rapids. Brent Balbinot and Karen Schulte call the action.

Thursday’s contest is also available on satellite radio. The Michigan State at Iowa game will be broadcast live on XM Radio, channel 187.

Fans can also follow the game’s progress with up-to-the-minute stats and play-by-play by clicking on the “Gametracker” link on the front of www.hawkeyesports.com.

SINGLE-SESSION BIG TEN TOURNAMENT TICKETS ON SALE
Single-session tickets for the 2005 Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament are on sale through Ticketmaster and the Conseco Fieldhouse box office. The tournament takes place March 3-7 at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.

Single-session tickets range from $10-$14 and can be purchased at all Ticketmaster outlets, including the Conseco Fieldhouse box office, Ticketmaster charge-by-phone numbers and www.ticketmaster.com.

IN THE RANKINGS
Michigan State is ranked ninth in the Associated Press poll. Iowa did not receivie any votes in the AP poll for the first time in 11 weeks. The last time Iowa did not receive votes was Nov. 22.

IOWA HISTORY
Iowa has played 869 games since beginning basketball in 1974. Overall, Iowa’s record is 530-338 (.610). That includes a 281-151 (.650) mark in Big Ten games and a 236-57 (.805) record in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

RPI RANKINGS
Iowa ranks No. 35 in the RPI ranking and No. 35 in strength of schedule. Michigan State ranks No. 7 in the RPI and No. 28 in strength of schedule. The Big Ten ranks third in conference RPI, behind the ACC and SEC. Ohio State (5) is the highest Big Ten team ranked in the RPI, followed by Michigan State (7), Minnesota (14), Penn State (19), Iowa (35) and Purdue (41).

The rankings are updated daily on: http://www.collegerpi.com/women/05/rpi.html

RAINING THREES
Iowa has made at least one 3-pointer in 200 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.

HAWKEYES RANK HIGH NATIONALLY
As of games played through Feb. 7, Iowa ranks 13th nationally in least fouls per game (13.8), 10th in field goal percentage (.470) and 41st in scoring offense (70.6). Individually, Crystal Smith ranks 46th in field goal percentage (.514), while Jamie Cavey ranks 14th (.589).

ON THIS DATE
Iowa is 5-4 in games played on February 17, including winning four of the last four. Iowa is 1-0 vs. Michigan State on this date, defeating the Spartans 77-55 in East Lansing in 1985.

NUMBER OF THE WEEK – – 7.3
Freshman Krista VandeVenter averages 7.3 in both scoring and rebounding after 23 games.

LAST TIME OUT
Jessica Davenport scored 21 points and converted a key three-point play late in the game that enabled No. 2 Ohio State to hold off Iowa 67-60 for its 13th straight victory.

Caity Matter added 18 points for the Buckeyes and hit a 3-pointer with just under five minutes left to break the game’s final tie. Ohio State used a 16-0 run to erase a 12-point Iowa advantage in the first half, then went on a 13-2 second-half run to take the lead for good.

Iowa led 53-47 when Krista VandeVenter scored on a putback with 11:47 remaining, then made only two baskets the rest of the way. Jamie Cavey led the Hawkeyes with 22 points, 14 in the second half and 10 rebounds.

Beth Howe started Ohio State’s decisive rally with a jumper and Davenport, who had been scoreless the first 13 minutes of the half, hit consecutive shots inside to tie it at 53. Then, with the score tied at 55, Iowa’s Jenna Armstrong lost the ball driving into the lane and Kim Wilburn hit Matter for a wide open 3 on the right wing.

Tamarah Riley followed with a basket inside to complete the run, making it 60-55.

Cavey’s final basket cut the lead to three with four minutes to play, but the Hawkeyes came up empty on their next three possessions and the Buckeyes finally got the ball to Davenport on the low block.

The 6-foot-4 sophomore was fouled by Cavey as she hit a turnaround and sank the free throw, making it 63-57 with 1:15 remaining.

Brandie Hoskins added 14 points for Ohio State, while Wilburn finished with eight steals and six assists. Crystal Smith scored 12 for Iowa and Armstrong had 11.

Iowa made seven 3-pointers, three by Armstrong, and got four baskets inside from Cavey in zooming to its early lead. With Armstrong hitting two 3s and Smith and Tiffany Reedy each sinking one, Iowa went on a 14-2 run to open a 34-22 lead with 6:07 left in the first half.

But Ohio State extended its defense and the Hawkeyes didn’t score again in the half, missing eight straight shots. The Buckeyes didn’t let that opportunity go to waste.

Matter made two 3-pointers and a layup, Davenport scored twice in the lane and Hoskins added a basket and two free throws. In less than five minutes, Ohio State ran off 16 straight points to lead 38-34 at halftime.

FINAL GAME NOTES

  • Sunday’s game was the first-ever women’s Big Ten basketball game broadcast live on satellite radio (XM Radio).
  • Iowa allowed only two offensive rebounds, which is a new school record. Furthermore, the Hawkeyes out-rebounded the Buckeyes by 11 (37-26). Ohio State currently ranks third in the Big Ten in rebounding margin (+6.2).
  • The game against Ohio State was Iowa’s last regular season home Sunday contest.
  • Jamie Cavey recorded her fourth double-double of the season, posting game highs in both points (22) and rebounds (10).
  • Iowa attempted 26 triples, which was one shy of the team’s season high (27 vs. Wisconsin).
  • Ohio State shot an Iowa opponent season high 57.1 percent (28-49), besting its 54.2 percent (32-59) against the Hawkeyes in Columbus on Jan. 13.
  • Jamie Cavey has fouled out two of the last three games.
  • Iowa collected 19 assists, marking the first time in five games the Hawkeyes posted 19 or more assists.
  • After shooting 43.8 percent (7-16) from 3-point range in the first half, the Hawkeyes cooled down beyond the arc in the second, converting only 10.0 percent (1-10).
  • Johanna Solverson collected a game-high six assists. The junior small forward has registered five assists or more the last seven contests.
  • Jenna Armstrong tallied 11 points, marking the sixth time this season the senior has posted double figures.
  • Sunday’s game featured 13 lead changes and nine ties.
  • Iowa out-scored Ohio State 10-2 in second chance points.

SCOUTING MICHIGAN STATE
Michigan State enters Thursday’s game on a six-game winning streak and winners of 10 of its last 11. Last week the Spartans picked up a pair of road victories at No. 12 Minnesota (79-48) and Wisconsin (84-60).

In the Spartans’s last game vs. the Badgers, four players scored in double figures in the win. Lindsay Bowen tallied a team-high 18 points, Victoria Lucas-Perry contributed 17 points, Liz Shimek tallied 13 points, while Rene Haynes added 12. Michigan State drained nine triples compared to Wisconsin’s three and out-scored the Badgers 13-5 at the foul line.

Like the Hawkeyes, the Spartans get to the free throw line more than their opponent. Michigan State has attempted 117 more free throws than its opponents (447-330).

Michigan State’s offense has been kicking in high gear the last four games, averaging 83.0 ppg, including a 101-point outburst vs. Northwestern.

Shimek ranks second in the Big Ten in rebounding (9.1) and first in offensive boards (3.8). Bowen ranks second in 3-point field goal percentage (.460) and 3-pointers made (2.28). Kristin Haynie leads the conferene in assist/turnover ratio (2.22) and steals (3.39). Shimek (14.8) and Bowen (14.8) rank 12th and 13th in scoring, respectively.

The Spartans are coached by Joanne P. McCallie, who is in her 13th year as a college head coach and her fifth with Michigan State. McCallie’s overall record stands at 257-127 (.669) and 90-55 (.621) with the Spartans.

IOWA, MICHIGAN STATE GAME NOTES

  • Both Iowa and Michigan State enter Thursday night’s contest with its leading scorers separated by only one point. The Hawkeyes are led by Jamie Cavey (377) and Crystal Smith (376), while the Spartans are paced by Liz Shimek (370) and Lindsay Bowen (369).
  • Michigan State sophomore Rene Haynes was named the Big Ten Player of the Week. The Spartans have earned the conference honor in consecutive weeks as Liz Shimek was recognized on Feb. 7.
  • Thursday’s game features three of the league’s top rebounders: Michigan State’s Liz Shimek (9.1) and Kelli Roehrig (7.5) and Iowa’s Krista VandeVenter (7.3). Furthermore, Shimek ranks first in Big Ten offensive rebounding (3.8), while VandeVenter ranks second (3.0).
  • Iowa ranks third in the conference in offensive rebounds (13.22), rebounding (37.8) and field goal percentage (.463), fourth in scoring offense (69.7), rebounding margin (+5.0) and fifth in assists (15.88). Michigan State ranks first in rebounding margin (+9.6), offensive rebounds (16.32), defensive rebounds (26.0) and rebounding (42.3), second in turnover margin (+2.72), scoring offense (72.1) and scoring margin (+14.6) and fourth in assists (15.88) and free throw percentage (.736).
  • Thursday’s game will conclude a three-game road trip for Michigan State and also serves as its last regular season road game. The Spartans conclude their season at home vs. Ohio State (Feb. 20) and Michigan (Feb. 23).
  • Both Michigan State Head Coach Joanne P. McCallie and Iowa Football Coach Kirk Ferentz began their respective 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 (1990-92).
  • Iowa Head Coach Lisa Bluder and Michigan State Head Coach Joanne P. McCallie entered the Big Ten together in 2000.
  • Michigan State women’s basketball sports information director Brad Gust served as Lisa Bluder’s SID her final year at Drake.
  • Four of Michigan State’s starters are from the state of Michigan and nine of its 15-player roster are from the “Great Lake State”.

LAST MEETING
Victoria Lucas-Perry scored seven points during a 19-0 run late in the first half that helped then-No. 6 Michigan State avoid consecutive Big Ten losses with a 68-56 win over Iowa.

The Spartans trailed 15-12 before Lucas-Perry got them going on both ends. Michigan State forced 20 turnovers and Lucas-Perry had four of the Spartans’ 15 steals. She finished with 13 points.

Lindsay Bowen had 17 points and Liz Shimek added 16 points and 10 rebounds.

Before 8,512 fans, the fourth-largest home crowd in the program’s history, the Spartans out-shot and out-scrapped the Hawkeyes for most of the final 32 minutes.

The Hawkeyes were led by Jamie Cavey, who returned to the game after suffering a bloody nose. Cavey finished with a season-high 21 points before fouling out with 4:02 left. The senior also posted team highs in blocks (6) and rebounds (8). Crystal Smith added 11 points and three rebounds.

The win was Michigan State’s fourth in five matchups with ranked opponents and prevented an 0-2 week, following a 68-54 loss at No. 9 Ohio State.

The Hawkeyes, who entered the game with their best start in 17 years, have lost two straight.

Iowa shot a season-low 39.6 percent (21-53) from the field and also converted only 50 percent (10-20) from the foul line in the loss.

ALL-TIME SERIES RECORDS
Iowa holds a 28-16 advantage in the Michigan State series, including a 14-6 advantage in games played in Iowa City. The Hawkeyes have won two of the last three contests played in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Michigan State has won the last two overall meetings against Iowa, but the Hawkeyes have won five of the last eight. The Spartans routed the Hawkeyes (81-54) in the quarterfinals of the 2004 Big Ten Tournament and downed Iowa (68-56) in East Lansing earlier this season.

COMPARING GAME STATS

    FG%  3-PT%   FT% REB AST TO  PTSIowa    .463    .328    .709    37.8    15.8    18.6    69.7Opp.    .415    .373    .717    32.8    14.3    16.0    65.8

SCORING BY HALVES
Iowa has out-scored its opponents 768-707 in the first half, 821-802 in the second half and 14-5 in overtime. The Hawkeyes have led at halftime in 14-of-23 contests. Iowa has out-scored its opponent in the second half in 11-of-23 games.

FRESHMAN AMONG ELITE GROUP
Krista VandeVenter leads the Hawkeyes in rebounding (7.3) through 23 games. The last time a true freshman led Iowa in rebounding was Tangela Smith (1994-95). In fact, only four other Hawkeyes have led the team in rebounding as freshman (Tangela Smith, 1994-95; Lynn Kennedy, 1983-84; Cindy Haugejorde, 1976-77; Jenni Mayer, 1975-76).

Furthermore, VandeVenter currently ranks third in rebounding for an Iowa freshman. The Osseo, MN, native trails Jennie Lillis (2000-01) by four for second on the list.

IOWA’S RECORD IN GAMES DECIDED BY…
The Hawkeyes are 5-1 in games decided by 11-20 points. Here is a glance at Iowa’s record in games decided by…

    OT   1-5 6-10    11-15   16-20   21+ Total    1-0 2-1 6-3 3-1 2-0 2-2 16-7

HEAD OF THE CLASS
Jamie Cavey leads Big Ten seniors in field goal percentage (.577). Crystal Smith leads conference juniors in scoring (16.3) and field goal percentage (.505), while Johanna Solverson leads league juniors in assists (3.87). Krista VandeVenter leads league freshman in rebounding (7.3).

ATTENDANCE RANKINGS
Iowa’s home attendance average (4,118) ranks 23rd nationally in the latest attendance rankings released Feb. 14. The Hawkeyes are the seventh-highest ranked Big Ten team behind No. 5 Purdue (8,456), No. 6 Minnesota State (8,413), No. 7 Penn State (8,042), No. 14 Wisconsin (6,100), No. 17 Michigan State (5,171) and No. 22 Ohio State (4,245).

The Hawkeyes averaged 4,134 fans for 13 games last season.

HOME, AWAY COMPARISONS
In 12 home games, Iowa has out-scored its opponent 884-797 (+7.3 margin), shooting 47.0 percent from the field and holding opponents to a 42.7 shooting percentage. Iowa also posted 209 assists to its opponents’ 163 and has attempted 101 more free throws (247-146).

In 11 games away from Iowa City, Iowa has out-scored its opponents 719-717 (+0.2 margin). Opponents have recorded 114 steals to Iowa’s 88 (-2.36 margin) on the road. Also, the Hawkeyes have recorded 42 blocks to their opponents 32 away from Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Iowa has posted 4.45 more turnovers per game than its opponents on the road. Here are the home and away comparisons:

    FG%  3-PT%   FT% REB AST TO  PTSHome    .470    .341    .749    38.2    17.4    17.5    73.7Away    .455    .310    .651    37.5    14.0    19.7    65.4

WINS, LOSSES COMPARISONS
In Iowa’s 16 wins, the Hawkeyes boasted a +11.4 scoring margin. Iowa averaged 72.2 ppg in its victories. The Hawkeyes also shot the ball well from the field (.480), while Hawkeye opponents have not (.378). Iowa out-rebounded its opponents 636-529 in its triumphs (+6.7 margin).

In the Hawkeyes’ seven defeats, Iowa converted only 68.3 percent of their free throw attempts and scored only 63.9 ppg. In addition, Iowa attempted only 53 field goals per game in the seven losses. Opponents collected 77 steals to Iowa’s 40. Here are the wins and losses comparisons:

    FG%  3-PT%   FT% REB AST TO  PTSWins    .480    .314    .721    39.8    16.4    17.8    72.2Losses  .420    .352    .683    33.4    14.3    20.4    63.9

CAVEY CLIMBS CAREER CHARTS
Senior Jamie Cavey has amassed 377 points through 23 games this season. The senior has totaled 1,099 career points, which ranks 18th at Iowa. Cavey is only two points from passing Shanda Berry (1985-89) for 17th.

The Mechanicsville, IA, native has also collected 78 career blocks, which ranks seventh on Iowa’s career chart. Forty-two of her 78 blocks have come this season. Jennie Lillis was the last Hawkeye player to collect 40 rejections or more in a season when she blocked 40 during the 2002-03 season. Cavey is only one swat from passing Lisa Long (1983-87) for sole possession of seventh on the career chart. Furthermore, the senior is only eight blocks from moving into fourth place.

Cavey also cracked the top 20 in career rebounding at Michigan State. She has totaled 418 rebounds, which ranks 18th. Cavey is 19 boards from passing Virgie Dillingham (1990-94) for 17th.

IOWA VS. RANKED TEAMS
Thursday will mark the seventh time this season the Hawkeyes will play a ranked opponent. Thursday’s contest vs. Michigan State will be the last regular season competition against a ranked opponent. Iowa has recorded at least one victory over a ranked opponent in each of the five 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: 54-47 over 21st-ranked Oklahoma, 11/27/04

QUALITY WINS
One of the key factors that the NCAA Tournament selection committee looks at when selecting teams and seeding teams for the tournament is “quality wins”.

Iowa’s quality wins include: Iowa State (30), Florida (33), Oklahoma (36), Marquette (56) and Creighton (65).

The numbers in parentheses represent the respective team’s RPI ranking.

ARMSTRONG MAKES MOST OF STARTING OPPORTUNITY
Senior Jenna Arnstrong has started the last five games and has averaged 10.3 ppg the last three starts, including posting 11 points vs. No. 2 Ohio State Sunday.

She started her first collegiate game vs. Michigan on Jan. 27. Armstrong scored three points, grabbed four rebounds and collected two assists in the victory.

She equaled a career high playing 29 minutes at Purdue on Jan. 23. Against the Boilermakers, she scored all 12 Iowa bench points and they all were scored from beyond the arc. Armstrong also hauled in five defensive rebounds against the Boilermakers, four in the first half.

Armstrong has drained 22 field goals the last nine games, with 18 of the 22 coming from beyond the arc. She tallied eight points at Michigan State, nine vs. Northwestern, 13 vs. Wisconsin, seven at Northwestern and 11 vs. No. 2 Ohio State.

The native of Stockton, MO, ranks ninth in Big Ten 3-point field goals made (1.33) and 13th in 3-point field goal percentage (.333).

SOLVERSON CRACKS CAREER LISTS
Johanna Solverson ranks 21st in Iowa career rebounding (372) and 14th in career steals (139). She is 12 rebounds from moving into 20th place and eight thefts from moving into 13th.

CAVEY ON PACE TO BREAK FG PERCENTAGE RECORD
Jamie Cavey is on pace to break the school’s career field goal percentage record. Currently, Cavey is shooting .583 for her career. Michelle Edwards holds the career mark (.535, 777-1451).

VANDEVENTER CLEANS THE GLASS
Krista VandeVenter has been Iowa’s leading rebounder in 13 of its 23 games, including the first five contests of the season. VandeVenter pulled down 11 rebounds against Oklahoma and a career-high 14 at Creighton. The freshman averages 7.3 boards per game and ranks sixth in the Big Ten. She also ranks second in the Big Ten in offensive rebounds (3.0). The last time an Iowa player led the team in rebounding five consecutive games was Jerica Watson in the last five games of the 2001-02 season.

The Osseo, MN, native has also done a good job offensively. VandeVenter scored all of her nine points in the second half against the Sooners. She also tallied 10 points vs. Iowa State and a career-best 19 on 8-11 FG and 3-5 from the charity stripe at Creighton. VandeVenter averages 7.3 ppg. The post player also ranks fourth in assists (47). She has also recorded two steals in seven games.

SHARING THE WEALTH
Iowa’s triangle offense generates many assists. The Hawkeyes have three players who average 2.35 assists or more. Small forward Johanna Solverson (3.87) leads the team, followed by shooting guard Crystal Smith (2.61) and center Jamie Cavey (2.35).

COMEBACK KIDS
Iowa has posted two substantial second half comebacks this season and nearly pulled off a third.

The Hawkeyes trailed by 17 points with 16 minutes remaining vs. Northwestern on Jan. 16. Iowa rallied to win 81-76 in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Iowa erased a 15-point second half deficit with 13 minutes left in regulation at Creighton on Dec. 10. The Hawkeyes won 91-82 in overtime in the Omaha Civic Auditorium.

The Hawkeyes trailed by as many as 20 points with 11:30 remaining vs. Penn State on Jan. 6. Iowa trimmed the Lady Lion advantage to two points with 3:30 left, but were unable to tie or take the lead down the stretch. Penn State won the contest 77-71 in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

The Hawkeyes’ biggest comeback under Coach Bluder was a 19-point second half rally with 19 minutes remaining to bounce Indiana (81-76) from the 2001 Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

IOWA BENCH PRODUCES
Iowa’s bench play has been one of the keys to its 16-7 record. Iowa’s bench has outscored and out-rebounded its opponents 362-300 and 241-152, respectively. The Hawkeyes average 15.7 ppg and 10.5 rpg from their bench players. Iowa has out-scored 13-of-23 opponents in bench points.

IOWA FAST BREAKS

  • Iowa has controlled the opening tip in 16-of-23 games.
  • Iowa’s record vs. teams ranked 1-25 in the RPI is 0-5, 26-50 is 3-1, 51-100 is 4-1, 101-150 is 4-0 and 151-321 is 5-0.
  • Ohio State’s seven-point (67-60) victory over Iowa was its closet Big Ten game since its 69-62 loss at Penn State on Dec. 30.
  • The Hawkeyes have attempted 450 free throws compared to their opponents’ 286. Iowa has attempted 164 more free throws than its opponents, attempting 7.13 more free throws per game than its opponent.
  • The Hawkeyes will play back-to-back home games vs. Ohio State (Feb. 13) and Michigan State (Feb. 17). The consecutive home games are the only two back-to-back home games during conference play and first consecutive home games played since the Hawkeyes entertained Northern Iowa (Dec. 5) and Marquette (Dec. 8).
  • Iowa’s single-game season high in attendance is 5,753 (Northwestern).
  • Jamie Cavey has scored double figures in 21-of-23 games this year and 47 of the last 49 contests dating back to last season.
  • Iowa has led at the half in 14-of-23 games.
  • Iowa has held four teams to 51 points or less (Indiana — 51; UW-Milwaukee –51; Southern Illinois — 50; Northern Iowa — 50; Oklahoma — 47; Northwestern — 40).
  • Eighteen of Iowa’s 23 opponents have shot less than 50 percent from the field. Ohio State shot 54.2 percent on Jan. 13 and 57.1 percent on Feb. 13 against the Hawkeyes.
  • Iowa has had more assists than its opponents in 16-of-23 games and have shot more free throws in 22-of-23 contests.
  • Iowa was 3-0 against teams from the Big XII (Iowa State, Missouri, Oklahoma) and 4-0 vs. Missouri Valley Conference teams (Drake, Southern Illinois, Creighton, Northern Iowa).
  • The victory over No. 21 Oklahoma marked Iowa’s first win over a ranked opponent on a neutral floor since dropping Minnesota (80-77) on March 3, 2003 in the Big Ten Tournament.
  • Jenna Armstrong’s 12 three-point attempts vs. Iowa State is the most attempts by an individual since Lindsey Meder attempted 14 twice during the 2001-02 season.
  • Iowa is 3-5 in overtime games under Coach Bluder.
  • Iowa’s 54-47 victory over then-No. 21 Oklahoma in the championship game of the Junkanoo Jam marked the first time the Hawkeyes won a game scoring 54 points or less since a 50-47 triumph over Michigan State on Feb. 22, 2001, in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

CAVEY REACHES THE CHARITY STRIPE
Senior Jamie Cavey has attempted at least one free throw in 62 of her last 64 games, dating back to the 2002-03 season. She failed to reach the free throw line vs. Indiana (1/15/04) and vs. Marquette (12/8/04).

BIG TEN RANKINGS
As a team, the Hawkeyes rank third in Big Ten field goal percentage (.463), offensive rebounds (13.22) and fourth in scoring offense (69.7), rebounds allowed (32.8), rebounds (37.8) and rebounding margin (+5.0) and fifth in assists (15.78).

Individually, Crystal Smith ranks seventh in league scoring (16.4) and field goal percentage (.505), 10th in free throw percentage (.802), fifth in steals (2.26) and ninth in 3-pointers made (1.35). Jamie Cavey ranks sixth in scoring (16.4), 11th in rebounding (6.3), third in field goal percentage (.577) and fourth in blocked shots (1.83). Krista VandeVenter ranks sixth in rebounding (7.3) and second in offensive rebounds (3.0). Johanna Solverson ranks fifth in steals (2.26), fourth in assists (3.87) and 24th in scoring (10.8).

FAST START
Iowa enjoyed its best start in 17 years. The Hawkeyes’ 13-0 is their second-best start in school history. Only the 1987-88 Iowa team, which won its first 22 games, started better than these Hawkeyes. In addition, Iowa was the last Division I team to be beaten.

Iowa’s 13-0 start, matched Coach Bluder’s best start at a Division I school. The native of Marion, Iowa, guided the Drake Bulldogs to a 13-0 start in 1994 and eventually advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

THUNDER AND LIGHTNING
Guard Crystal Smith has been one of league’s top offensive and defensive player through nine games. The junior was named MVP of the KCRG-TV9 Hawkeye Challenge and Junkanoo Jam. Smith ranks first on the team and sixth in Big Ten in scoring (16.5), first on the team and 10th in conference free throw percentage (.800) and first on the team and fifth in league steals (2.27). The native of Haughton, LA, has netted 20 points or more seven times, which ranks sixth in the Big Ten. She netted a career-high 33 points at Drake on Dec. 18. Smith’s performances has turned some heads around the nation.

“Crystal is just an outstanding player,” said Iowa State Head Coach Bill Fennelly. “She’s an impact player on both ends of the floor. I hope we don’t have to play a guard as good as her the rest of the season.”

“I’ve been around the game a long time and Crystal is as good a player I’ve ever seen,” said Northern Iowa Head Coach Tony DiCecco. “She has a lot of tools. She’s extremely difficult to defend because at a split second she’s at full speed. She’s lightning quick and I tip my hat to her.”

“She’s so lighting fast. She has to be the most improved player in the Big Ten,” said Penn State Head Coach Rene Portland.

Center Jamie Cavey has been a force down in the post. The senior tri-captain, ranks second on the team and seventh in the Big Ten in scoring (16.2) and first on the team and fourth in the conference in field goal percentage (.589).

Cavey has scored double figures in 20-of-22 contests. Furthermore, she has scored double digits in 61 of her last 64 games, dating back to the 2002-03 season. Cavey has led Iowa in scoring five of the last eight contests. She was named to the KCRG-TV9 Hawkeye Challenge and Junkanoo Jam all-Tournament teams.

IOWA’S BIG TEN SCHEDULE
Iowa’s Big Ten portion of its schedule includes home-and-away contests against Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State, Northwestern and Ohio State.

The Hawkeyes had single games with Penn State, Minnesota, Purdue and Wisconsin. Iowa traveled to Minneapolis and West Lafayette, while the Lady Lions and Badgers visited Iowa City. Iowa went 0-4 vs. the teams it played only once.

RICHARDS TO REDSHIRT
Iowa Head Coach Lisa Bluder on Jan. 11, announced that junior point guard Lindsay Richards will redshirt this season.

“Lindsay has decided to take the redshirt this year,” said Bluder. “I think it’s a great decision. For us to have her healthy for two full years will be a great benefit to our program.”

The junior has recovered and has been participating in practices.

“There’s a big difference between being able to participate and being able to compete,” commented Richards. “At this time I don’t feel I’m at the level I need to be at.”

Richards underwent successful surgery on July 7 to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament in her right knee. The native of Barrington, IL, sustained the injury during practice with the Big Ten All-Stars before the team left for Australia in June, 2004. This was the second time in as many years she underwent 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.

HAWKEYES CAPTURE MYTHICAL STATE TITLE
Iowa captured its second mythical state title in three years. The Hawkeyes first defeated Iowa State (89-80) on Dec. 1, followed by victories over and Northern Iowa (77-50) on Dec. 8 and Drake (80-69) on Dec. 18.

EMMERT MAKES HISTORY
Abby Emmert became 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).

NCAA TOURNAMENT PROJECTIONS
Projections have begun for the NCAA Tournament and www.collegerpi.com has the Hawkeyes as a No. 7 seed in the Chattanooga Region in its second bracket projection. The web site has Iowa playing No. 10 Oregon in the first round, with the game being played in Dallas, TX.

Iowa is one of six Big Ten teams (Ohio State, Michigan State, Penn State, Purdue and Minnesota) projected, while the web site projects the ACC (8) to lead the pack. The web site projects six squads from the Pac 10 and five from the SEC and Big XII.

The web site projects a new bracket every Friday night.

FRESHMEN START FOR HAWKEYES
Power forward Krista VandeVenter has started all 22 games, while point guard Abby Emmert started 14 contests.

Emmert and VandeVenter became 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.

HAWKEYES ADD WALK-ON
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.

HAWKEYES WIN TOURNAMENTS
Iowa won two holiday tournaments this season. The Hawkeyes opened the season with wins over Southern Illinois (66-50) and Missouri (75-54) to claim its 16th KCRG-TV9 Hawkeye Challenge championship.

One week later, the Hawkeyes defeated Florida (65-62) and then-No. 21 Oklahoma (54-47) to capture the Junkanoo Jam in the Bahamas.

Crystal Smith was named MVP of both tournaments. Smith averaged 12.0 ppg and was the defensive star of the Junkanoo Jam. The junior averaged 17.5 ppg and 3.5 spg in the KCRG-TV9 Hawkeye Challenge. The native of Haughton, LA, scored 26 points in the championship game vs. Missouri, shattering her previous career high (10 points). Furthermore, Smith was a perfect 7-7 from the foul line, setting new career highs in free throws made and attempted.

Jamie Cavey joined Smith on both all-tournament teams. Cavey averaged 15.5 ppg and 5.0 rpg in the Junkanoo Jam and 12.5 ppg in the KCRG-TV9 Hawkeye Challenge. Johanna Solverson joined Smith and Cavey on the KCRG-TV9 Hawkeye Challenge all-tournament team. Solverson averaged 12.5 ppg in the two games and was a perfect 6-6 shooting from the field, including 4-4 from beyond the arc in Iowa’s first round 66-50 win over Southern Illinois. The four 3-pointers is a career high, as is her game-high six steals against the Salukis.

CAVEY NAMED TO “WATCH LIST”
Senior Jamie Cavey is one of 36 female student-athletes named to the Collegiate Basketball Award of Excellence “Watch List”.

The award honors college seniors for their athletic and academic achievement as well as their community involvement. The award will be presented at the end of the 2004-05 season on April 12, in Albuquerque, NM.

HOME GROWN HAWKEYES
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).

NUTHIN’ BUT NET
Catch all the University of Iowa women’s basketball games over the Internet at www.hawkeyesports.com. 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.

AFTER THIS
Iowa will have only one day to prepare for Michigan (Feb. 19) when the Hawkeyes and Wolverines play a rare Saturday night game in Ann Arbor. Iowa returns home for its regular season home finale vs. Illinois (Feb. 24). Next Thursday’s game will mark the final regular season home contest for seniors Jenna Armstrong, Jamie Cavey and Lindsay Geoffroy.