Hawkeyes Remain Home, Host No. 8 Ohio State

Jan. 10, 2006

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The Setting ? Iowa (10-5, 3-1) remains home Thursday when the Hawkeyes entertain No. 8 Ohio State (12-3, 2-0). 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.

Thursday’s game features two of the league’s top scoring threats in Iowa’s Crystal Smith (19.6) and Ohio State’s Jessica Davenport (17.8). Additionally, the Buckeyes rank first in league scoring (74.8), while the Hawkeyes rank second (74.7). Iowa has won six of its last seven games, while Ohio State has won five of its last six.

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 the Tube ? Thursday’s game will be televised live in Eastern Iowa on KCRG-TV9. John Campbell, Amy Herrig and Scott Saville will call the action.

Iowa History ? Iowa has played 894 games since beginning basketball in 1974. Overall, Iowa’s record is 547-347 (.612). That includes a 270-126 (.682) mark in Big Ten games and a 245-59 (.806) record in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

On This Date ? Iowa is 4-3 in games played on January 12, losing its last two.

Smith Closes in on 1,000 ? Senior Crystal Smith has amassed 988 career points and is only 12 points from becoming the 22nd Hawkeye to reach the 1,000-point plateau. The native of Haughton, LA, has scored 850 of her points the last two years (48 games). She currently ranks 22nd in career scoring, sixth in 3-pointers made (95) and seventh in steals (178).

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 19.6 ppg through 15 games in her senior campaign. Smith’s scoring average ranks second in the Big Ten and 15th nationally. She has led Iowa in scoring 11 times this season.

The native of Haughton, LA, averaged 11.0 points, 1.0 rebounding, 2.0 assists and 1.0 steals in two games against Ohio State last year.

Scouting No. 8 Ohio State ? Ohio State (11-2, 2-1) won a battle of top 25 teams Monday night as the eighth-ranked Buckeyes outlasted 16th-ranked Oklahoma 75-71 in Columbus. Four Buckeye starters scored in double figures and Ohio State outscored the Sooners, 14-5 at the foul line en route to victory. Brandie Hoskins scored a team-high 16 points, while Debbie Merrill tallied 12 points and grabbed a team-high nine rebounds.

The Buckeyes are led by preseason all-American Jessica Davenport, who ranks third in Big Ten scoring (17.8), first in rebounding (8.8), blocks (2.54) and field goal percentage (.614). Davenport has recorded a league-best six double-doubles through 13 contests. Kim Wilburn ranks first in Big Ten steals (4.23), while Marscilla Packer ranks second in 3-pointers made (2.23).

Ohio State’s two losses came at No. 3 LSU (64-48) and at No. 18 Purdue (61-59). The Buckeyes have defeated Penn State (74-53) and Northwestern (82-54) in league play.

Ohio State is coached by Jim Foster, who is in his 28th year (588-252) as a head coach and his fourth season (84-27) with the Buckeyes. Foster is 4-0 against the Hawkeyes.

All-Time Series Record ? Thursday will be the 44th meeting between Iowa and Ohio State, with the Hawkeyes leading the series 24-19. Iowa boasts a 15-5 advantage in games played in Iowa City.

Ohio State has won the last four in the series and five of the last six. Iowa’s last victory over the Buckeyes came on Jan. 20, 2002 in Iowa City when the Hawkeyes won 70-65.

Iowa and Ohio State Notes ? Ohio State and Iowa rank one-two in four Big Ten statistical categories. The Buckeyes rank first in scoring (74.8), assist/turnover ratio (1.4), field goal percentage (.483) and assists (18.85), while the Hawkeyes rank second in scoring (74.7), assist/turnover ratio (1.01), field goal percentage (.473) and assists (18.07).

Iowa and Ohio State have a long-storied rivalry. The Buckeyes defeated the Hawkeyes 73-72 in the 1993 Final Four semifinals. The two teams also met on Feb. 3, 1985 in Iowa City when 22,157 fans squeezed into Carver-Hawkeye Arena, shattering the NCAA attendance record. Ohio State won the contest (56-47).

Freshman Megan Skouby is the only Iowa player that hails from Ohio (Mentor). In fact, her grandfather played basketball for the Buckeyes.

RPI Ratings ? Iowa’s victory over Michigan State raised its RPI 11 points from No. 63 to No. 52 in the RPI ratings published on Jan. 10 on www.collegerpi.com. Ohio State ranks No. 7 in the RPI. The Hawkeyes also rank 35th in strength of schedule, while the Buckeyes rank 12th. All five Iowa losses came to opponents with a current RPI of 74 or better.

Common Opponents ? Iowa and Ohio State share one common opponent: Oklahoma. The Hawkeyes lost to the Sooners (85-68), while the Buckeyes defeated Oklahoma (75-71).

Last Meeting ? Jessica Davenport scored 21 points and converted a key 3-point play late in the game that enabled No. 2 Ohio State to hold off Iowa 67-60 in Iowa City.

Caity Matter added 18 points for the Buckeyes and hit a 3-pointer with just under five minutes left to break the game’s final tie. Ohio State used a 16-0 run to erase a 12-point Iowa advantage in the first half, then went on a 13-2 second-half run to take the lead for good.

Iowa led 53-47 when Krista VandeVenter scored on a put-back with 11:47 remaining, then made only two baskets the rest of the way. Jamie Cavey led the Hawkeyes with 22 points, 14 in the second half and 10 rebounds.

Beth Howe started Ohio State’s decisive rally with a jumper and Davenport, who had been scoreless the first 13 minutes of the half, hit consecutive shots inside to tie it at 53. Then, with the score tied at 55, Iowa’s Jenna Armstrong lost the ball driving into the lane and Kim Wilburn hit Matter for a wide open 3 on the right wing. Tamarah Riley followed with a basket inside to complete the run, making it 60-55.

Cavey’s final basket cut the lead to three with four minutes to play, but Iowa came up empty on their next three possessions and the Buckeyes finally got the ball to Davenport on the low block. Davenport was fouled by Cavey as she hit a turnaround and sank the free throw, making it 63-57 with 1:15 left.

Brandie Hoskins added 14 points for Ohio State, while Wilburn finished with eight steals and six assists. Crystal Smith scored 12 for Iowa and Armstrong had 11.

Iowa made seven 3-pointers, three by Armstrong, and got four baskets inside from Cavey in zooming to its early lead. Iowa went on a 14-2 run to open a 34-22 lead with 6:07 left in the first half.

Iowa didn’t score again in the half, missing eight straight shots.

Last Time Out ? Iowa won a 75-64 thriller over ninth-ranked Michigan State Monday at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The victory was the Hawkeyes’ first over a top-ten ranked opponent since downing No. 9 Purdue 90-75 on Jan. 6, 2002 in Iowa City.

Hawkeye starters scored 72 of its 75 points en route to victory. Megan Skouby posted career bests in points (27) and assists (3) and equaled a career high in rebounds (8). The 27 points is the highest scoring outburst by an Iowa freshman since Tiffany Gooden tallied 36 during the 1994-95 season. Crystal Smith contributed 18 points, six rebounds and matched a career high with eight rebounds, while Krista VandeVenter added 17 points and team highs in rebounds (9) and steals (5). Smith reached double figures for the 50th time in her career.

With the game tied 36-36 at the 16:40 mark of the second half, the Hawkeyes scored on five-straight possessions on a 10-0 run to grab a 46-36 advantage. The Spartans trimmed Iowa’s lead to one (61-60) at the 3:13 mark, but Iowa closed the contest on a 14-3 run.

Through 15 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 Spartans to 45.2 percent (28-62) from the field and 25.0 percent (4-16) from behind the arc. Iowa converted 45.9 percent (28-61) of its field goals, including 26.7 percent (4-15) from 3-point range.

Skouby on the Rise ? Freshman Megan Skouby has raised her game to a new level since taking over the starting center position for injured sophomore Stacy Schlapkohl. Skouby has averaged 15.75 points, 6.75 rebounds and 2.5 blocks in her first four starts. The 6-6 standout ranks 19th in overall scoring (11.8) in the Big Ten, third in field goal percentage (.585) and blocks (1.87). She ranks seventh in conference scoring (15.8), second in blocks (2.5) and 10th in rebounding (6.8). Skouby has led Iowa in scoring the last two games and three of five.

Skouby Quickly Climbed Freshman Chart ? Megan Skouby has already rejected 28 shots. She blocked a career-high five shots at Michigan on Jan. 5 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.

Vandy is Dandy ? Sophomore Krista VandeVenter is one of the top all-around threats in the Big Ten. VandeVenter, who has started every game as a Hawkeye, ranks third in Big Ten rebounding (8.2), fourth in steals (2.4), 10th in field goal percentage (.512) and 26th in scoring (10.3). She has led the Hawkeyes in rebounding ten times this season. The 6-2 power forward averaged 9.5 points, 7.8 rebounds, 3.17 assists and 3.33 steals while shooting 52.8 percent (28-53) from the field in Iowa’s last six contests.

Smith Ranks Second in Big Ten in Scoring ? Senior Crystal Smith ranks second in Big Ten scoring (19.6) and 15th nationally; Michigan State’s Liz Shimek (19.7) ranks first. Smith has led Iowa in scoring in 11 of Iowa’s 15 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.

In the Rankings ? Iowa ranks 30th nationally in scoring offense (74.5) and 14th in field goal percentage (.473) and assists (18.1) in rankings through games played on Jan. 2, 2006. Crystal Smith ranks 15th in scoring.

DE-FENSE! ? Iowa’s perimeter defense has been stellar through 15 games. The Hawkeyes rank first in Big Ten 3-point field goal defense (.255). Last season Iowa ranked 10th in the league in 3-point field goal defense (.361).

Dishing the Rock ? Iowa ranks second in Big Ten assists, dishing the ball 18.07 times per game. Four Hawkeyes average 2.33 assists or better: Crystal Smith (3.53), Krista VandeVenter (3.0), Kristi Smith (3.0) and Abby Emmert (2.33).

Possessing the Rock ? The Hawkeyes struggled with turnovers in their first six games, collecting 21.0 miscues per game. However, Iowa has done a better job maintaining the ball in its last nine contests, only averaging 15.7 turnovers. The Hawkeyes turned the ball over a season-low 14 times their last two contests (at Michigan and vs. #9 Michigan 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).

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 made her first 18 attempts 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. She has converted 27 of her last 28 free throw attempts.

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

VandeVenter has started all 48 games as a Hawkeye, including all 15 this season. The power forward ranks third in team scoring (10.3) and first in rebounding (8.2).

Smith has started the last seven games at point guard for Iowa. The native of Thornton, CO ranks sixth in team scoring (6.5) and second in assists (3.0).

Skouby will start her fifth contest Thursday. The 6-6 center ranks second in team scoring (11.8) and field goal percentage (.585), first in blocks (1.87) and fourth in rebounding (4.5).

Iowa is one of three Big Ten teams with two or more freshmen starters. Michigan and Penn State start three, while Iowa starts two.

Big Ten Rankings ? Iowa ranks first in 3-point field goal percentage defense (.255) and 3-point field goal percentage (.369), second in scoring offense (74.7), field goal percentage (.473), assists (18.07), turnover margin (+1.01) and third in blocks (4.43).

Senior Crystal Smith ranks second in league scoring (19.6), fifth in 3-point field goals made (1.93), sixth in steals (2.33) and ninth in free throw percentage (.832). Freshman Megan Skouby ranks third in field goal percentage (.585) and third in blocked shots (1.87). Sophomore Krista VandeVenter ranks third in rebounding (8.2) and fourth in steals (2.4).

Freshmen Step Up ? Iowa’s freshmen class (Megan Skouby, Wendy Ausdemore, Kristi Smith, Nicole VanderPol and Lindsey Nyenhuis) are averaging 27.5 ppg through 15 games. The trio of Ausdemore, Skouby and Smith have average 18.7 minutes or more per game.

Skouby ranks second in team scoring (11.8) and fourth in rebounding (4.5), Smith ranks sixth in scoring (6.5) and second in assists (45), while Ausdemore ranks seventh in scoring (6.2). 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.

High Octane ? Iowa, who ranks second in Big Ten scoring offense, has scored 80 points or more in six of its first 15 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 37.0 percent clip from behind the arc, good enough to rank eighth 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.

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 (178) is 12 steals from equaling Jennie Lillis (190) for sixth on Iowa’s career steals chart. Smith (988) is also 36 points from matching Tiffany Gooden (1,024) for 21st in career scoring at Iowa.

Attendance Rankings ? Iowa ranks 26th nationally in the women’s basketball attendance rankings released Jan. 9.

Kristi Smith Maturing Into Starting Role ? Hawkeye freshman Kristi Smith has done a fantastic job directing the Iowa offense since taking over the starting role. Since Big Ten play, Smith has averaged 7.5 points, 4.5 assists and 1.0 steals. She is on pace to crack the Iowa freshman single season assists top five list by the end of the season.

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 106-64 (.624) record in six years mentoring the Hawkeyes.

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.

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.

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.

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.

On the Horizon ? The Hawkeyes will begin a two-game road trip, first travelling to Northwestern for a game against the Wildcats Sunday and then playing at Wisconsin Thursday. Iowa returns home to entertain nationally-ranked Minnesota Sunday, January 22.