Hawkeyes Host No. 13 Michigan State Monday

Jan. 7, 2006

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The Setting ? Iowa (9-5, 2-1) returns to action Monday when the Hawkeyes welcome No. 13 Michigan State (12-3, 2-0) to Iowa City. Tip-off is slated for 7:05 p.m. inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena (15,500). Tickets are $7 for adults, $5 for youths and University students are admitted free with student I.D.

Iowa has won five of its last six games, while Michigan State has won 10 of its last 11. The Spartans have only one day to prepare for the Hawkeyes after edging No. 10 Rutgers 73-71 Saturday.

On the Radio ? Brent Balbinot and Shelley Till will call the action for the Hawkeye Radio Network. Hawkeye fans can listen to the game on WHO 1040-AM in Des Moines, WMT 600-AM in Cedar Rapids and KXIC 800-AM in Iowa City.

The game can also 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 5-5 in games played on January 9, losing its last three.

Iowa History ? Iowa has played 893 games since beginning basketball in 1974. Overall, Iowa’s record is 546-347 (.611). That includes a 269-126 (.681) 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 19.7 ppg through 14 games in 2005-06.

Smith’s scoring average ranks second in the Big Ten and 15th nationally. Smith has led Iowa in scoring 11 times this season.

The native of Haughton, LA, averaged 15.0 points, 3.0 rebounding, 2.0 assists and 1.0 steals in two games against Michigan State last year.

Scouting Michigan State ? Michigan State opened league play winning its first two games at home against Michigan (77-44) and Penn State (75-53).

The Spartans edged tenth-ranked Rutgers (73-71) Saturday in East Lansing to extend their school-record home court winning streak to 22 games. The Scarlet Knights had a chance to tie the game at the buzzer, but Essence Carson’s jumper was off the mark as the Spartans held on for the victory. The game was won at the foul line for Michigan State, as the Spartans converted 30-34 (.882) to only 7-11 (.636) for Rutgers. Michigan State was led by Lindsay Bowen (22 points and 4 assists) and Liz Shimek (19 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists).

Monday is a start of a three-game road trip for the Spartans. After Monday’s contest Michigan State will play at Wisconsin (Thursday) and Minnesota (Sunday). The Spartans played one of the most challenging non-conference schedules in the Big Ten. In addition to playing Rutgers, the Spartans also played Tennessee, Maryland, LSU and Oklahoma.

Michigan State is led by pre-season all-Big Ten honorees Bowen and Shimek. Shimek earned conference Player of the Week laurels three times already this season, while Bowen earned Paradise Jam All-Tournament team accolades. Bowen ranks fourth in school career scoring, while Shimek ranks sixth.

Michigan State is coached by Joanne P. McCallie, who is in her 14th year (280-132, .680) as a head coach and her sixth with the Spartans (113-59, .657).

All-Time Series Record ? Monday will be the 45th meeting between Iowa and Michigan State, with the Hawkeyes leading the series 28-17. Iowa boasts a 14-7 advantage in games played in Iowa City.

Michigan State has won the last three in the series and four of the last five. Iowa’s last victory over the Spartans came on Feb. 1, 2004 in East Lansing when the Hawkeyes won 78-67.

RPI Ratings ? Iowa ranks No. 63, while Michigan State ranks 25th in the RPI ratings published on Jan. 7 on www.collegerpi.com. The Hawkeyes also rank 43rd in strength of schedule, while the Spartans rank 36th. All five Iowa losses came to opponents with a current RPI of 78 or better.

Common Opponents ? Iowa and Michigan State share three common opponents: Oklahoma, Rutgers and Michigan. The Hawkeyes lost to the Sooners (85-68) and the Scarlet Knights (57-51), but defeated the Wolverines (77-63). The Spartans defeated Michigan (77-44), Oklahoma (80-60) and Rutgers (73-71).

Iowa, Michigan State Fast Breaks ? Michigan State ranks first in Big Ten field goal percentage defense (.362), rebounding (42.7), rebounding margin (+7.8) and 3-pointers made (5.71). Iowa ranks first in 3-point field goal defense (.256) and second in scoring (74.7) and assists (18.07).

The Big Ten’s top-two prolific scorers will be featured Monday in Iowa’s Crystal Smith and Michigan State’s Liz Shimek. Smith averages 19.7 points, while Shimek averaged 19.9.

Michigan State averaged 72.0 ppg in its last three wins over Iowa, while the Hawkeyes only managed 56.7 points in the three defeats.

Iowa had a season-low 14 turnovers at Michigan Thursday.

Michigan State raised its free throw percentage average 21 points in Saturday’s win over Rutgers. Sinking 30-34 free throws vs. the Scarlet Knights raised their shooting percentage from 73.4 to 75.5.

Last Meeting ? Michigan State posted 23 turnovers, but the ninth-ranked Spartans survived, beating Iowa 67-60 behind Liz Shimek’s 20 points and 13 rebounds on Feb. 17, 2005 in Iowa City.

The other half of Michigan State’s inside duo, Kelli Roehrig, hit two key baskets during a late 12-2 run that wiped out Iowa’s only lead and gave the Spartans their seventh straight victory.

Crystal Smith led Iowa with 19 points and Jamie Cavey scored 16, though Cavey shot just 5-for-15. She was a 57.7 percent shooter coming in.

Roehrig was limited to 15 minutes because of foul trouble but still contributed 10 points for Michigan State, including six in the final 4:34. She fouled out with 47.8 seconds remaining.

Michigan State trailed for a total of 24 seconds during the first six games of its winning streak and was behind for just 19 seconds in this one. That happened when Smith hit back-to-back 3-pointers to give Iowa a 50-48 lead with 5:19 to play.

Shimek sank two free throws to tie it at 50 with five minutes remaining; after Smith missed a jumper, Roehrig scored on a follow to put Michigan State back in the lead. Iowa then threw the ball away and the 6-foot-4 Roehrig beat the defense down the floor for a layup, making it 54-50.

The Spartans built their lead to 60-52 before Iowa made a final run, drawing to 62-58 on Smith’s two free throws with 47.8 seconds left. But Michigan State made five-of-six free throws to secure the win.

Michigan State led 40-29 early in the second half before Iowa rallied, getting a 3-pointer from Tiffany Reedy and the two from Smith to take its brief lead.

Smith Ranks Second in Big Ten in Scoring ? Senior Crystal Smith ranks second in Big Ten scoring (19.7) and 15th nationally; Michigan State’s Liz Shimek (19.9) ranks first. Smith has led Iowa in scoring in 11 of Iowa’s 14 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.

Last Time Out ? Four Hawkeye starters scored in double figures as the Iowa Hawkeyes won its sixth-straight game over Michigan 77-63 inside Crisler Arena Thursday night.

Megan Skouby had a career night as the 6-6 center posted career bests in points (20), rebounds (8) and blocks (5). Krista VandeVenter, Tiffany Reedy and Crystal Smith each contributed 13 points en route to victory. In addition to her 13 points, Smith collected seven rebounds, four steals and a career-high nine assists.

Iowa’s frontcourt duo of Megan Skouby (7) and Krista VandeVenter (7) scored 15 of Iowa’s 17 points as the Hawkeyes jumped out to a 17-10 advantage in the first eight minutes and would never look back.

The Hawkeyes built their lead to 10 by half (42-32), but Michigan opened the second period on a 10-3 run to trim Iowa’s advantage to three (45-42) with 16:46 left. Iowa’s lead swelled back to nine (53-44) after an 8-2 run with 11:20 remaining. The Wolverines tried to mount one last comeback in the final minutes, but Iowa drained three 3-pointers in the final three minutes to secure the victory.

Iowa’s aggressive play generated 11 more free throw attempts than Michigan. The Hawkeyes made 16-20 (.800) from the foul line, while the Wolverines only made nine trips to the charity stripe – making eight (.889).

Iowa only attempted two triples in the first half – missing both, but found its shooting touch in the second stanza, sinking 5-9.

Michigan were led by reserves Ta’Shia Walker and Katie Dierdorf. Walker netted a game-high 24 points and grabbed eight rebounds, while Dierdorf added 10 points and four rebounds.

Through 14 games, Iowa has not allowed an opponent to shoot 50 percent or better from the field or 40 percent or better from 3-point range. Iowa’s defense held the Wolverines to 37.9 percent (25-66) from the field and 35.7 percent (5-14) from behind the arc. Iowa converted 49.1 percent (28-57) of its field goals, including 45.5 percent (5-11) from 3-point range.

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 14 games this season, the sophomore averages 9.8 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 3.14 apg and 2.21 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 14 games. The Hawkeyes rank first in Big Ten 3-point field goal defense (.256). Last season Iowa ranked 10th in the league in 3-point field goal defense (.361).

Skouby Quickly Climbs Freshman Chart ? Megan Skouby has already rejected 26 shots. She blocked a career-high five shots at Michigan to surpass Jennie Lillis for second place on Iowa’s freshman single season blocking list. Tangela Smith holds Iowa’s freshman mark with 73 rejections.

Dishing the Rock ? Iowa ranks second in Big Ten assists, dishing the ball 18.07 times per game. Four Hawkeyes average 2.5 assists or better: Crystal Smith (3.36), Krista VandeVenter (3.14), Kristi Smith (2.79) and Abby Emmert (2.5).

Possessing the Rock ? The Hawkeyes struggled with turnovers in their first six games, collecting 21.0 miscues per game. However, Iowa has did a better job maintaining the ball in its last eight contests, only averaging 15.9 turnovers.

Cashing in at the Free Throw Line ? Freshman Wendy Ausdemore became the first Hawkeye to start the season making her first 18 free throw attempts.

Senior Crystal Smith is a perfect 18-18 from the foul line in Iowa’s first three conference contests, including draining all 11 attempts vs. Illinois. Smith’s 11-11 performance tied a school and arena record for free throw perentage in a game.

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).

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

VandeVenter has started all 47 games as a Hawkeye, including all 14 this season. The power forward ranks third in team scoring (9.8) and first in rebounding (8.1).

Smith has started the last six games at point guard for Iowa. The native of Thornton, CO ranks sixth in team scoring (6.5) and third in assists (39).

Skouby will start her fourth contest Monday. The 6-6 center ranks second in team scoring (10.7) and field goal percentage (.583), first in blocks (26) and fourth in rebounding (4.3).

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

Freshmen Step Up ? Iowa’s freshmen class (Megan Skouby, Wendy Ausdemore, Kristi Smith, Nicole VanderPol and Lindsey Nyenhuis) are averaging 26.9 ppg through 14 games. The trio of Ausdemore, Skouby and Smith have average 18.9 minutes or more per game.

Skouby ranks second in team scoring (10.7) and fourth in rebounding (4.3), Smith ranks sixth in scoring (6.5) and third in assists (39), while Ausdemore ranks seventh in scoring (6.4). VanderPol saw limited action through 11 games, but will see more time after Stacy Schlapkohl suffered a season-ending injury. VanderPol averaged 3.3 rpg and 2.7 ppg the first three Big Ten contests. Nyenhuis missed almost the entire non-conference schedule due to a foot injury.

Difficult Week ? The Hawkeyes’ contest against Michigan State was originally slated for Sunday, but a chance for the Spartans to host Rutgers on CBS Saturday shifted the Iowa-Michigan State game to Monday. The Hawkeyes will then host nationally-ranked Ohio State Thursday and then travel to Northwestern Sunday.

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.

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.

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 6.9 ppg, 4.4 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 17 treys and is shooting at a 40.5 percent clip from behind the arc, good enough to rank fourth 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 105-64 (.621) record in six years mentoring the Hawkeyes.

Big Ten Rankings ? Iowa ranks first in 3-point field goal percentage defense (.256) and 3-point field goal percentage (.377), second in scoring offense (74.7), field goal percentage (.474), assists (18.07) and third in blocks (4.43).

Senior Crystal Smith ranks second in league scoring (19.7), sixth in 3-point field goals made (1.93), seventh in steals (2.21) and eighth in free throw percentage (.833). Freshman Megan Skouby ranks fourth in field goal percentage (.583) and third in blocked shots (1.86). Sophomore Krista VandeVenter ranks third in rebounding (8.1) and seventh in steals (2.21).

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 (176) is only one steal from equaling Nadine Domond (177) and Lisa Anderson (177) for seventh on Iowa’s career steals chart. Smith (970) is also 54 points from matching Tiffany Gooden (1,024) for 21st in career scoring at Iowa.

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

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.

On the Horizon ? Iowa remains home when it welcomes nationally-ranked Ohio State Thursday. Tip-off is slated for 7:05 p.m. inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The Hawkeyes return to the road next Sunday when they travel to Northwestern. Tip-off is slated for 2:05 p.m. at Welsh-Ryan Arena in Evanston, IL.