Hawkeyes Travel to Michigan

Jan. 3, 2006

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The Setting ? Iowa (8-5, 1-1) returns to action Thursday when the Hawkeyes travel to Michigan (6-8, 0-2). Tip-off is slated for 6:05 p.m. (CST) inside Crisler Arena (13,751). The Hawkeyes will be gunning for their sixth-straight victory over Michigan.

On the Radio ? Brent Balbinot and Shelley Till will call the action for the Hawkeye Radio Network. Hawkeye fans can listen to the game tape delayed (fans are encouraged to check with their local affiliate for availability) due to the Iowa men’s basketball team playing at Wisconsin Thursday night.

The game can be heard live over the Internet at www.hawkeyesports.com. Just click “Hawkeye All-Access” at the top right of the page. “Hawkeye All-Access” is a subscription service.

On This Date ? Iowa is 4-9 in games played on January 5, losing its last three.

Iowa History ? Iowa has played 892 games since beginning basketball in 1974. Overall, Iowa’s record is 545-347 (.611). That includes a 268-126 (.680) mark in Big Ten games and a 244-59 (.805) record in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Steady Improvement ? Senior Crystal Smith averaged 1.1 points per game in 21 games her freshman year, followed by a 3.9 scoring average in 29 contests her sophomore season and 16.8 ppg her junior year. Smith currently averages 20.2 ppg through 13 games in 2005-06.

Smith’s 20.2 scoring average ranks first in the Big Ten and 15th nationally. Only three Iowa players have finished a season averaging 20 points or more. Cindy Haugejorde averaged 21.0 ppg (23 games) in 1977-78 and 23.2 ppg (29 games) in 1979-80. Michelle Edwards averaged 20.0 ppg (31 games) in 1987-88, while Franthea Price averaged 21.2 ppg (29 games) in 1989-90. Smith has led Iowa in scoring the last eight contests.

The native of Haughton, LA, averaged 21.0 points, 2.5 rebounding, 2.5 assists and 5.0 steals in two games against Michigan last year.

Scouting Michigan ? Michigan will be looking to snap a two-game losing streak after dropping its first two conference games at Illinois (67-48) and Michigan State (77-44).

The Wolverines are led by sophomore Ta’Shia Walker, who ranks first in team scoring (13.1) and rebounding (7.0). Michigan suffered a blow on Dec. 9 when junior starting guard Kelly Helvey suffered a season-ending knee injury in the Wolverines’ loss at Washington. Helvey was Michigan’s second leading scorer and rebounder.

Like the Hawkeyes, the Wolverines have two freshmen starters. Guard Jessica Minnfield averages 5.8 ppg and 2.29 apg, while forward Carly Benson averages 7.5 ppg and 1.21 spg.

Michigan ranks last in league scoring (62.3) and second to last in field goal percentage (.400) and rebounding margin (-1.8).

Former Iowa Director of Basketball Operations Shannon Gage, who worked with the Hawkeyes from 2003-05 is in her first season as an assistant coach with Michigan. Gage played collegiate basketball under Wolverine Head Coach Cheryl Burnett.

Burnett is in her 18th year as a head coach (344-184) and her third with the Wolverines (25-48).

All-Time Series Record ? Thursday will be the 44th meeting between Iowa and Michigan. Iowa boasts a 33-10 advantage in the series, including winning the last five. Iowa holds a 15-6 edge in games played in Ann Arbor. The Wolverines’ last victory over Iowa came on Feb. 14, 2002 in a 91-80 win in Iowa City.

Iowa boasts a +16.6 margin of victory in its current five-game winning streak over Michigan.

RPI Ratings ? Iowa ranks No. 65, while Michigan ranks 133rd in the RPI ratings published on Jan. 3 on www.collegerpi.com. The Hawkeyes also rank 43rd in strength of schedule, while the Wolverines rank 77th. All five Iowa losses came to opponents with a current RPI of 79 or better.

Common Opponents ? Iowa and Michigan share one common opponent: Illinois. The Hawkeyes defeated the Fighting Illini at home (84-65), while the Wolverines fell at Illinois (67-48).

Last Meeting ? Iowa defeated Michigan 70-42 in first-round action of the 2005 Big Ten Conference Women’s Basketball Tournament inside Conseco Fieldhouse.

Crystal Smith scored a game-high 23 points on 9-of-15 shooting from the field – a mark that included four three-point buckets on eight tries – four steals and four rebounds. Jamie Cavey scored 15 points and grabbed four rebounds.

Abby Emmert added six points, while Jenna Armstrong and Krista VandeVenter added five each. Johanna Solverson paced Iowa with seven rebounds.

BreAnne McPhilamy paced Michigan with 12 points. Tabitha Pool grabbed a game-high nine rebounds.

Iowa shot 51 percent from the field for the game, hitting 25-of-49 field goal attempts, including six three-pointers. The Hawkeyes limited Michigan to just 33 percent success from the field and allowed the Wolverines only four attempts from the charity stripe.

Michigan trimmed Iowa’s lead to nine at 35-26 when Ta’Shia Walker sank a pair of free throws at 14:47. Iowa responded with an 8-2 run sparked by a pair of three-point buckets by Smith to push margin to 43-28.

Nine minutes later – a period marred by fouls and sloppy play on both ends of the court – Iowa held a 18-point advantage at 57-39 thanks to nine straight points by Smith. Iowa rolled from there and closed the door by scoring the game’s last eight points.

Iowa shot a blistering 65 percent from the field in the second half, while totally shutting down the Wolverine offense.

Last Time Out ? A big second half lifted Iowa to an 84-65 victory over Illinois Sunday inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The win is Iowa’s fifth-straight over the Fighting Illini. An announced crowd of 3,439 watched Iowa’s first-ever New Year’s Day game.

Crystal Smith ignited the Hawkeye offense, scoring a game-high 27 points on 7-13 shooting from the field and a perfect 11-11 from the foul line. Smith tallied 19 of her 27 points in the second period, marking the sixth time this season the senior guard has netted 20 points or more. Smith also collected seven rebounds, four steals and two assists.

Smith’s perfect 11-11 shooting performance from the charity stripe tied a school record for free throw percentage in a game.

Sophomore Krista VandeVenter had another big game for the Hawkeyes, scoring all 13 of her points in the second period and posting game bests in rebounding (7) and assists (6) in 36 minutes of action. The six assists matched a career high for VandeVenter. Freshman Nicole VanderPol played 18 crucial minutes, scoring four points and grabbing four rebounds.

Illinois started the game on fire, draining seven of its 12 field goal attempts in the first six minutes to grab a commanding 17-2 advantage. Iowa turned the ball over six times in the first six minutes, with the Fighting Illini converting those miscues into eight points.

The Hawkeyes started the contest ice-cold from the floor, missing six of their first seven field goal attempts. Iowa regained its shooting touch later in the period, as a Wendy Ausdemore 3-pointer capped an Iowa 11-0 run to tie the contest at 23 with 3:59 left. Ausdemore scored 11 of her career-high 14 points in the first stanza.

Iowa silenced Illinois starter Janelle Hughes for the first 17:30 minutes, but the senior guard scored the Fighting Illini’s final nine points on four-straight possessions of the first half to help give Illinois a six-point (34-29) halftime advantage.

Crystal Smith sparked a 17-2 scoring run in the second half to help give the Hawkeyes a 55-45 advantage with 11:30 left in the game. Smith netted nine of the 17 points during the scoring run. Illinois had a scoring drought that spanned 4:10 during the scoring run.

Illinois’ Erin Wigley and Hughes each scored 20 points to lead Illinois. Audrey Tabon pulled down seven rebounds to lead the Fighting Illini.

The Hawkeyes improve to 20-2 against Illinois in games played inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Overall, Iowa improves to 39-15 against the Fighting Illini, including winning 33 of the last 38 meetings.

VandeVenter Raises Her Game ? Sophomore Krista VandeVenter has raised her game to another level this year. Last year, VandeVenter averaged 7.3 ppg, 7.6 rpg, 2.0 apg and 1.09 spg. Through 13 games this season, the sophomore averages 9.5 ppg, 8.5 rpg, 3.38 apg and 2.15 spg. She has led Iowa in rebounding nine times this season, including pulling down double digit rebounds four times this year. VandeVenter ranks second in league rebounding, seventh in steals, 14th in assists and 30th in scoring.

The native of Osseo, MN, has started all 46 games in a Hawkeye uniform. She shattered Iowa’s single season freshmen rebounding record last year, pulling down 252 boards.

DE-FENSE! ? Iowa’s perimeter defense has been stellar through 13 games. The Hawkeyes rank first in Big Ten 3-point field goal defense (.250). Last season Iowa ranked 10th in the league in 3-point field goal defense (.361).

Smith Leads Big Ten in Scoring ? Senior Crystal Smith ranks first in Big Ten scoring (20.2) and 15th nationally; Michigan State’s Liz Shimek (19.8) ranks second. Smith has led Iowa in scoring in 11 of Iowa’s 13 contests.

Smith’s 46 points at Louisiana Tech are the most scored in a game by any player in the nation this season. San Diego’s Michelle Augustavo ranks second after netting 42 points vs. Clemson on Dec. 11.

Cashing in at the Free Throw Line ? Freshman Wendy Ausdemore became the first Hawkeye to start the season making her first 16 free throw attempts.

Senior Crystal Smith is a perfect 12-12 from the foul line in Iowa’s first two conference contests, including draining all 11 attempts vs. Illinois Sunday. Smith’s 11-11 performance tied a school and arena record for free throw perentage in a game.

Underclassmen Start For Hawkeyes ? Iowa’s probable starting lineup at Michigan includes two freshmen (Kristi Smith and Megan Skouby) and one sophomore (Krista VandeVenter).

VandeVenter has started all 46 games as a Hawkeye, including all 13 this season. The power forward ranks third in team scoring (9.5) and first in rebounding (8.5).

Smith has started the last five games at point guard for Iowa. The native of Thornton, CO ranks seventh in team scoring (6.4) and third in assists (37).

Skouby will start her third contest Thursday at Michigan. The 6-6 center ranks second in team scoring (10.0) and field goal percentage (.586), first in blocks (21) and fourth in rebounding (4.0).

Iowa is one of three Big Ten teams with two freshmen starters (Michigan, Iowa and Penn State).

ACL Trio ? In a span of six months, Iowa had three players who suffered ACL injuries to their right knees. Lindsay Richards, Johanna Solverson and Stacy Schlapkohl all suffered season-ending injuries. Richards sustained her injury in June, followed by Solverson (July) and Schlapkohl (December).

Freshmen Step Up ? Iowa’s freshmen class (Megan Skouby, Wendy Ausdemore, Kristi Smith, Nicole VanderPol and Lindsey Nyenhuis) are averaging 26.3 ppg through 13 games. The trio of Ausdemore, Skouby and Smith have average 18.5 minutes or more per game.

Skouby ranks second in team scoring (10.0) and fourth in rebounding (4.0), Smith ranks seventh in scoring (6.4) and third in assists (37), while Ausdemore ranks fifth in scoring (6.6). VanderPol saw limited action through 11 games, but will see more time after Stacy Schlapkohl suffered a season-ending injury. VanderPol averaged 4.0 rpg and 3.0 ppg the first two Big Ten contests. Nyenhuis missed almost the entire non-conference schedule due to a foot injury.

Skouby Quickly Climbing Freshman Chart ? Megan Skouby has already rejected 21 shots. She is only two blocks from surpassing Jennie Lillis for second place on Iowa’s freshman single season blocking list.

Looking Ahead ? Iowa has only one game this week, but will have three next week. The Hawkeyes’ contest against Michigan State was originally slated for this Sunday, but a chance for the Spartans to host Rutgers on CBS Saturday shifted Iowa-Michigan State game to Monday night. The Hawkeyes will then host nationally ranked Ohio State Thursday and then travel to Northwestern Sunday.

Five Spot ? Crystal Smith, who was named Big Ten Player of the Week on Nov. 28, broke or tied five school records during Thanksgiving week.

The senior broke school records for points (46) and free throws attempted (19) in a game and equaled school records in free throws made (15) and 3-pointers attempted (14) in Iowa’s 95-91 double overtime setback at Louisiana Tech on Nov. 22. The native of Haughton, LA, also matched the school record for field goal percentage (9-9, 1.000) in the Hawkeyes’ 88-41 rout over Rider on Nov. 26.

In the three games, Smith averaged 28.3 points, 4.3 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 2.7 steals per game. She finished the week 26-of-55 (.473) from the field, 10-of-25 (.400) from the perimeter and 23-of-28 (.821) at the line.

Attendance Rankings ? Iowa ranks 24th nationally in the women’s basketball attendance rankings released Jan. 2.

Reedy Set Go ? Senior Tiffany Reedy played in her 100th career game vs. Vermont on Dec. 3. The native of Dysart, IA, has had a great start to the 2005-06 campaign, averaging 6.5 ppg, 4.3 rpg and ranking third on the team in steals with 15. Reedy collected 14 thefts and averaged 3.9 ppg and 2.4 rpg in 33 contests last season. She is also well on her way to surpassing her high mark of 19 triples made in each of her first three seasons. Reedy has already drained 14 treys and is shooting at a 36.8 percent clip from behind the arc, good enough to rank ninth in the Big Ten.

All-Tournament Selections ? Senior Crystal Smith and sophomore Krista VandeVenter were named to the KCRG-TV9 Hawkeye Challenge All-Tournament team. Smith also garnered Odwalla Classic All-Tournament accolades for her efforts Nov. 25-26 in San Francisco, CA.

Century Club ? Iowa Head Women’s Basketball Coach Lisa Bluder reached another milestone on Dec. 3, as Bluder collected her 100th victory as Iowa Head Coach in Iowa’s 79-57 triumph over Vermont on Dec. 3. Bluder, who is the second all-time winningest Iowa coach, boasts a 103-64 (.617) record in six years mentoring the Hawkeyes.

High Octane ? Iowa, who ranks first in Big Ten scoring offense, has scored 80 points or more in six of its first 13 games. The Hawkeyes are 5-1 when scoring 80 points or more.

Big Ten Rankings ? Iowa ranks first in scoring offense (74.5), 3-point field goal percentage defense (.250) and 3-point field goal percentage (.372), second in field goal percentage (.473), assists (18.08) and third in blocks (4.31).

Senior Crystal Smith ranks first in league scoring (20.2), fifth in 3-point field goals made (2.0) and steals (2.08) and ninth in free throw percentage (.821). Freshman Megan Skouby ranks fourth in field goal percentage (.586) and third in blocked shots (1.62). Sophomore Krista VandeVenter ranks second in rebounding (8.5) and seventh in steals (2.15).

Making the List ? Iowa has recorded two victories by 40 points or more this season. The Hawkeyes posted a 40-point triumph (82-42) over UW-Milwaukee on Nov. 20. The 40-point win ranks as the 15th-largest margin of victory in school history. Iowa registered a 47-point victory (88-41) over Rider on Nov. 26. The 47-point win ranks as the ninth-largest margin of victory in Iowa history.

Iowa has posted six wins of 40 points or more under Coach Bluder (48 – UT-Pan American, 2001; 47 — Rider; 45 – Western Illinois, 2000; 43 – Creighton, 2002; 40 – Northwestern, 2001; 40 — UW-Milwaukee, 2005).

Smith Nominated for Senior CLASS Award ? Seniors Crystal Smith is one of 30 seniors from Division I basketball programs around the nation who have been named as candidates for the Bayer Advantage Senior CLASS Award. The award, now in its fifth year, is presented annually to the nation’s senior player-of-the-year. CLASS is an acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School. The award was launched during the 2001-02 season in response to the trend of college players leaving college early to turn professional. Smith joins Michigan State’s Liz Shimek and Lindsay Bowen as the only three Big Ten student-athletes nominated. Sportscaster Dick Enberg, who initiated the idea for the award and now serves as honorary Chairman, will announce the winner during the CBS telecast of the NCAA Men’s Final Four in April.

More on Smith’s Records ? Crystal Smith’s 46 points bested Cindy Haugejorde’s 44-point effort vs. Luther College on Jan. 12, 1977. In addition, the 46 points is the second-most scored in a single game in Big Ten history. Illinois’ Kendra Gantt and Penn State’s Kelly Mazzante both netted 49 points. The 46 points are the most ever scored by a Louisiana Tech opponent, besting the previous record of 43 points scored by USCs Cheryl Miller, and was one point from a Thomas Assembly Center record.

Smith’s 19 free throws attempted topped the previous school record held by Nadine Domond and Amy Herrig. Domond attempted 16 foul shots vs. UCSB on Nov. 25, 1995, while Herrig attempted 16 free throws vs. Nebraska on Dec. 8, 1996. The 19 free throws attempted ranks eighth in Big Ten annals with five others.

Smith’s 15 free throws made equaled Amy Herrig’s school record of 15 established vs. Nebraska on Dec. 8, 1996. The 15 foul shots made ranks seventh in league history with eight others.

Smith’s 14 three-pointers attempted equals the school record previously set by Lindsey Meder twice before. Meder attempted 14 at Colorado on Dec. 2, 2001 and vs. Ohio State on Jan. 3, 2002.

Smith’s perfect 9-9 (1.000) shooting performance from the field matched Jamie Cavey’s record of 9-9 (1.000) vs. Marquette on March 23, 2003. All of Cavey’s field goals were two-point baskets, while four of Smith’s five were from behind the arc.

Movin’ On Up ? Senior Crystal Smith (172) is five steals from equaling Nadine Domond (177) and Lisa Anderson (177) for seventh on Iowa’s career steals chart. Smith (957) is also 67 points from matching Tiffany Gooden (1,024) for 21st in career scoring at Iowa.

Young Guns ? Iowa is tied for 15th in the nation with the most underclassmen on its roster. The Hawkeyes are tied with 16 other schools, including Big Ten schools Northwestern and Illinois, with nine underclassmen on its roster. The Hawkeyes have four freshmen and five sophomores on its roster. Air Force (13) leads the nation, followed by New Orleans (12). Michigan is tied for seventh (10), while Penn State (8) and Wisconsin (8) are tied for 31st.

Home Grown Hawkeyes ? Iowa’s roster features six players from the state of Iowa (Wendy Ausdemore, Abby Emmert, Ebone Pope, Tiffany Reedy, Stacy Schlapkohl and Nicole VanderPol). The Hawkeyes also have four players from Illinois (Jenee Graham, Morgan Kasperek, Lindsay Richards, Johanna Solverson). Iowa’s 15-person roster also features players from Colorado (Kristi Smith), Louisiana (Crystal Smith), Michigan (Lindsey Nyenhuis), Minnesota (Krista VandeVenter) and Ohio (Megan Skouby).

Center of Attention ? For the fifth time during Coach Bluder’s Iowa tenure, the Hawkeyes started the season with a different center. Jamie Cavey started for the Hawkeyes the last two years. She became Iowa’s first center to start consecutive seasons since Amy Herrig (1997-99). Randi Peterson was Iowa’s starter in 2000-01, followed by Beatrice Bullock (2001-02), Tracy Schrupp (2002-03) and Jamie Cavey (2003-05).

Iowa’s two centers on its 2005-06 roster are sophomore Stacy Schlapkohl and freshman Megan Skouby.

Nuthin’ But Net ? Catch all the University of Iowa women’s basketball games on the radio and the Internet (www.hawkeyesports.com). Fans can listen to live or archived games with a subscription to “Hawkeye All-Access”.

Brent Balbinot is in his second season as the play-by-play voice, while Shelley Till is in her first season as the color analyst.

Hawkeyes Pen Quoie ? Iowa signed Woodbury, MN, native Zoraa Quoie to a National Letter of Intent last fall. She was an all-conference and honorable mention all-state selection her junior year. Quoie averaged 10.6 ppg and just fewer than four steals per game on a team that won its conference and finished 25-3 last season. Her Woodbury High School team also captured a league title and finished third at the Minnesota state tournament her sophomore year. Quoie was a reserve her sophomore year, but started last season. She was also an all-state sprinter on the track team her freshman year.

Big Ten Tournament Tickets on Sale ? All-session tickets for the 2006 Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament are $55. Tickets can be purchased at the Conseco Fieldhouse box office, Ticketmaster outlets, www.ticketmaster.com or by calling Ticketmaster at (317) 239-5151.

The tournament returns to Indianapolis for the 11th time in 12 years and has attracted more than 30,000 fans for each of the last four events. Just two years ago, the Big Ten set a pair of attendance records when the 2004 championship game was played in front of a single-session record of 9,417 fans, which established an overall tournament record of 37,635 spectators. In the past 11 years of Big Ten Tournament play, the conference has welcomed more than 314,000 fans. Five different league representatives have become tournament champions. Purdue leads all teams with five titles followed by two championships for both Iowa and Penn State and a single title for Indiana and Michigan State.

Iowa Information on the Web ? 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.

“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 6-7 p.m. Fans can call toll-free at (800) 332-5401 or locally at (319) 365-0600. The show originates from Bob’s Your Uncle restaurant on the eastside of Iowa City.

Hy-Vee Cy-Hawk Series ? Iowa State leads the second annual Hy-Vee Cy-Hawk Series 9-4. Iowa State has recorded victories in women’s soccer (2-1), football (23-3), women’s basketball (77-61) and men’s basketball (72-60). Iowa’s two wins came in wrestling (20-15) and women’s swimming and diving (156-144).

On the Horizon ? Iowa returns home for a rare Monday night game when the Hawkeyes host nationally-ranked Michigan State on January 9 inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.