Iowa Returns to the Road

March 25, 2005

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Iowa (23-9) will travel to Springfield, MO, to face Southwest Missouri State (23-8) Monday in the semifinals of the WNIT. Tip-off is slated for 7:05 p.m. in the Hammons Student Center.

All Iowa WNIT games are broadcast on the Hawkeye Radio Network. Listen to Monday’s women’s basketball game 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 will call the action.

Monday’s WNIT semifinals game at Southwest Missouri State will be televised live throughout the state of Iowa by Mediacom on its Mediacom Connections channel.

Iowa has played 878 games since beginning basketball in 1974. Overall, Iowa’s record is 537-341 (.612). That includes a 284-152 (.651) mark in Big Ten games and a 238-58 (.804) record in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Iowa ranked No. 44 in the RPI and No. 63 in strength of schedule at the conclusion of the regular season. SMS ranked No. 53 in the RPI and No. 90 in strength of schedule. The Big Ten ranks third in conference RPI, behind the ACC and SEC. Michigan State (4) is the highest Big Ten team ranked in the RPI, followed by Ohio State (10), Minnesota (14), Penn State (20), Iowa (44) and Purdue (45).

Iowa has made at least one 3-pointer in 209 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.

Krista VandeVenter pulled down a team-high 12 rebounds in Iowa’s victory over Arkansas State. The 12 boards helped propel the native of Osseo, MN, past Cindy Haugejorde for first on Iowa’s freshman single season rebounding chart. VandeVenter now has 243 rebounds, eclipsing the previous record of 237, held by Haugejorde established during the 1976-77 seasons.

Crystal Smith (538) and Jamie Cavey (523) became only the second Iowa duo to net 500 points or more in a single season. Kristi Faulkner (539) and Jennie Lillis (537) accomplished the feat during the 2002-03 season. Smith’s 538 points rank eighth in Iowa single season history, while Cavey’s 523 points rank 10th.

Iowa holds a 5-3 all-time record against the three remaining teams in the WNIT. The Hawkeyes are 2-3 vs. SMS, 2-0 vs. West Virginia and 1-0 vs. Kentucky.

As of games played through March 22, Iowa ranks sixth nationally in least fouls per game (13.5), 10th in field goal percentage (.468), 37th in assists (15.8), 44th in scoring offense (69.6) and 55th in rebounding margin (+4.1). Individually, Jamie Cavey ranks 20th in field goal percentage (.557).

SMS ranks first nationally in 3-point field goals per game (9.0) and 3-point field goal percentage (.435), second in free throw percentage (.780), seventh in field goal percentage (.471) and 10th in scoring offense (74.0). Individually, K.C. Cowgill ranks first in 3-point field goal percentage (.520), Jenni Lingor ranks 14th in scoring (19.6) and 32nd in 3-point field goal percentage (.426), while Kari Koch ranks 16th in 3-point field goal percentage (.426) and 48th in steals (2.7) and 3-pointers made (2.3).

Iowa advanced to the semifinals of the Sportsview WNIT with a 66-52 comeback victory over Arkansas State Thursday night in front of 4,797 fans at the U.S. Cellular Center in Cedar Rapids. It was the first time the Hawkeyes played a game in that arena.

The Hawkeyes didn’t shoot well in the first half, making only 35.7 percent (12-31) of its field goal attempts and 53.8 percent (7-13) from the charity stripe, including missing three front-ends of one-and-one’s.

Iowa caught fire in the second half, shooting 48.1 percent (13-27). As good as the Hawkeye offense was in the second half, their defense was better. Iowa changed from a player-to-player defense to a 2-3 zone, which forced 16 Lady Indian second half turnovers. Iowa’s defense also limited Arkansas State to only 3-26 (11.5 percent) shooting from the field. Hawkeye senior Crystal Smith netted 16 of her game-high 20 points in the second stanza.

The Hawkeyes trailed by as many as 14 points in the first half and trailed 44-32 with 17:42 remaining in the game. Down by 12, Iowa posted its largest scoring run of the season, scoring 17 unanswered points in 5:37 to claim a 49-44 advantage with 12:05 left and never looked back.

Arkansas State was led by sophomore Adrianne Davis, who scored 13 points and pulled down a game-high 17 rebounds. Ali Carter netted 15 points, while Zaneta Lane added 11 points in the losing effort. The Lady Indians drained all 11 free throw attempts in defeat.

Iowa received big contributions out of its post players Jamie Cavey and Krista VandeVenter. The duo posted double-doubles for the second time in game this season (at Creighton). Cavey scored 17 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, while VandeVenter tallied 11 of her 15 points in the first half and also corralled 12 boards.


  • Iowa posted a school WNIT single game record in free throws attempted (26) and steals (15). Individually, Jamie Cavey established a new Iowa WNIT single game record for free throws attempted (8). Crystal Smith attempted a record 19 field goals, while Krista VandeVenter and Cavey matched Jennie Lillis’ mark of rebounds in a game with 12.
  • The Hawkeyes matched its season high with 15 steals. Furthermore, junior Tiffany Reedy tied a career high with three steals.
  • Arkansas State’s Adrianne Davie pulled down a game-high 17 rebounds in defeat. The 17 rebounds are the most an Iowa opponent has collected in a game since Penn State’s Reicina Russell corralled 17 against Iowa on Feb. 22, 2004.
  • Iowa improved to 14-0 when collecting more steals than its opponent, 20-1 when having a higher field goal percentage than its opponent, 10-0 when having fewer turnovers and 18-2 when leading at halftime.

SMS enters Monday night’s game against Iowa with a 23-8 overall record, including a 14-2 mark in home games. The Lady Bears have played six of their last seven contests in the friendly confines of the Hammons Student Center, including victories in the first three rounds of the WNIT over SMU (83-56), Gonzaga (85-66) and Texas A&M (62-60).

SMS won the Missouri Valley Conference with a 14-2 league mark. Senior Jenni Lingor was tabbed the MVC Player of the Year, while junior Kari Koch joined Lingor on the all-conference first team. Senior Nicole Lehman earned honorable mention recognition, while Tiff Terwelp was selected to the all-freshman unit. Lingor ranks first on the team in scoring (19.6), assists (142), rebounding (6.3) and 3-pointers made (71). Koch ranks second in scoring (14.9) and first in steals (67).

The Lady Bears held on to bounce Texas A&M from the WNIT in the quarterfinals with a two-point victory. SMS led by 16 at halftime, but was out-scored by 14 points in the second half. Lingor tallied 19 points and eight rebounds, while Koch added 18 points and nine rebounds en route to victory.

SMS is coached by third-year head coach and Cedar Rapids native Katie Abrahamson-Henderson. Abrahamson-Henderson boasts a 69-25 (.734) record at SMS, including guiding the Lady Bears to two MVC regular season titles and three post-seasons appearances (2 NCAA, 1 WNIT).


  • Iowa’s 23 victories equals the seventh most wins in a single season in school history, matching the 1989-90 team. The Iowa single season record is 29, established by the 1987-88 squad.
  • SMS Head Coach Katie Abrahamson-Henderson played prep basketball at Cedar Rapids Washington High School where she led her team to the state tournament and was selected as one of the top five players in the nation by USA Today. She played her first two years of collegiate basketball at the University of Georgia before transferring to Iowa and finishing her collegiate career under Hawkeye Coach Vivian Stringer. While with the Hawkeyes, Abrahamson-Henderson was a member of two Big Ten titles. In addition, Abrahamson-Henderson served as an assistant coach under Iowa State Head Coach Bill Fennelly for six seasons (1994-00) and as an associate head coach under Michigan State Head Coach Joanne P. McCallie for two (2000-02).
  • Iowa’s Director of Basketball Operations, Shannon Gage, was a four-year letterwinner at SMS and graduated in 1999. Gage played on scholarship for former head coach and now Michigan Head Coach Cheryl Burnett. Gage played in 91 games, including 11 starts during her career.
  • Hawkeye senior Jamie Cavey’s older sister, Ann, played her collegiate basketball at SMS and was a member of the 1999 Final Four team.
  • Iowa is 5-1 all-time in WNIT games, while SMS is 3-1 in WNIT contests; neither team has reached the WNIT championship game.
  • SMS is 17-3 in its last 20 games, while Iowa is 7-1 in its last eight.
  • SMS is 14-2 in home contests, while Iowa is 12-5 in contests away from Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The Lady Bears dropped home games to top-ranked LSU (66-54) and Bradley (72-69).
  • The Lady Bears have drained 277 triples this season (8.9), while the Hawkeyes have made only 146 treys (4.6). In addition, SMS has attempted almost 200 more 3-pointers than Iowa (631-434).
  • Monday will be Iowa’s second WNIT road game, while SMS has played all post-season contests at home.
  • Iowa senior Jamie Cavey is seven boards from grabbing career rebound No. 500. Furthermore, Cavey has recorded double-doubles in five of the last ten contests — Iowa is 7-1 when she collected a double-double./li>
  • Iowa and Arkansas State have played six common opponents: Missouri, Oklahoma, Southern Illinois, Northern Iowa, Drake and Creighton. Iowa boasted a 7-0 record against the before mentioned teams, including a 5-0 mark against Missouri Valley Conference foes. SMS recorded a 7-2 record vs. common opponents with Iowa.
  • SMS ranks 11th in national attendance (6,970). The Lady Bears pulled in 5,583 in their last contest vs. Texas A&M last Thursday night.
  • Iowa’s last two WNIT opponents have converted 24-25 (.960) from the foul line, while the Hawkeyes made just 26-43 (.605) in their last two games.
  • The Hawkeyes have posted scoring runs of 9-0 against both Creighton and Nebraska and 17-0 vs. Arkansas State.
  • Jamie Cavey scored 21 points on a perfect 9-9 shooting from the field to establish a new school record for field goal percentage vs. Marquette in the 2003 WNIT Second Round.
  • Iowa’s advancement to the WNIT semifinals marks the sixth time a Big Ten Conference team has reached the semifinals. Two teams (Ohio State and Penn State) have captured WNIT titles.

Iowa senior Jenna Armstrong played prep ball at nearby Stockton, MO, where her high school team won the Class 2A State Championship her senior year. Armstrong was a first team all-state selection and established a state 2A championship game record by netting 30 points and converting 10-of-10 free throws in her final game for Stockton High School. She holds the school record for career points (2,133), rebounds (691) and assists (378).

Iowa is 2-3 all-time vs. SMS. The Hawkeyes and Lady Bears played a home-and-home series in 2000 and 2001, with each team winning on its respective home floor. SMS defeated Iowa (101-87) in Springfield in 2000, while the Hawkeyes downed the Lady Bears (84-64) in 2001 in Iowa City.

The Hawkeyes are 40-35 (.533) all-time against current members of the Missouri Valley Conference, including a perfect 5-0 mark this season.

500 CLUB
Iowa dished out 16 assists in its 66-52 triumph over Arkansas State. The Hawkeyes have collected 505 assists this season, marking the fifth time in school history a team has registered 500 or more in a single season (572 in 2000-01, 567 in 2002-03, 518 in 2001-02 and 512 in 1986-87). Four of the five 500-plus assist seasons have come under Coach Bluder.

Iowa has out-scored its opponents 1,063-961 in the first half, 1,147-1,071 in the second half and 14-5 in overtime. The Hawkeyes have led at halftime in 21-of-32 contests. Iowa has out-scored its opponent in the second half in 16-of-32 games.

Jamie Cavey leads Big Ten seniors in field goal percentage (.555). Crystal Smith leads conference juniors in scoring (16.8) and field goal percentage (.503), while Johanna Solverson leads league juniors in assists (4.0). Krista VandeVenter leads league freshman in rebounding (7.6).

Iowa boasts a 22-1 record when Iowa leads with five minutes remaining in regulation — with the Hawkeyes’ only loss coming vs. Penn State in the Big Ten Tournament. Iowa is only 1-8 when trailing or tied with five minutes left — with the Hawkeyes’ lone win coming at Creighton.

Senior Jamie Cavey, junior Crystal Smith, and freshman Krista VandeVenter were named to all-Big Ten teams. Cavey was selected to the all-Big Ten second team by the media and the third team by the coaches. Smith was a third team selection by both the media and coaches, while VandeVenter was named to the all-Freshman team.

Senior Jamie Cavey has rejected 57 shots this season, a total that ranks fourth in a single-season at Iowa. She is only two blocks from tying Jerica Watson (2001-02) for third place (59).

Iowa’s 14-game home attendance average (4,078) ranks 26th nationally in the latest attendance rankings released March 14. The Hawkeyes are the seventh-highest ranked Big Ten team behind No. 5 Minnesota (8,799), No. 6 Penn State (8,665), No. 7 Purdue (8,484), No. 14 Michigan State (6,143), No. 15 Wisconsin (6,047) and No. 19 Ohio State (5,143).

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

Senior Jamie Cavey has amassed 538 points through 32 contests this season. The senior has totaled 1,245 career points, which ranks 11th at Iowa. Cavey is 39 points from passing Necole Tunsil (1990-94) and cracking the top ten.

The Mechanicsville, IA, native has also collected 93 career blocks, which ranks fourth on Iowa’s career chart. Fifty-seven of her 93 blocks have come this season. Jerica Watson was the last Hawkeye player to collect 50 rejections or more in a season when she blocked 59 during the 2001-02 season.

Cavey also cracked the top 20 in career rebounding at Michigan State. She has totaled 493 rebounds, which ranks 15th. Cavey is 15 boards from passing Tia Jackson (1990-95) for 14th.

In 15 home games, Iowa out-scored its opponents 1,098-979 (+7.9 margin), shooting 47.4 percent from the field and holding opponents to a 42.2 shooting percentage. Iowa also posted 256 assists to its opponents’ 194 and attempted 108 more free throws (294-186). Iowa converted 75.5 percent of its free throws at home, while only 66.9 percent on the road. The Hawkeyes’ free throw percentage is 9.5 percent better at home than on the road.

In 17 games away from Iowa City, Iowa has out-scored its opponents 1,126-1,058 (+4.0 margin). Opponents have recorded 169 steals to Iowa’s 150 (-0.8 margin) on the road. Also, the Hawkeyes have recorded 57 blocks to their opponents 47 away from Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Iowa has posted 1.6 more turnovers per game than its opponents on the road.

In Iowa’s 23 wins, the Hawkeyes boasted a +12.6 scoring margin. Iowa averaged 71.8 ppg in its victories. The Hawkeyes also shot the ball well from the field (.481), while Hawkeye opponents have not (.374). Iowa out-rebounded its opponents 896-765 in its triumphs (+5.7 margin). Iowa attempted 193 more free throws (+8.4 margin) in its victories.

In the Hawkeyes’ nine defeats, Iowa converted only 42.8 percent of their field goal attempts and scored only 63.7 ppg. In addition, Iowa turned the ball over 20.7 times in the nine setbacks. Opponents collected 105 steals to Iowa’s 62.

Krista VandeVenter leads the Hawkeyes in rebounding (7.6) through 32 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).

Iowa’s single season freshman rebounding leader has pulled down 243 rebounds in 32 games, which eclipses Iowa’s team-leader Jennie Lillis’ 180 in 29 games last season.

Krista VandeVenter has been Iowa’s leading rebounder in 17 of its 32 games, including the first five contests of the season. VandeVenter pulled down 11 rebounds vs. Oklahoma (11/27) and Illinois (2/24) and a career-high 14 at Creighton (12/10). The freshman averages 7.6 boards per game and ranks fifth in the Big Ten. She also ranks third in the Big Ten in offensive rebounds (2.71). 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 15 vs. Arkansas State, 10 points vs. Iowa State and at Michigan, 12 vs. Illinois and at Purdue and a career-best 19 on 8-11 FG and 3-5 from the charity stripe at Creighton. VandeVenter averages 7.0 ppg. The post player also ranks fourth in assists (60). She has also recorded two steals in 11 games.

VandeVenter has recorded three double-doubles this season — Iowa is 3-0 when the VandeVenter records a double-double.


  • The Hawkeyes won their final four regular season games after going 3-8 during the middle portion of their difficult Big Ten schedule.
  • Iowa and Michigan State were the only schools to have two student-athletes rank in the top ten in overall rebounding in the Big Ten (MSU: Liz Shimek and Kelli Roehrig; IOWA: Krista VandeVenter and Jamie Cavey).
  • The Hawkeyes are one of only four conference teams to have three or more players average double figures in scoring (Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State and Iowa).
  • Iowa has controlled the opening tip in 20-of-32 games.
  • Iowa ranks third in the Big Ten in overall games scoring (69.5), field goal percentage (.467) and rebounds allowed (33.3) and fourth in 3-point field goal percentage (.336), rebounding margin (+3.9) and assists (15.8).
  • All 11 Iowa players scored at least one point for the first time this season in Iowa’s big win over Michigan on 3/3/05.
  • Iowa’s bench was unable to score any points for the first time this season in the Hawkeyes two-point defeat vs. Penn State in the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals. Additionally, the bench only produced two rebounds, two assists and four turnovers. The bench played only 17 minutes.
  • Iowa is 13-0 when yielding 59 points or less, 21-1 when the Hawkeyes have a higher field goal percentage than their opponent, 15-0 when collecting more steals and 11-0 when having fewer turnovers.
  • Iowa yielded a school record two offensive rebounds the entire game to No. 2 Ohio State on Feb. 13.
  • Indiana only attempted one free throw in Iowa’s 56-63 victory in Bloomington on Feb. 27. The one attempt from the foul line is a school record for an Iowa opponent in a single game.
  • Iowa is 23-9, marking the 13th time in school history that the Hawkeyes have posted 20 victories or more. Furthermore, it also is the second time Iowa has reached the 20-win plateau under Coach Bluder (21 in 2000-01).
  • Iowa has recorded eight top 100 wins, including three top 50 victories. Twelve of the Hawkeyes’ 20 triumphs have come vs. teams over 100 in the RPI.
  • Iowa stopped Michigan’s seven-game Big Ten Tournament opening game winning streak with a 28-point triumph (70-42) in the first round. The 28-point victory is the Hawkeyes’ largest margin of victory this year.
  • Junior Ebone Pope scored her first career point vs. Michigan on 3/3/05, converting 1-2 free throws in the final minute of the game.
  • The Hawkeyes have attempted 583 free throws compared to their opponents’ 370. Iowa has attempted 213 more free throws than its opponents, attempting 6.9 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 29-of-32 games this year and 55 of the last 58 contests dating back to last season.
  • Iowa has held seven teams to 53 points or less (Indiana — 51; UW-Milwaukee –51; Southern Illinois — 50; Northern Iowa — 50; Oklahoma — 47; Northwestern — 40, Indiana — 53, Michigan — 42, Creighton — 52, Arkansas State — 52).
  • Twenty-seven of Iowa’s 31 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 24-of-32 games and have shot more free throws in 29-of-32 contests.
  • The Hawkeyes posted season highs in field goal percentage (.615, 32-52) and 3-pointers made (11) vs. Illinois on Feb. 24.
  • Iowa was 4-0 against teams from the Big XII (Iowa State, Missouri, Oklahoma and Nebraska) and 5-0 vs. Missouri Valley Conference teams (Drake, Southern Illinois, Creighton — twice, 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.
  • 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.

Senior Jamie Cavey has attempted at least one free throw in 72 of her last 74 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 triangle offense generates many assists. The Hawkeyes have three players who average 2.16 assists or more. Small forward Johanna Solverson (4.0) leads the team, followed by shooting guard Crystal Smith (2.81) and center Jamie Cavey (2.16).

Jamie Cavey is on pace to break the school’s career field goal percentage record. Currently, Cavey is shooting .574 (482-840) for her career. Michelle Edwards holds the career mark (.535, 777-1451).

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.

The Iowa women’s basketball team will hold its annual banquet Friday, April 8 at the Holiday Inn Hotel and Conference Center in Coralville. Fans wanting more information should call the UI Sports Marketing Office at 319-335-9431.

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.

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).

Johanna Solverson ranks 19th in Iowa career rebounding (406), 12th in career steals (155) and assists (276). She is 11 thefts from moving into 11th and only three helpers from moving into 10th.

Iowa has posted three 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 12 (44-32) with 17:42 left in the second half vs. Arkansas State. Iowa responded with a 17-0 run to claim a five-point advantage (49-44) with 12:05 left and never looked back. Iowa held the Lady Indians to only three field goals in the second half, bolstered by its strong 2-3 zone defense.

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.

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 32 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’s bench play has been one of the keys to its 23-9 record. Iowa’s bench has outscored and out-rebounded its opponents 462-406 and 303-229, respectively. The Hawkeyes average 14.4 ppg and 9.5 rpg from their bench players. Iowa has out-scored 17-of-32 opponents in bench points.

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 fifth in Big Ten in scoring (16.8), first on the team and 10th in conference free throw percentage (.769) and first on the team and fourth in league steals (2.41). The native of Haughton, LA, netted 20 points or more 11 times, which ranks fourth in the Big Ten. She netted a career-high 33 points at Drake on Dec. 18. Smith’s performances 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 sixth in the Big Ten in scoring (16.3) and first on the team and third in the conference in field goal percentage (.555).

Cavey has scored double figures in 29-of-32 contests. Furthermore, she has scored double digits in 71 of her last 74 games, dating back to the 2002-03 season. Cavey has led Iowa in scoring 12 of the last 20 contests. She was named to the KCRG-TV9 Hawkeye Challenge and Junkanoo Jam all-Tournament teams.

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.

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.