Aug. 31, 2005
The 2005-06 Iowa women’s basketball schedule was released today. Iowa’s schedule looks to be just as challenging as last year’s, if not more demanding. The Hawkeyes have the potential to play 12 teams that competed in 2005 post-season tournaments, including 10 that participated in the NCAA Tournament. Nine of Iowa’s 16 home contests in 2005-06 will be played on Sunday afternoons.
Before the regular season tips off, Iowa will host two exhibition contests in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The Hawkeyes will host Wisconsin AAU (Nov. 6) and Minnesota State (Nov. 13). Iowa returns eight experienced letterwinners, including third team all-Big Ten honoree Crystal Smith and all-Big Ten Freshman Team honoree, Krista VandeVenter.
For the fourth consecutive season, Iowa will tip-off its regular season at home. Iowa hosts UW-Milwaukee before hitting the road for three straight games away from Iowa City. Smith will have a homecoming, as the Hawkeyes travel to Louisiana Tech on Nov. 22. Iowa will then fly from Louisiana to California for the Odwalla Classic in San Francisco. The four-team field includes Oklahoma, San Francisco and Rider. The Hawkeyes will open tournament play against Oklahoma. The Hawkeyes defeated the Sooners 54-47 in the Junkanoo Jam Championship Game in the Bahamas last November.
Iowa then returns home to host UW-Green Bay on Nov. 30 and the KCRG-TV9 Hawkeye Challenge, Dec. 3-4. The Hawkeye Challenge will be one of the most eagerly anticipated events on campus this season. The four-team field features San Jose State, Vermont and Rutgers. Iowa will face Vermont in the first round, while San Jose State will meet Rutgers in the other first round contest. Former Iowa Head Coach C. Vivian Stringer will return to Carver-Hawkeye Arena as Rutgers’ head coach. Iowa’s all-time winningest coach, Stringer guided the Hawkeyes to 269 victories, six Big Ten Championships and one Final Four appearance in 12 years on the Iowa sidelines.
“Having Rutgers play in the KCRG-TV9 Hawkeye Challenge will be one of the most exciting events in Carver-Hawkeye Arena this year,” said Head Coach Lisa Bluder. “To bring C. Vivian Stringer, the person who took Iowa to he Final Four, back with a team that is ranked in the top five in may pre-season polls is going to be a great treat for all of Iowa’s fans. The Iowa fans continue to love Vivian, as they should. It will be an emotional event for our fans and Vivian.”
The Hawkeyes conclude their non-conference slate with road games at in-state rivals Iowa State (Dec. 8) and Northern Iowa (Dec. 21) and home contests against Drake (Dec. 18) and Creighton (Dec. 23).
“We have a great non-conference road schedule,” explained Bluder. “Playing teams like Iowa State, Louisiana Tech and Oklahoma on the road will be difficult challenges. Iowa State has an incredible home winning percentage, Louisiana Tech has won numerous NCAA Championships and Oklahoma’s recruiting class is ranked No. 1 in the nation.” The Big Ten portion of the schedule includes single games with Penn State, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Purdue, with the Golden Gophers and Boilermakers playing in Iowa City. The Hawkeyes are slated to play Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State, Northwestern and Ohio State twice.
Iowa will play its 900th game as a varsity sport on Feb. 2, 2006 vs. Purdue in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
Post-season play begins with the annual Big Ten Tournament (Mar. 2-6) held at the Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, IN. The first and second rounds of the NCAA Tournament begin March 18 and 19 at eight pre-determined sites.
The Hawkeyes will be televised a record five times on KCRG-TV9 and once on Comcast Sportsnet Chicago during the regular season. KCRG expanded its coverage from four games each of the last two years to five this season. The network will air Iowa’s second game of the Hawkeye Challenge (Dec. 4) and home contests against Drake (Dec. 18), Illinois (Jan. 1), Michigan State (Jan. 9) and Minnesota (Jan. 22). KCRG has televised 18 games since it first started televising Iowa women’s basketball in 2000-01. Iowa’s road contest at intrastate rival Iowa State will be televised across the state on Mediacom. Comcast Sportsnet Chicago will televise the Hawkeyes’ game at Wisconsin (Jan. 19).
Hawkeye fans who can’t make the trip to Indianapolis for the 2006 Big Ten Tournament, can catch all tournament games leading up to the championship on Comcast Sportsnet Chicago. The conference championship will be aired on ESPN2. In addition, all NCAA Tournament games will be televised on ESPN or ESPN2.