Iowa Hosts Illinois in First Big Ten Home Test

Jan. 6, 2006

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Iowa (11-4, 0-1) faces Illinois (15-0, 1-0) Saturday, Jan. 7 in its first Big Ten Conference home game of the season. Game time is 1:05 p.m. in Carver-Hawkeye Arena (15,500). Iowa had a four-game win streak snapped in a 66-52 loss at Wisconsin Thursday evening. Illinois remained perfect on the year with a 60-50 home win over Michigan State the same night. Iowa has won 10 straight home games since a 75-65 loss to Illinois last Feb. 19.

Radio: Iowa games are broadcast on the Hawkeye Radio Network. Gary Dolphin handles the play-by-play with color commentator Bob Hansen. The Hawkeye Radio Network coverage includes a 60-minute pre-game show. Television: ESPN will carry the game to a national cable audience. Dave O’Brien and Rick Majerus will call the action.

Iowa has played 2,358 games since beginning basketball in 1902. Overall Iowa’s record is 1,407-951 (.597). That includes an 880-306 (.742) record in home games, a 526-645 (.449) record in games away from Iowa City, a 664-654 (.504) mark in Big Ten games and a 286-80 (.781) record in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Iowa has compiled a 286-80 (.781) record in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Iowa is 132-67 (.663) in Big Ten games and 154-13 (.922) in non-Big Ten games. Iowa has drawn over five million fans for men’s basketball since the arena opened in 1983. Iowa has posted a 78-25 (.757) home record under Coach Steve Alford, including a 51-4 (.927) mark in non-conference home games. Iowa’s current streak of 23 consecutive non-conference home wins ranks 16th-longest among Division I programs. That streak dates back to the final home game of the 2002-03 season, an NIT loss to Georgia Tech.

Iowa is listed among teams receiving votes in both the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today coaches polls. Iowa has been ranked as high as 12th this season (AP, 12/5/05), its highest ranking since early in the 2001-02 season. Iowa, that season, moved as high as seventh (Nov. 26) in the Associated Press rankings and eighth (Nov. 19) in the coaches poll. Iowa was ranked for nine consecutive weeks during the 2005 season, moving as high as 14th in both polls. Illinois is ranked sixth in both polls.

Iowa is 5-2 under Coach Steve Alford in the initial Big Ten Conference game of the season and 5-1 in the first home conference game. The Hawkeyes began Big Ten action a year ago with a 65-63 loss to Michigan in Iowa City, marking Iowa’s first loss to start Big Ten play in nine seasons. That loss snapped a string of 12 straight home wins to begin conference action.

In NCAA statistical rankings, Iowa is sixth in fouls per game (14.7), 11th in field goal defense (36.6%), 14th in scoring defense (55.9) and 25th in blocked shots per game (5.5). Individually, Jeff Horner ranks seventh in assists per game (6.1), Erek Hansen is 10th in blocked shots per game (2.9) and Greg Brunner is 33rd in rebounds per game (9.9).

The Iowa basketball program reached 1,400 wins (now at 1,407) with a 79-46 victory over Texas-San Antonio on Nov. 26. Iowa is one of 34 NCAA Division I programs with as many as 1,400 wins. Iowa’s basketball history includes 71 winning seasons and 22 years in which the Hawkeyes have won 20 or more games. Iowa (with 21) is one of 31 programs to earn more than 20 invitations into the NCAA Tournament.

Iowa seniors Greg Brunner and Jeff Horner are two 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. The nomination of Brunner, from Charles City, and Horner, from Mason City, make Iowa one of seven programs to have two candidates among the list of 30 players.

Senior guard Jeff Horner has returned to action after missing four games with a partially torn posterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. The injury occurred during Iowa’s game at Northern Iowa Dec. 6. Horner made a solid return in Iowa’s 60-50 win at Saint Louis, collecting 17 points and six assists in 36 minutes. He had 11 points and three assists vs. Wisconsin. Horner had played in 102 consecutive Iowa games over the past four seasons, missing just one start, before missing four games. He ranks fourth in career assists with 510. Horner ranks 15th in career scoring with 1,231 points and ranks among Iowa’s career leaders in three-point field goals and three-point attempts. Horner, this season, is averaging 12.4 points and 6.1 assists per outing.

IOWA COACH Steve Alford
Steve Alford (pronounced ALL-ford) is in his seventh season as the head coach at the University of Iowa and his 15th season as a college head coach. Alford holds a career record of 277-164 (.628), including a 121-87 (.582) record at Iowa, a 78-29 (.729) record in four seasons (1992-95) at Div. III Manchester College and a four-year record (1996-99) of 78-48 (.619) at Southwest Missouri State. Alford ranks fourth among Iowa’s head basketball coaches in total wins. He is 41-56 (.423) in Big Ten games. Alford is 8-6 in the NCAA Tournament (3-3 in Division I and 5-3 in Division III) and 2-4 in the NIT. His record in the Big Ten Tournament is 10-5 in six seasons and his 10 wins rank as the most among all Big Ten coaches in the event. Iowa won the tournament in 2001, returned to the title game in 2002 and just missed the championship game in 2005. Alford led Iowa into the second round of the 2001 NCAA Tournament in his second season and the Hawkeyes returned to the NCAA Tournament in 2005. Iowa advanced to the NIT in 2002, 2003 and 2004. Alford led Southwest Missouri State to the NCAA Sweet 16 in 1999 and in 1995 Manchester advanced to the NCAA championship game before suffering its first defeat of the season. Alford is a 1987 graduate of Indiana, where he led the Hoosiers to the 1987 NCAA title. Alford was a member of the 1984 U. S. Olympic team that earned the Gold Medal and he was the 26th player selected in the NBA Draft following his senior season. Alford played four seasons in the NBA before beginning his coaching career. At Indiana, Alford started 120 of 125 games in four seasons. He served as team captain in 1987 when the Hoosiers were 30-4. Steve concluded his college career as Indiana’s all-time scoring leader with 2,438 points and he holds the Indiana record for career steals with 178. He was a consensus first team All-American and the Big Ten MVP as a senior. Alford is a member of the Manchester College M Association Hall of Fame and the Indiana University Athletics Hall of Fame. In 2001 he was named one of the “Top 50 Athletes” in the history of the state of Indiana and was selected as a member of the 15-man Indiana University all-Century team. In 2004 he was one of five players selected to ESPN’s Big Ten Conference Silver Anniversary team. Alford is 2-8 vs. Illinois and 2-4 vs. Illini Coach Bruce Weber.

Bruce Weber is in his third season as the head coach at Illinois, but he is no stranger to Big Ten basketball. Weber was an assistant coach at Purdue from 1981-98 before taking over as the head coach at Southern Illinois prior to the 1998-99 season. Weber is now in his eighth year as a head coach and his career mark stands at 181-63, including a 78-9 record at Illinois and a 103-54 mark in his five seasons at Southern Illinois. Weber also served as an assistant coach for one season at Western Kentucky (under Gene Keady) before his stint at Purdue. Weber guided Illinois to the Big Ten regular season title in his first year in Champaign. Last season Illinois swept the regular season and tournament titles while advancing to the NCAA championship game, concluding the year with a 37-2 record. Weber led Southern Illinois to three post-season appearances in his five years, including NCAA Tournament invitations in 2002 and 2003. The Salukis earned Missouri Valley Conference titles in both 2002 and 2003 and advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16 in 2002. Weber is 4-0 against Iowa and he holds a 4-2 record vs. Hawkeye Coach Steve Alford.

Coach Steve Alford has collected 121 victories as Iowa’s head coach, a total that ranks fourth on Iowa’s list of coaches in career wins. Alford recently moved past Bucky O’Connor, Iowa’s head coach from 1952-58 (he also was Iowa’s head coach for 11 games in 1950), who earned 114 wins as Iowa’s basketball coach. Iowa’s top three coaches in career wins are Tom Davis (269), Lute Olson (168) and Rollie Williams (139).

Illinois holds a 72-64 advantage in the series that began with a 46-36 Iowa win in 1908. The Fighting Illini won both meetings in 2005, 73-68 in overtime Jan. 20 in Champaign and 75-65 Feb. 19 in Iowa City. In 2004, Illinois defeated Iowa 88-82 in Champaign and 78-59 in Iowa City. Illinois has won eight of the last 10 meetings. The teams met just once in 2002 and 2003, with Illinois winning at home in 2002 and Iowa winning at home in 2003. Prior to 2001-02, Iowa and Illinois had met at least twice in every season since 1974. Illinois has been ranked in the top 25 in eight of the nine meetings since Steve Alford has been Iowa’s head coach, including No. 1 for both meetings in 2005. Iowa holds a 50-17 advantage in games played in Iowa City, including a 15-7 margin in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Iowa had won two straight meetings in Iowa City before Illinois won in 2004 and 2005, giving the Illini back-to-back wins in Iowa City for the first time since 1963 and 1964. The teams will meet Feb. 25 in Champaign.


  • Illinois began its current 30-game home winning streak in 2004 with an 88-82 win over Iowa. During the win streak only one other game has been closer than that six point margin, and that was the 73-68 overtime win over Iowa last season. All other wins have been by eight points or more.
  • Both Iowa Coach Steve Alford and Illinois Coach Bruce Weber were head coaches in the Missouri Valley Conference before taking their current positions in the Big Ten. Alford was the head coach at Southwest Missouri State for four seasons and Weber was the head coach at Southern Illinois for five years. The two coaches met twice during the 1998-99 season, with Alford’s team winning 76-62 and 72-68 (OT).
  • Illinois Coach Bruce Weber was an assistant coach at Purdue when Iowa Coach Steve Alford was a player at Indiana. Purdue won five of eight meetings against Indiana during Alford’s playing career.
  • Iowa freshman guard Tony Freeman and Illinois senior guard Dee Brown are both from Maywood, IL, although they did not attend the same high school.
  • Tracy Webster is in his second season on the Illinois staff. Webster played at Wisconsin and was an assistant coach at Purdue before joining the Illini staff.
  • Illinois is the only team Iowa has not played at least once in the Big Ten Conference post-season tournament.

Iowa forced an overtime session, but couldn’t pull off the upset in a 73-68 loss at top-ranked Illinois last Jan. 20. Greg Brunner’s basket with four seconds remaining forced the overtime period, but Illinois outscored the Hawkeyes 8-3 in the extra period to remain unbeaten. Illinois led by 13 points with just under 15 minutes to play when Iowa rallied. Two three-point baskets by Jeff Horner and a trey by Pierre Pierce closed the gap and the Hawkeyes tied the score at 52-52 with nine minutes to play on a basket by Erek Hansen. The Illini increased the advantage to six points with 1:05 to play when Iowa rallied again. Adam Haluska scored on a dunk with 20 seconds to play and after an Illinois free throw, Brunner tied the game with his drive in the lane. Illinois led the entire overtime period, but the margin was just one point with 1:16 to play following another basket by Brunner. Illinois got a basket by Luther Head with 39 seconds remaining and Iowa was unable to score again. Along with holding Illinois with its defense, Iowa was able to connect on 44.3% of its field goals. The Illini, however, held a 23-6 scoring advantage from the free throw line, attempting 31 free throws to just 12 attempts for Iowa. Pierce led the Hawkeyes with 22 points. Brunner had 16 points and 11 rebounds, Haluska scored 12 points and Horner added nine points, six rebounds and four assists. Illinois was led by Luther Head with 25 points and six steals. Dee Brown added 12 points and James Augustine had 14 rebounds.

In Iowa City, Illinois used a 15-7 scoring run over the final four minutes to earn a 75-65 win. While the Hawkeyes never led in the second half, they trailed by just two points on three occasions, the last at 60-58 with 4:34 remaining. Illinois scored four straight points over the next minute before a three-point basket by Jeff Horner cut the margin to three with 2:44 to play. Iowa trailed 7-2 at the start before using a 9-0 scoring run for an 11-7 advantage with 12 minutes to play in the first half. The game was tied for the final time at 20-20 with five minutes left in the half before the Illini built a 36-28 margin at the break. Illinois led by as many as 12 points early in the second half before Iowa rallied. Iowa shot 46.5% from the field, 36.4% from three-point range and 80.8% from the foul line. The Hawkeyes also held a 36-21 rebounding advantage. Illinois shot 48.1% from the field and made 18-23 (78.3%) free throws. The Illini were guilty of just 10 turnovers, compared to 21 for Iowa. Adam Haluska led Iowa’s scoring attack with 20 points, while Brunner added 15 and Horner scored 12. Brunner led both teams with nine rebounds and Horner led all players with six assists. Illinois was led by Deron Williams and Dee Brown with 18 points each, while James Augustine added 13 points and eight rebounds.


  • Iowa has posted a 2-2 record vs. ranked teams. The Hawkeyes defeated Kentucky (67-63) and North Carolina State (45-42) and lost to Texas (59-68) and Wisconsin (52-66).
  • Iowa had made more free throws (206) than its opponents have attempted (192).
  • Iowa is 6-0 when scoring between 70-80 points, 4-1 when scoring between 60-70 points and 1-3 when scoring less than 60 points. Iowa is 9-0 when holding its opponent to less than 60 points, 2-3 when holding its opponent between 60-70 points and 0-1 when the opponent scores over 70 points.
  • Iowa is 7-1 when collecting more assists than the opponent, 2-3 when the opponent has more assists and 2-0 when assists are equal.
  • Iowa is 7-2 when having fewer turnovers than its opponent and 4-2 when the opponent has fewer turnovers.
  • Iowa is 4-1 when collecting more steals than its opponent, 6-3 when the opponent has more steals and 1-0 when steals are equal.
  • Iowa has had four players or more score in double figures in four games, with a season-best five players in the win over Maryland-Eastern Shore. Iowa is 0-0 when six players score in double figures, 1-0 when five players score 10 points or more, 3-0 when four reach double figures, 4-2 with three in double figures and 3-2 when two are in double figures.
  • Iowa is 11-3 when leading at halftime, 0-1 when trailing at intermission and 0-0 when tied at halftime.
  • Iowa is 9-1 when controlling the opening tip and 2-3 when not controlling the tip.
  • Iowa is 4-2 in games decided by 10 points or less, 3-1 in games decided by five points or less and 0-1 in overtime.
  • Iowa has held five opponents to 50 points or less and eight to under 60 points. Only five Iowa opponents have shot as well as 40% from the field.
  • Iowa has won at least 11 games before the start of Big Ten play four times in seven years under Coach Steve Alford. Along with the 11 wins this season, the Hawkeyes won 12 games prior to Big Ten play last season and 11 games in both 2001 and 2002.
  • Under Steve Alford, Iowa is 35-6 when shooting at least 50% from the field, including 2-0 in 2005-06.
  • None of Iowa’s opponents have shot 50% from the field. Iowa allowed just four opponents to shoot at least 50% from the field last season, and Iowa was 3-1 in those games. Iowa was 0-5 when its opponent shot at least 50% from the field in 2004.

Poor shooting from the field in the second half proved to be the difference as Iowa dropped a 66-52 decision at Wisconsin. The Hawkeyes shot 46.2% from the field while building a 34-32 halftime advantage, including 57.1% (4-7) from three-point range. But that changed in the final 20 minutes. The Hawkeyes misfired on their first 13 field goal attempts before Jeff Horner connected on a three-pointer with 11:46 to play. By that time, the Badgers had built a seven point advantage and, after Wisconsin answered with a three-pointer with 11:04 remaining, Iowa was never closer than 10 points the rest of the way. The Hawkeyes made just 5-30 (16.7%) of their field goal attempts in the second half and shot 30.4% for the game. The 18 points in the second half is the lowest second half total for a Steve Alford coached Iowa team. Iowa also made just 1-10 three-point attempts in the second half. Iowa stayed in the contest by hitting 13-17 free throws, by holding a 41-36 rebounding advantage and by committing just 11 turnovers. Wisconsin shot 46.7% from the field in the game, becoming just the fifth Iowa opponent in 15 games to shoot 40% or better from the field. Horner and Adam Haluska led Iowa’s scoring attack with 11 points each, while Doug Thomas came off the bench to add 10 points and eight rebounds. Greg Brunner scored eight points and led both teams with 10 rebounds.

Dee Brown scored 34 points and the Illinois defense shut down Michigan State as the Illini opened conference play with a 60-50 win in Champaign. Brown hit 12-22 field goals, including 7-13 three-pointers, and made all three of his free throw attempts while also collecting three assists and two steals. Illinois shot 48% from the field in building a 35-28 halftime advantage, making 8-14 (57.1%) three-pointers in the first half. Michigan State shot just 36.2% from the field in the game and Illinois won the rebounding battle by a 31-27 margin. Brown was the only Illinois player in double figures and James Augustine led the Illini with nine rebounds and three blocked shots.

Iowa’s defense has led the way as the Hawkeyes have won 11 of their first 15 games. Iowa opponents are averaging just 55.9 points per game, shooting 36.6% from the field and 30.4% from three-point range. Iowa has collected 104 steals and forced 243 turnovers while collecting 83 blocked shots. The Hawkeyes have held 13 opponents under 70 points and have won the rebounding battle in 12 games. Iowa ranks high nationally in scoring defense, field goal defense and blocked shots.

In its season opening win over Maryland-Eastern Shore, Iowa collected 17 steals while forcing 25 turnovers. The 17 steals are the most by a Steve Alford coached Hawkeye team. Iowa had not had as many as 17 steals in a game since collecting 18 steals in an 84-74 win over Penn State on Jan. 27, 1999, a string of 205 games. Tony Freeman, Adam Haluska, Jeff Horner and Doug Thomas led the way with three steals each, while eight of the 12 Hawkeyes who played collected at least one steal. Iowa added eight steals in the win over Colgate. Iowa’s record for steals in a game is 23. The 25 turnovers are the most by an Iowa opponent since Liberty University was guilty of 24 turnovers on Dec. 22, 2002. Iowa forced 23 turnovers by Texas-San Antonio in a recent 79-46 win and North Carolina State was guilty of 24 turnovers.

Senior forward Greg Brunner has raised his career rebounding total to 824, moving into fifth place on Iowa’s career list. Brunner also ranks 14th in career scoring (1,240) and is eighth (90) in career blocked shots. Brunner had his seventh double-double of the season vs. Robert Morris (15 points, 10 rebounds), giving him 27 in his career, most among active players in the Big Ten Conference. He leads Iowa in rebounding (9.9) and is averaging 13.7 points per game.

Senior guard Jeff Horner has become just the fourth Iowa player ever to total over 500 assists. Horner ranks fourth in career assists with 510, he ranks 15th in career scoring (1,231) and he has 478 rebounds. In career numbers, Horner also ranks third in three-point field goals (213) and second in three-point attempts (576). Horner needs just one steal to move into Iowa’s top 10 in that category. Horner is seven assists away from matching B.J. Armstrong for third place in career assists and needs just one three-point field goal to move into second place in that category.

Iowa’s players have shared the honors. Senior forward Greg Brunner was named the Most Outstanding Player as Iowa opened the season with two wins in the regional rounds of the Guardians Classic. At the Classic finals, where the Hawkeyes defeated Kentucky before losing to Texas in the championship game, junior guard Adam Haluska was named to the all-Tournament team after scoring 23 points vs. the Longhorns. Senior guard Jeff Horner was named MVP of Iowa’s Hawkeye Challenge, while Brunner and Haluska were named to the all-tournament team as well. Horner recorded a scoring and assist (12-10) double-double vs. Fairfield and added 19 points against Valparaiso. Brunner had 23 points and 11 rebounds vs. Fairfield and nine points and 13 rebounds vs. Valparaiso. Haluska, in the two games, totaled 25 points and 11 rebounds.

Senior Erek Hansen played a key roll as Iowa defeated Fairfield and Valparaiso to win the Hawkeye Challenge in early December. In the win over Fairfield, Hansen matched his career-high with seven blocked shots and added eight points and six rebounds. He added six points, five rebounds and three blocks in the win over Valpo. Hansen matched his career scoring high with 14 points at Iowa State and he added seven rebounds and four blocked shots. He has collected three blocked shots or more in 10 of 15 games. Hansen is averaging 6.1 points and 4.2 rebounds and he leads the Big Ten with 2.9 blocked shots per game.

Junior guard Mike Henderson played a key role in Iowa’s win over Valparaiso in the title game of the Hawkeye Challenge, as he has improved his numbers in several categories from a year ago. Henderson matched his season scoring high with 15 points, hitting 5-6 field goals and 4-5 free throws, against Valpo. Henderson also had six rebounds and five assists. He added 10 points vs. Arizona State and had 12 points, eight rebounds and four assists vs. Drake. Henderson is averaging 7.3 points and 4.3 rebounds per outing, improving his shooting to 43.6% from the field and 80.4% from the free throw line. Henderson has scored in double figures in five games this year after scoring 10 or more points just three times in his first two seasons.

Junior guard Adam Haluska has started all 79 games he has played in his career, Haluska’s consecutive starts streak ranks fifth longest among all Division I players, according to STATS — Chicago. Haluska trails Gerry McNamara (Syracuse), Joe Herber (West Virginia), Patrick Sparks (Kentucky) and Donald Wilson (Portland). Haluska is averaging 13.9 points and 4.8 rebounds per game. He has scored in double figures in 13 games and he had a career-high six assists in a win over Drake. Haluska hit two crucial three-point baskets in the final 96 seconds against Drake and he added 18 points and nine rebounds in a win over Robert Morris. Haluska scored 17 points in Iowa’s win at Saint Louis, hitting 6-10 field goals and 4-6 treys. His career scoring total stands at 960 points, with 284 coming in his freshman season at Iowa State. He has led Iowa in steals in seven games.

Senior forward Greg Brunner and senior guard Jeff Horner are two of 50 players named as pre-season candidates for the Naismith Trophy, presented annually to the Player of the Year. Brunner was named the Most Valuable Player in the Iowa City regional of the Guardians Classic. Brunner is averaging 13.7 points and 9.9 rebounds per game, shooting 44.7% from the field and 68.8% from the foul line. He has recorded seven double-doubles in 15 games. He ranks fifth in career rebounds (824), eighth in blocked shots (90) and 14th in career scoring (1,240). Horner had a season-high 19 points vs. Valparaiso, 10 assists in a win over Fairfield and 17 points vs. Saint Louis in his return to action after missing four games. He is averaging 12.4 points, 3.5 rebounds and 6.1 assists per game. Horner ranks 15th in career scoring (1,231) and fourth in career assists (510). Brunner has played in all 108 games in his career, with 96 starts. Horner has started 103 of the 104 games he has played at Iowa, missing four games in December due to injury.

Seniors Greg Brunner and Jeff Horner joined Iowa’s 1,000 Point Club as juniors a year ago and now rank 14th and 15th, respectively, in career scoring. Brunner has scored 1,240 career points and ranks fifth (824) in career rebounds. Brunner has ranked second in Big Ten rebounding in each of the past two seasons. He was named second team all-Big Ten last season and earned a gold medal at the World University Games last summer. He also ranks eighth in career blocked shots (90). Horner has scored 1,231 points and is the only Iowa player ever to score over 1,000 points, grab over 400 rebounds (478) and distribute over 400 assists (510). Horner was honorable mention all-Big Ten a year ago. In addition to Brunner and Horner, junior Adam Haluska has 960 career points, with 284 of those coming during his freshman season at Iowa State.

Iowa Coach Steve Alford has led five of his Hawkeye teams to key wins over ranked opponents in November. Those victories have included:

  • Iowa defeated top-ranked Connecticut 70-68 in the semi-finals of the 1999 Coaches vs. Cancer event in New York’s Madison Square Garden in Alford’s first game as the Hawkeye head coach. The Huskies were the defending NCAA national champions. The Hawkeyes fell to Stanford in the title game.
  • Iowa defeated 12th-ranked Memphis 75-71 in the semi-finals of the 2001 Guardians Classic at Kansas City’s Kemper Arena. After losing to fifth-ranked Missouri (77-78) in the finals, the Hawkeyes later that season defeated the Tigers (ranked second at the time) 83-65 in Columbia.
  • Iowa defeated 16th-ranked Louisville 70-69 in overtime in the 2003 Wooden Classic in Indianapolis.
  • Iowa defeated 11th-ranked Louisville (76-71) and 13th-ranked Texas (82-80) on back-to-back days at the Maui Invitational a year ago. The Hawkeyes fell to North Carolina, the eventual NCAA champion, in the finals.
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  • fter two opening round wins in Iowa City, Iowa defeated seventh-ranked Kentucky 67-63 in the semi-finals of the 2005 Guardians Classic in Kansa City. The Hawkeyes fell to second-ranked Texas in the finals.
  • As part of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, Iowa defeated 21st-ranked North Carolina State 45-42 Nov. 30, 2005 in Carver-Hawkeye Arena, giving the Hawkeyes their second win over a ranked opponent in the first six games of the season.

Steve Alford has posted a 20-32 record against ranked opponents as Iowa’s head coach, including a 2-2 mark in 2005-06. The Hawkeyes defeated seventh-ranked Kentucky (67-63) and 21st-ranked North Carolina State (45-42), while dropping a 68-59 decision to second-ranked Texas and a 66-52 contest at Wisconsin. Alford’s Hawkeye teams are 7-13 when playing teams ranked in the top 10, including wins over top-ranked Connecticut (70-68 in 1999-00), second-ranked Missouri (83-65 in 2001-02), fifth-ranked Ohio State (67-64 in 1999-00), seventh-ranked Kentucky (67-63 in 2005-06), seventh-ranked Illinois (78-62 in 2000-01), eighth-ranked Illinois (68-61 in 2002-03) and 10th-ranked Michigan State (71-69 in 2005). The 13 losses to top 10 teams have been three times to No. 1 (Duke, 2001-02 and Illinois twice in 2004-05), once to second-ranked (Texas, 2005-06), once to third-ranked (Illinois, 2000-01), twice to fourth-ranked (Michigan State, 1999-00 and 2000-01), twice to fifth-ranked (Tennessee, 2000-01 and Missouri, 2001-02), once to ninth-ranked (Kentucky, 2000-01) and three times to 10th-ranked (Michigan State, 2000, Illinois, 2002 and Michigan State, 2005). In the 52 games against ranked teams, Alford and his Iowa team are 7-9 in home games, 10-11 at neutral sites and 3-12 when playing ranked teams in their home arena.

Iowa has outscored its opponents 507-376 in the first half and 477-451 in the second half. Iowa has led at halftime in 14 games and the Hawkeyes have outscored their opponent in the second half in 10 games. The second half scoring was even (20-20) vs. NC State and Iowa was outscored 11-7 in its one overtime period.

In its nine home games, Iowa has outscored its opponents by a 70-50.2 margin, shooting 44.3% from the field while holding its opponent to 33.8% shooting. Iowa holds a 41.7-34.8 rebounding advantage. In six games away from Carver-Hawkeye Arena (two neutral site games), Iowa has been outscored 60.2-64.3. The Hawkeyes are shooting 36.9% from the field while opponents are shooting 40.8% and the rebounding is even at 38.2 per game.

Iowa is seeking a sixth straight winning season, a streak that would rank as the second longest in the history of Iowa basketball. Iowa enjoyed seven straight winning seasons from 1950-56. Iowa has had five consecutive winning seasons on four occasions, 1979-83, 1985-89, 1995-99 and 2001-05. Iowa is one of four Big Ten teams to post a winning season in each of the last five years, joining Illinois, Michigan State and Wisconsin. Iowa advanced to post-season play for the fifth straight season a year ago, returning to the NCAA Tournament.

Iowa’s longest streak of consecutive winning seasons is seven, from 1950 through 1956. Pops Harrison, Bucky O’Connor and Rollie Williams all coached the Hawkeyes during those years. Only a 10-10 record in 1949 kept Iowa from 13 consecutive winning seasons (1944-56). Harrison coached Iowa to five straight winning seasons from 1944-48, Lute Olson coached Iowa to winning seasons from 1979-83, George Raveling and Tom Davis combined to coach Iowa to winning seasons from 1985-89 and Davis coached Iowa to winning seasons from 1995-99.

Six teams on Iowa’s 2005-06 schedule were in the initial national rankings, including both opponents who reached the semi-finals of the Guardians Classic. Texas was ranked second by the AP and third by the coaches, Michigan State fourth by the AP and fifth by the coaches, Kentucky ninth and10th, Illinois 17th in both, Indiana 23rd and 22nd and Iowa State 25th and 23rd. Additionally, five Hawkeye opponents were listed among teams receiving votes, including North Carolina State (ranked 21st at the time of Iowa’s win on 11/30/05), Ohio State, Wisconsin, Michigan and Northern Iowa. The Hawkeyes will play 10 games against the six rated opponents and a total of 16 games against opponents who were either ranked or receiving votes in the pre-season rankings.

Iowa’s captains are seniors Greg Brunner and Jeff Horner. Brunner, a native of Charles City, has started 96-108 games in his career and ranks among Iowa’s career leaders in scoring, rebounds and blocked shots. He earned second team all-Big Ten honors in 2005 and placed second in the league in rebounding in each of the past two seasons. Horner, a Mason City native, has started 103 of 104 games in his career, missing four games in December due to an injury. He has led the team in assists in each of the last three seasons and ranks among Iowa’s career leaders in scoring, assists and three-point field goals.

Following is information on Iowa basketball ticket options for remaining games. Iowa basketball tickets may be purchased in person at the athletic ticket office at the north entrance of Carver-Hawkeye Arena or at the Iowa City/Coralville Convention and Visitors Bureau information desk inside Coral Ridge Mall. Tickets may also be purchased online at, or by calling 1-800-IA-HAWKS.

  • General public single game tickets are available for $25.
  • Youth tickets ($10) are available for the Penn State game on Mar. 1.
  • Single game student tickets are available for $15 for all remaining home games. Approximately 300 student tickets remain for Saturday Big Ten Conference games vs. Illinois, Ohio State, Michigan and Wisconsin.
  • Discounted tickets to select home games and earmarked for purchase by groups of 24 or more are also available for purchase. For information about group tickets, fans should call the UI Group Sales Office at (319) 335-9328.

Iowa’s non-conference schedule saw the Hawkeyes meeting teams from nearly every major conference in the nation. The Hawkeyes participated in the Guardians Classic to begin the season, advancing to the championship game, defeating seventh-ranked Kentucky before falling to second-ranked Texas. Iowa’s non-conference home schedule was highlighted by games vs. Arizona State of the Pac 10 Conference and North Carolina State of the Atlantic Coast Conference. Iowa also hosted Fairfield, Tulane and Valparaiso in the Hawkeye Challenge and Maryland-Eastern Shore, Colgate and Utah Valley State in the first round of the Guardians Classic. Additional non-conference home games were against Drake and Robert Morris. The schedule included non-conference road games at Northern Iowa, Iowa State and Saint Louis. Iowa’s schedule includes 16 games against teams that advanced to post-season play a year ago, including 14 games against teams that were in the NCAA Tournament. That includes two games against Illinois (NCAA), Indiana (NIT), Michigan State (NCAA), Minnesota (NCAA), and Wisconsin (NCAA), single games vs. Arizona State (NIT), Iowa State (NCAA), North Carolina State (NCAA), Northern Iowa (NCAA), Kentucky (NCAA) and Texas (NCAA).

Is there a hero among you, your friends or family? Coach Steve Alford and the Iowa Hawkeyes are looking for heroes, people who have gone above and beyond to help others. “There are wonderful things being done each day in every community across the state of Iowa by outstanding people,” said Hawkeye Coach Steve Alford. “Our basketball staff feels the “Heroes Among Us” program is an easy way to salute the friends and neighbors of ours who are making a different in the lives of their friends and neighbors.”

Nomination forms for the “Heroes Among Us” program are available online at, the official web site of the Iowa Hawkeyes. Fans can print their nomination form by visiting the men’s basketball home page and clicking on the “Heroes Among Us” line under the “Features” heading.

The UI will select one here to be saluted at each Hawkeye home game throughout the remainder of the season. The hero, and the individual who nominated them, will be provided pairs of tickets to the game and a $10 gift certificate to the Official Iowa Hawk Shop. The hero will also be recognized when they are in attendance.

Fans of the University of Iowa basketball program may join Iowa Coach Steve Alford and radio announcer Gary Dolphin each week during the season for the “Hawk Talk with Steve Alford” radio call-in show. The show takes place each week at Carlos O’Kelly’s Mexican Café in Iowa City from 7-8:30 p.m. and the dates are: Jan. 10, 16, 23 and 30; Feb. 6, 12, 20 and 27; and March 6, 13 and 20.

Iowa is idle until playing Jan. 14 at Penn State. The Hawkeyes return home to host Minnesota Wednesday, Jan. 18.