Hawkeyes Host Illinois on "Senior Night"

Feb. 22, 2005

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Iowa (17-8, 6-8) will host its final regular season game of the 2004-05 season Thursday when the Hawkeyes entertain Illinois (14-10, 6-8). Tip-off is slated for 7:05 p.m. in Carver-Hawkeye Arena (15,500). Tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for youths.

Both teams enter Thursday’s contest tied for sixth in the Big Ten. Thursday is also “Senior Night” for Iowa. The Hawkeyes will honor senior student-athletes Jenna Armstrong, Jamie Cavey and Lindsay Geoffroy, along with managers Whitney Snyder and Erin Sundae after the game.

Thursday’s game will be televised live in Eastern Iowa on KCRG-TV9. John Campbell, Amy Herrig and Scott Saville will call the action.

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.

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 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.

Iowa has played 871 games since beginning basketball in 1974. Overall, Iowa’s record is 531-340 (.610). That includes a 282-152 (.650) mark in Big Ten games and a 236-58 (.803) record in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Iowa ranks No. 37 in the RPI ranking and No. 54 in strength of schedule. Illinois ranks No. 81 in the RPI and No. 111 in strength of schedule. The Big Ten ranks third in conference RPI, behind the ACC and SEC. Michigan State (5) is the highest Big Ten team ranked in the RPI, followed by Ohio State (6), Minnesota (15), Penn State (21), Iowa (37) and Purdue (43).

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

Iowa is 5-3 in games played on February 24, including winning five of the last six. The Hawkeyes defeated Illinois (79-71) in Iowa City in 2002.

Iowa has made at least one 3-pointer in 202 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.

As of games played through Feb. 14, Iowa ranks eighth nationally in least fouls per game (13.7), 12th in field goal percentage (.463), 44th in rebounding margin (+5.0) and 49th in scoring offense (69.7). Individually, Jamie Cavey ranks 14th in field goal percentage (.577).

Iowa pulled down a season-high 50 rebounds in its 19-point victory at Michigan Saturday night. In fact, the Hawkeyes out-rebounded the Wolverines by a season-high 21 (50-29).

Iowa has out-scored its opponents 817-767 in the first half, 910-868 in the second half and 14-5 in overtime. The Hawkeyes have led at halftime in 14-of-25 contests. Iowa has out-scored its opponent in the second half in 12-of-25 games.

Iowa scored 51 second half points en route to a comeback victory at Michigan Saturday night in Crisler Arena.

The Hawkeyes trailed by as many as 13 points in the first half (29-16), but rallied and closed the half on an 11-2 run to trim their deficit to four (31-27).

The second half featured 11 lead changes and the Hawkeyes grabbed the lead for good on a Jenna Armstrong 3-pointer (57-55) with 5:28 left in the game. The Hawkeyes finished strong, closing the game on a 26-4 run. The Wolverines missed their last seven field goal attempts and their last four points came at the foul line.

Iowa had four players score double figures. The Hawkeyes were led by Jamie Cavey, who posted her fifth double-double of the season. The senior scored a team-high 19 points and grabbed a game and career-high 14 rebounds. Johanna Solverson scored 15 of her 18 points in the second half, pulled down seven rebounds and also dished out a game and career-high 10 assists. Crystal Smith contributed 12 points, while Krista VandeVenter added 10.

Iowa was only 1-13 (.077) from 3-point range in the first half, but heated up from beyond the arc in the second. The Hawkeyes made 6-11 (.545) triples in the second stanza, including four of their last five attempts during the final eight minutes of the contest.

The Hawkeyes dominated the boards, out-rebounding the Wolverines by 21 (50-29). Iowa yielded only three offensive rebounds in the second half.

Michigan was led by seniors Tabitha Pool and BreAnne McPhilamy. The duo celebrated their senior night’s by scoring 20 and 11, respectively.


  • Jenna Armstrong scored all eight of her points in the second half.
  • Iowa had its second straight good game at the foul line. The Hawkeyes drained 15-20 (.750), including 11-14 (.786) in the second half.
  • Iowa dished out 16 of its 20 assists in the second half. Solverson collected eight of her game and career-high 10 helpers in the second stanza.
  • Iowa’s 51 second half points are the second most scored in a half (Northwestern, 54).
  • The Hawkeyes had four players score in double figures, marking the first time Iowa had four players net double figures since a 79-75 loss at Purdue (Jan. 23, 2005).
  • The last time an Iowa player tallied 10 assists in a single game was when Kristi Faulkner dished out 10 vs. Missouri (Dec. 29, 2002). The 10 assists also tie three other Big Ten players for the most in a game this season.

Illinois will host IPFW Tuesday night before traveling to Iowa City for Thursday night’s contest against the Hawkeyes.

Like the Hawkeyes, Illinois enters Thursday night’s showdown losers of four of its last six conference games.

Illinois cruised in its last conference game, overwhelming Northwestern (68-33) in Champaign on Feb. 16. The Fighting Illini led by 30 at halftime (42-12). and turned 22 Wildcat turnovers into 27 points. Janelle Hughes came off the bench to score a game-high 21 points (9-13 FG). Tiffanie Guthrie tallied 14 points and five assists, while Angelina Williams contributed 11 points and seven rebounds.

Williams ranks first on the team in scoring (19.0), blocks (32), steals (51) and 3-pointers (27), and third in rebounding (4.5). Danyel Crutcher ranks first on the squad in rebounding (6.2) and fifth in scoring (6.3).

Illinois is coached by Theresa Grentz, who is in her 31st year as a head coach and her 10th with the Fighting Illini. Grentz’s overall record stands at 633-280 (.693) and 172-126 (.577).


  • Thursday’s game at Iowa will be Illinois’ Theresa Grentz’s 300th game on the Fighting Illini sidelines as head coach.
  • Iowa’s roster includes four players from the state of Illinois: Lindsay Richards (Barrington), Johanna Solverson (Lake Zurich), Morgan Kasperek (Hinsdale) and Jeneé Graham (Bolingbrook). Illinois has one Iowan on its roster: Stephanie Chelleen (Des Moines).
  • Both Iowa and Illinois have excellent freshman rebounders. Iowa’s Krista VandeVenter pulls down 7.3 rpg, while Danyel Crutcher hauls in 6.2 rpg.
  • Iowa’s Morgan Kasperek and Illinois’ Maggie Acuna are good friends. The duo attended and played on the same high school team (Hinsdale Central).
  • Iowa is 3-4 in home league games, while Illinois is 3-4 in Big Ten road contests.
  • Both Iowa and Illinois have two players ranked in the top 11 in the Big Ten in overall scoring. Illinois’ Angelina Williams ranks third (19.0) and Tiffanie Guthrie ranks 11th (15.2), while Iowa’s Jamie Cavey ranks seventh (16.5) and Crystal Smith ranks eighth (16.3).
  • Illinois did not make a 3-pointer (0-12) in the last meeting in Champaign on Jan. 2.
  • Iowa ranks in the top five in seven statistical categories, including ranking third in scoring offense (69.6), field goal percentage (.458), rebounding (38.0), offensive rebounds (13.56) and assists (15.92). Illinois ranks in the top five in nine statistical categories, including ranking first in defensive rebounds (25.96), second in blocks (4.88) and fourth in turnover margin (+0.5) and field goal percentage (.440).


    FG%  3-PT%   FT% REB AST TO  PTSIowa    .458    .323    .717    38.0    15.9    18.9    69.6Opp.    .416    .364    .724    32.7    14.3    16.5    65.6

Jamie Cavey scored seven of her 19 points during a 14-7 second-half run to lead No. 18 Iowa past Illinois 72-58 on Jan. 2.

Cavey had only two points at halftime after spending several minutes on the bench with an ankle injury, but she was 8-of-10 from the field and 1-for-1 from the free-throw line after the break.

The Hawkeyes, playing their third game in six days, also got 12 points from Crystal Smith and 10 from Tiffany Reedy.

Illinois led only briefly in the first half but was down by only seven, 41-34, at the break. An 8-5 Illinois run to start the second half closed the gap to 46-41, but Cavey’s 3-point play with 15:28 to go started Iowa’s decisive run.

Tiffanie Guthrie led Illinois with 18 points, who were 0-12 from 3-point range. Erin Wigley scored 14 and Angelina Williams had 12 as the Illini had their five-game winning streak snapped.

Iowa boasts a 37-15 advantage in the series that began with an Iowa 62-46 victory in 1974. The Hawkeyes are 20-4 in games played in Iowa City, including an 18-2 edge in contests played in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

The Hawkeyes have won the last three overall meetings and seven of the last nine. Illinois won both contests played during the 2002-03 season.

There has not been an overtime game played in the 52-game series history.

Krista VandeVenter leads the Hawkeyes in rebounding (7.3) through 25 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 second in rebounding for an Iowa freshman (182). She is 55 rebounds behind Haugejorde for first (237).

VandeVenter has pulled down 182 rebounds in 25 games, which eclipses Iowa’s team-leader Jennie Lillis’ 180 in 29 games last season.

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 6-4 3-1 3-0 2-2 17-8

In 13 home games, Iowa has out-scored its opponent 944-864 (+6.2 margin), shooting 46.4 percent from the field and holding opponents to a 43.2 shooting percentage. Iowa also posted 224 assists to its opponents’ 177 and has attempted 98 more free throws (261-163). Iowa converts 75.9 percent of its free throws at home, while only 66.8 percent on the road.

In 12 games away from Iowa City, Iowa has out-scored its opponents 797-776 (+1.8 margin). Opponents have recorded 125 steals to Iowa’s 100 (-2.08 margin) on the road. Also, the Hawkeyes have recorded 44 blocks to their opponents 38 away from Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Iowa has posted 4.17 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    .464    .335    .759    37.5    17.2    17.9    72.6Away    .452    .307    .668    38.5    14.5    19.9    66.4

In Iowa’s 17 wins, the Hawkeyes boasted a +11.8 scoring margin. Iowa averaged 72.6 ppg in its victories. The Hawkeyes also shot the ball well from the field (.476), while Hawkeye opponents have not (.378). Iowa out-rebounded its opponents 686-558 in its triumphs (+7.5 margin). Iowa attempted 138 more free throws (+8.1 margin) in its victories.

In the Hawkeyes’ eight defeats, Iowa converted only 41.6 percent of their field goal attempts and scored only 63.4 ppg. In addition, Iowa turned the ball over 20.8 times in the eight setbacks. Opponents collected 91 steals to Iowa’s 52. Here are the wins and losses comparisons:

    FG%  3-PT%   FT% REB AST TO  PTSWins    .476    .312    .723    40.4    16.6    18.0    72.6Losses  .416    .341    .705    33.0    14.4    20.8    63.4

Senior Jamie Cavey has amassed 412 points through 25 games this season. The senior has totaled 1,134 career points, which ranks 16th at Iowa. Cavey is only four points from passing Jolette Law (1986-90) for 15th.

The Mechanicsville, IA, native has also collected 82 career blocks, which ranks sixth on Iowa’s career chart. Forty-six of her 82 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 two swats from passing Lisa Becker (1983-87) for fifth on the career chart. Furthermore, the senior is only four blocks from moving into fourth place.

Cavey also cracked the top 20 in career rebounding at Michigan State. She has totaled 439 rebounds, which ranks 17th. Cavey is 44 boards from passing Michelle Edwards (1984-88) for 16th.

Jamie Cavey leads Big Ten seniors in field goal percentage (.562). Crystal Smith leads conference juniors in scoring (16.3) and field goal percentage (.500), while Johanna Solverson leads league juniors in assists (4.16). Krista VandeVenter leads league freshman in rebounding (7.3).

Listed below are the conference school’s that are currently fifth through eighth in the Big Ten standings and the respective school’s remaining league games:
Purdue (8-6): vs. Ohio State, vs. Wisconsin
Iowa (6-8): vs. Illinois, at Indiana
Illinois (6-8): at Iowa, vs. Michigan
Wisconsin (4-10): vs. Northwestern, at Purdue

A win Thursday over Illinois will clinch a sixth seed in the Big Ten Tournament, due to Iowa holding the tiebreaker over the Fighting Illini. It’s possible Iowa can tie Purdue with an 8-8 record, but can’t claim the fifth seed due to the Boilermakers owning the tiebreaker.

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: Florida (33), Iowa State (34), Oklahoma (36), Marquette (66) and Creighton (71).

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

Senior Jamie Cavey has rejected 46 shots this season, a total that ranks sixth in a single-season at Iowa. She is only two blocks from moving past Toni Foster (1991-92) for fifth place.

Senior Jenna Arnstrong has started the last seven games and has averaged 8.4 ppg the last five 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 26 field goals the last 11 games, with 21 of the 26 coming from beyond the arc. She tallied eight points at Michigan State, nine vs. Northwestern, 13 vs. Wisconsin, seven at Northwestern, 11 vs. No. 2 Ohio State and netted all eight of her points in the second half in Iowa’s comeback victory at Michigan.

The native of Stockton, MO, ranks 11th in Big Ten 3-point field goals made (1.33).

Johanna Solverson ranks 21st in Iowa career rebounding (380), 14th in career steals (144) and 13th in assists (252). She is only four rebounds from moving into 20th place, three thefts from moving into 13th and 11 helpers from moving into 12th.

Jamie Cavey is on pace to break the school’s career field goal percentage record. Currently, Cavey is shooting .577 (444-769) for her career. Michelle Edwards holds the career mark (.535, 777-1451).

Iowa’s home attendance average (4,083) ranks 25th nationally in the latest attendance rankings released Feb. 21. The Hawkeyes are the seventh-highest ranked Big Ten team behind No. 5 Minnesota (8,799), No. 6 Penn State State (8,665), No. 7 Purdue (8,456), No. 14 Wisconsin (6,100), No. 15 Michigan State (5,913) and No. 23 Ohio State (4,369).

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

Krista VandeVenter has been Iowa’s leading rebounder in 13 of its 25 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 (2.92). 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 at Michigan, 12 at Purdue and a career-best 19 on 8-11 FG and 3-5 from the charity stripe at Creighton. VandeVenter averages 7.5 ppg. The post player also ranks fourth in assists (53). She has also recorded two steals in nine games.

Iowa’s triangle offense generates many assists. The Hawkeyes have three players who average 2.2 assists or more. Small forward Johanna Solverson (4.16) leads the team, followed by shooting guard Crystal Smith (2.56) and center Jamie Cavey (2.2).

Senior Jamie Cavey has attempted at least one free throw in 64 of her last 66 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).

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.

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’s bench play has been one of the keys to its 17-8 record. Iowa’s bench has outscored and out-rebounded its opponents 379-331 and 254-166, respectively. The Hawkeyes average 15.2 ppg and 10.2 rpg from their bench players. Iowa has out-scored 13-of-25 opponents in bench points.


  • Iowa has controlled the opening tip in 16-of-25 games.
  • Iowa yielded a school record two offensive rebounds the entire game to No. 2 Ohio State on Feb. 13.
  • The Hawkeyes have out-rebounded three of their last four opponents (Michigan, +21; Ohio State, +11, Northwestern, +9).
  • Iowa’s record vs. teams ranked 1-25 in the RPI is 0-6, 26-50 is 3-1, 51-100 is 4-1, 101-150 is 5-0 and 151-321 is 5-0.
  • The Hawkeyes have attempted 484 free throws compared to their opponents’ 315. Iowa has attempted 169 more free throws than its opponents, attempting 6.76 more free throws per game than its opponent.
  • Iowa’s single-game season high in attendance is 5,753 (Northwestern).
  • Jamie Cavey has scored double figures in 23-of-25 games this year and 49 of the last 51 contests dating back to last season.
  • 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).
  • Twenty of Iowa’s 25 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 18-of-25 games and have shot more free throws in 23-of-25 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.

As a team, the Hawkeyes rank third in Big Ten field goal percentage (.458), offensive rebounds (13.56), rebounds (38.0), scoring offense (69.6) and assists (15.75), fourth in rebounds allowed (32.7) and rebounding margin (+5.3).

Individually, Crystal Smith ranks eighth in league scoring (16.3), seventh in field goal percentage (.500) and steals (2.24), eighth in free throw percentage (.815) and ninth in 3-point field goals made (1.36). Jamie Cavey ranks seventh in scoring (16.5), ninth in rebounding (6.6), third in field goal percentage (.562) and fourth in blocked shots (1.84). Krista VandeVenter ranks sixth in rebounding (7.3) and second in offensive rebounds (2.92). Johanna Solverson ranks fifth in steals (2.28), fourth in assists (4.16) and 24th in scoring (11.0).

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.

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 eighth in Big Ten in scoring (16.3), first on the team and eighth in conference free throw percentage (.815) and first on the team and seventh in league steals (2.24). The native of Haughton, LA, has netted 20 points or more seven times, which ranks seventh 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 (16.5) and first on the team and third in the conference in field goal percentage (.562).

Cavey has scored double figures in 23-of-25 contests. Furthermore, she has scored double digits in 65 of her last 67 games, dating back to the 2002-03 season. Cavey has led Iowa in scoring eight of the last 10 contests. She was named to the KCRG-TV9 Hawkeye Challenge and Junkanoo Jam all-Tournament teams.

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.

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).

Power forward Krista VandeVenter has started all 25 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.

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.

Projections have begun for the NCAA Tournament and www.collegerpi.com does not have the Hawkeyes listed in its third projection. The web site lists Iowa as “Close But Not In The Tournament”.

The Big XII and ACC is projected to have seven teams each in the “Big Dance”. The Big East, Big Ten, Pac 10 and SEC are projected to have five teams each.

The web site projects a new bracket every Friday night.

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.

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.

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.

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).

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.

“HAWK TALK WITH Lisa Bluder”
Catch “Hawk Talk with Lisa Bluder”, the radio call-in program Monday nights featuring Iowa Hawkeye women’s head coach Lisa Bluder, on KXIC-AM 800 in Iowa, WHO-AM 1040 in Des Moines and WMT-AM 600 in Cedar Rapids from 7:30-8:30 p.m. Fans can call toll-free at (800) 332-5401 or locally at (319) 365-0600.

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

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

Iowa will play its final regular season game at Indiana Sunday. Tip-off is slated for 5:05 p.m. (CST) in Bloomington, IN. The Hawkeyes will play their first Big Ten Tournament game the night of Thursday, March 3.