Iowa Men Put Win Streak on the Line at Northwestern Wednesday

Feb. 6, 2006

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Iowa (18-5, 7-2) hits the road Wednesday, Feb. 8, traveling to Northwestern for the first of two straight road games. Game time is 7:05 p.m. at Welsh-Ryan Arena (8,117). Iowa defeated Michigan 94-66 Saturday in Iowa City for its fourth straight win, while Northwestern lost a 77-66 decision to Michigan State at home.

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 Regional will carry the game to a network of stations that includes KGAN Cedar Rapids, KDSM Des Moines, KWQC Quad Cities, KYOU Ottumwa and cable systems in Mason City, Sioux City, Council Bluffs-Omaha and Kansas City. Larry Morgan and Shon Morris will call the action.

Iowa was ranked 23rd in the Associated Press rankings of Jan. 30 and listed among teams receiving votes in the ESPN/USA Today coaches poll. 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 has played 2,366 games since beginning basketball in 1902. Overall Iowa’s record is 1,414-952 (.598). That includes an 885-306 (.743) record in home games, a 528-646 (.450) record in games away from Iowa City, a 671-655 (.506) mark in Big Ten games and a 291-80 (.784) record in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Iowa’s March 4 contest against Wisconsin is sold out. Roughly 2,000 tickets remain for the Feb. 14 game vs. Michigan State and 5,000 remain for the March 1 contest vs. Penn State. 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.

Iowa has compiled a 291-80 (.784) record in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Iowa is 137-67 (.672) 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 an 83-25 (.769) 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 14th-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 sixth in the RPI Index and 16th in the Sagarin Ratings. Iowa’s strength of schedule is 12th in the RPI Index and 20th by Sagarin. Iowa has played 11 games against top 50 teams in the RPI Index and the five teams that have defeated Iowa hold a combined record of 84-26 (.764).

Iowa has posted a 6-3 record against teams in the top 25 rankings at the time of the game, including a 2-1 mark against top 10 teams. The six wins vs. ranked foes is the highest total for a Steve Alford-coached Hawkeye team and the most since the Hawkeyes posted a 6-2 record vs. ranked teams in 1990-91. With wins over No. 11 Indiana and No. 16 Ohio State in late January, Iowa has defeated ranked teams in consecutive games on three occasions under the direction of Coach Steve Alford. A year ago, Iowa defeated 11th-ranked Louisville and 13th-ranked Texas in the first two rounds of the Maui Invitational. In 2002-03, Iowa recorded back-to-back wins over 20th-ranked Michigan State and eighth-ranked Illinois.

Iowa has won 15 straight games in Carver-Hawkeye Arena, matching the school record for consecutive wins in the facility, which opened in 1983. Iowa won its final home contest last season vs. Ohio State and all 14 home dates this season. Iowa’s last home loss was a 75-65 decision to Illinois on Feb. 19, 2005. Iowa’s initial 15-game win streak in the arena began Jan. 25, 1986 with a 79-69 win over Indiana and ended with an 80-76 loss to Ohio State on Jan. 24, 1987. The streak began with Coach George Raveling and ended with Coach Tom Davis. The 15-game win streaks have included nine conference and six non-conference wins.

For the only time in its basketball history, Iowa has posted 14 consecutive home wins in a single season. Iowa’s last undefeated home season was in 1965-66 when the Hawkeyes won all 12 home games. Iowa has won 13 home games or more in 12 seasons, but never the initial 13 games of the season. This season marks the sixth year in which Iowa has won as many as 14 home games. The record of 16 home wins in a single season was set in 1985. Iowa has never completed a perfect record in Carver-Hawkeye Arena, which opened in January, 1983. The Hawkeyes lost just one home game in 1993 (15-1) and 1996 (14-1).

With a 7-2 Big Ten record, Iowa is along at the top of the league standings. This marks the first time Iowa has been in first place in February since 1981-82. Iowa began that season with a 10-1 league record before suffering its second conference loss on Feb. 11. Minnesota (14-4) won the 1982 Big Ten title, while Iowa (12-6) tied for second. This is the first season Iowa has won seven of its first nine league games since 1997, when Iowa posted a 12-6 Big Ten record. Iowa’s 18-5 record through 23 games is the best start for a Hawkeye team under Steve Alford, as the Hawkeyes were 17-5 in 2001. This is Iowa’s best record through 23 games since the 1987 Hawkeyes started the season with a 21-2 mark. Iowa’s current four-game win streak is the longest in Big Ten regular season games since the Hawkeyes won their first four league games in 1999. Iowa won five straight games against Big Ten teams last season, including the final three regular season games and two in the Big Ten Tournament. Iowa won four straight games against Big Ten teams in 2001 when it won the Big Ten Tournament.

SI.COM LIKES IOWA BACKCOURT, in a vivid online photo gallery, has named Iowa’s backcourt of Jeff Horner and Adam Haluska as one of the best, ranking the Hawkeye duo ninth best in the nation. Haluska averages 15.3 points and 4.8 rebounds per game, while Horner averages 12.9 points, 6.3 assists and 3.9 rebounds. Horner is one of 16 finalists for the 2006 Bob Cousy Award.

Senior guard Jeff Horner earned co-Big Ten Player of the Week honors for his play in Iowa’s wins over Purdue and Michigan. The Mason City native had a career-high 32 points in the win at Purdue, hitting 7-10 three-point attempts. He also had four assists, four rebounds and three steals and became Iowa’s career leader in three-point field goals in that game. Horner added 14 points, six assists and four rebounds in a home win over Michigan, helping the Hawkeyes take over solo possession of first place. Horner hit 5-10 field goals and 2-3 free throws against the Wolverines, moving into second place on Iowa’s career assist chart. The Big Ten honor is the first for Horner this season and the fourth of his career. Teammate Adam Haluska earned the Big Ten honor Jan. 30 for his play in wins over Indiana and Ohio State.

In the most recent win over Michigan, Iowa shot a season-best 65.3% from the field, including 68.4% from three-point range. Iowa started slow, hitting just seven of its first 17 field goal attempts. That all changed midway through the first half. Over the final 7:14 of the first half and the first 7:15 of the second half, Iowa connected on 14 straight field goal attempts. Iowa trailed 25-20 when the streak began and led 61-43 when it ended with 12:45 left in the game. Iowa made 13-19 treys in the contest, including eight straight during one stretch. The 68.4% shooting from three-point range ranks as the sixth best single game effort for Iowa and the best for the Hawkeyes under Steve Alford. The overall field goal percentage is the best for Iowa since shooting 67.5% (27-40) in a win over Air Force early in the 2004-05 season. The 94 points is the most by Iowa during a regular season Big Ten game under Steve Alford.

In NCAA statistical rankings, Iowa is sixth in field goal defense (38.0), seventh in fouls per game (14.8), 19th in scoring defense (59.8) and 29th in blocks per game (5.1). Individually, Jeff Horner is tied for ninth in assists per game (6.3), Erek Hansen is 11th in blocked shots per game (2.9) and Greg Brunner is 12th in rebounds per game (10.1).

Iowa has clinched its sixth consecutive winning season. The current streak ranks as the second longest in the history of Iowa basketball. Iowa’s record for 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. Iowa had five consecutive winning seasons on three occasions, 1979-83, 1985-89 and 1995-99. Iowa is one of four Big Ten teams to post a winning season in each of the previous five seasons, 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.

Senior guard Jeff Horner is one of 16 players named as a finalist for the 2006 Bob Cousy Award. The list of finalists includes 12 Division I players and two each from Division II and III. The winner will be announced at the Final Four in Indianapolis. Horner, a native of Mason City, IA, has played in all but four games throughout his career, missing four games earlier this season with a knee injury. Horner is averaging 12.9 points, 6.3 assists and 3.9 rebounds per game. He has scored over 1,300 career points and has over 500 career assists and 500 rebounds, the only player in Iowa history to surpass those totals. Horner and his teammates have posted an 18-5 record, securing a winning season for the fourth time in his career.

With seven three-point field goals in Iowa’s 77-68 win at Purdue, senior guard Jeff Horner became Iowa’s career leader in made three-pointers. Horner has made 232 treys, moving past Chris Kingsbury, who had 226 during his career (1994-96). Horner is second in three-point attempts (635), just 10 from passing Kingsbury in that category. Horner made 7-10 treys while scoring a career-high 32 points against the Boilermakers. The seven three-pointers tie as the third best single-game performance in school history. Horner’s previous scoring high of 27 points came a year ago vs. Texas in a semi-final win at the Maui Invitational. Horner added 14 points in a home win over Michigan. Horner also ranks second in career assists, just 12 shy of the school record (575), held by Andre Woolridge (1995-97). He is 14th in career scoring (1,341) and ninth in career steals (149).

Senior forward Greg Brunner established a Carver-Hawkeye Arena record with 23 rebounds in a win over Minnesota. The previous mark of 21 was set by Dwayne Scholten of Washington State on 12/6/86. The previous best in the Arena by an Iowa player was 19 by Ryan Bowen vs. Long Island on 11/29/98. The 23 rebounds are the most by any player in the Big Ten Conference and the second most in Division I this season. Rashad Jones of Arkansas-Little Rock had 30 rebounds earlier in the year. The Iowa record for single game rebounds is 30, set by Chuck Darling vs. Wisconsin on 3/3/52. Brunner’s 23 rebounds tie as the fourth highest total in school history and it is the most by a Hawkeye player since Kunnert had 23 rebounds vs. Drake on 12/27/72. Brunner has moved into second place on Iowa’s career rebounding chart, raising his total to 909. Kevin Kunnert (1971-73) is Iowa’s career leader with 914 rebounds.

The Iowa basketball program reached 1,400 wins (now at 1,414) 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 72 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 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 284-165 (.633), including a 128-88 (.593) 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. He has led Iowa to six straight winning seasons. Alford ranks fourth among Iowa’s head basketball coaches in total wins. He is 48-57 (.457) 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 6-5 vs. Northwestern and 5-5 against Wildcat Coach Bill Carmody.

Bill Carmody is in his sixth season at Northwestern and his 10th year as a college head coach. Carmody holds a career mark of 170-115, which includes a 78-90 mark at Northwestern. Carmody posted a record of 92-25 in four seasons at Princeton University, where he was a member of the basketball staff for a total of 18 seasons. His record in Ivy League games as the head coach at Princeton was 50-6 and Carmody led Princeton to four straight post-season appearances. Carmody was the head coach at Fulton County (NY) Community College for one season, 1975-76, he was an assistant coach at Union College from 1976-80 and he was an assistant at Providence College for one season before joining the staff at Princeton in 1982. Carmody is 5-5 vs. Iowa and Hawkeye Coach Steve Alford.

Coach Steve Alford has collected 128 victories as Iowa’s head coach, a total that ranks fourth on Iowa’s list of coaches in career wins. Alford, earlier this season, 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).

Iowa holds a 103-50 advantage over Northwestern in the series that began with a 24-23 Wildcat win in 1905. Iowa won nine straight games in the series before Northwestern won three of the last four. The teams have split their last 10 meetings, with each winning at home during the 2005 season. Iowa has won 20 of the last 26 meetings overall. Iowa holds a 42-34 advantage in games played in Evanston, but the Wildcats have won the last two (both on last second shots) and four of the last five home games against Iowa. Iowa had won eight straight games in Welsh-Ryan Arena prior to losses in 2001 and 2002. The Hawkeyes scored a 68-63 win in Evanston in 2003.

Northwestern won 75-74 in overtime at Evanston before Iowa took a 64-54 win in Iowa City last season. The Wildcats scored on a three-point basket as time expired to win at home on Jan. 26. The Hawkeyes held a 62-50 advantage with 3:27 left in regulation before Northwestern rallied. Taking advantage of several missed free throws, Northwestern tied the game with 13 seconds remaining on three free throws. Iowa missed a final shot at the end of regulation. After Northwestern scored the first two points of the extra session, Iowa scored seven straight points and again seemed in control. The Wildcats came back, getting within two points with 53 seconds remaining. An Iowa turnover with four seconds left gave Northwestern a final chance, and after a timeout, Northwestern reserve Michael Jenkins hit the game-winner from the deep left corner. The Hawkeyes made just 5-13 free throws in the final four minutes of regulation and the overtime period, compared to 7-7 for Northwestern. The Hawkeyes were also guilty of 19 turnovers in the contest. Iowa hit its first six shots in taking an early 14-4 advantage and led 32-29 at intermission. After the Wildcats scored the first three points of the second half, Iowa took control and slowly built its advantage until the final four minutes. Greg Brunner led Iowa’s scoring attack with 28 points, hitting 11-17 field goals and 6-8 free throws. Pierre Pierce added 15 points and Adam Haluska scored 12. Doug Thomas led the Hawkeyes with 10 rebounds. Vedran Vukusic led Northwestern with a career-high 32 points and Davor Duvancic led the Wildcats with six rebounds.

Iowa defeated Northwestern 64-54 Feb. 12 in Iowa City to earn a season split. The Hawkeyes started slowly, trailing 24-21 with 6:32 remaining in the first half. From there Iowa scored 18 of the final 20 points of the half to take a 39-26 lead. Both teams shot well in the first half, as Iowa hit 51.7% from the field and Northwestern an even 50%. Northwestern closed the gap to four by scoring the first nine points of the second half before Iowa got back on track. Iowa used a 14-2 scoring run over a seven-minute span in the second half, building the margin to 16 points with 10 minutes to play. Iowa led by as many 17 points on four occasions in the final minutes before Northwestern scored the final seven points. Iowa ended the game shooting 47.2% from the field and 45% from three-point range, while the Wildcats shot 50% from the field and just 27.3% from three-point range. The Hawkeyes won the rebounding battle by a 34-22 margin and did not allow Northwestern a single offensive rebound. Iowa was led by the all-around performance of Haluska, who had 20 points, eight rebounds, five assists and four steals. Brunner added 16 points and four rebounds, while Jeff Horner had 11 points, six rebounds and four assists. Vukusic had 11 points, seven rebounds and five steals for Northwestern and Tim Doyle added 10 points.

The University of Iowa’s men’s basketball program is one of five college programs to be featured on ESPN2’s acclaimed series, The Season: College Basketball presented by Capital One. During the 10 week series, fans will get an inside look into the lives of the players and the team dynamics of Iowa, Bucknell, Florida Atlantic, Memphis and Washington. The current series marks the third season in which selected college basketball programs have been featured. During the taping of these shows, The Season captured Iowa as it defeated previously undefeated Illinois, won at Penn State and defeated Minnesota in Iowa City.


  • Iowa’s field goal percentage of 65.3% (32-49) against Michigan is the second best for an Iowa team in 216 games under Coach Steve Alford. Iowa shot 67.5% (27-40) in a win over Air Force in 2004-05 and 60% (27-45) in a win over Northwestern in 2001-02 in the only other contests in which Iowa has shot at least 60% from the field under Alford.
  • Iowa has shot over 60% from the field in each of its last three halves. Iowa shot 64% in the second half of a 77-68 win at Purdue, rallying from a 33-25 halftime deficit. The Hawkeyes then shot 61.5% in the first half against Michigan and 69.6% in the second half of the 94-66 win over the Wolverines. In those 60 minutes, Iowa has also made 21-30 (70%) three-point attempts, including 8-11 (72.7%) in the second half at Purdue, 7-9 (77.8%) in the first half vs. Michigan and 60% (6-10) in the second half.
  • Before the last two games, Iowa had shot as well as 60% in a half only twice in its first 21 games. Iowa shot 68.8% in the second half of a 73-60 win over Indiana and 60% in the second half of an 86-41 win over Maryland-Eastern Shore.
  • Iowa has scored 52 points in the second half in each of its last two games, wins over Purdue and Michigan. The 52 points are the most scored by Iowa in a half this season. Iowa trailed 33-25 at halftime at Purdue before using a 52-35 advantage in the second half for the 77-68 win. Iowa held a 42-34 advantage at halftime of the 94-66 win over Michigan.
  • Iowa has posted a 6-3 record vs. ranked teams. The Hawkeyes defeated 7th-ranked Kentucky (67-63), 21st-ranked North Carolina State (45-42), 6th-ranked Illinois (63-48), 11th-ranked Indiana (73-60(, 16th-ranked Ohio State (67-62) and 20th-ranked Michigan (94-66). Iowa has lost to 2nd-ranked Texas (59-68), 24th-ranked Wisconsin (52-66) and 11th-ranked Michigan State (55-85).
  • Iowa has made more free throws (344) than its opponents have attempted (329).
  • Iowa is 3-0 when scoring 80 points or more, 8-0 when scoring between 70-80 points, 6-1 when scoring between 60-70 points and 1-4 when scoring less than 60 points. Iowa is 10-0 when holding its opponent to less than 60 points, 6-3 when holding its opponent between 60-70 points and 2-2 when the opponent scores over 70 points.
  • Iowa is 13-1 when collecting more assists than the opponent, 2-4 when the opponent has more assists and 3-0 when assists are equal.
  • Iowa is 10-2 when having fewer turnovers than its opponent and 8-3 when the opponent has fewer turnovers.
  • Iowa is 5-1 when collecting more steals than its opponent, 12-4 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 seven games, with a season-best five players in wins over Maryland-Eastern Shore and Michigan. Iowa is 2-0 when five players score 10 points or more, 6-0 when four reach double figures, 7-2 with three in double figures and 3-3 when two are in double figures.
  • Iowa is 17-3 when leading at halftime, 1-2 when trailing at intermission and 0-0 when tied at halftime. Iowa has trailed at halftime in road games at Iowa State, Michigan State and Purdue.
  • Iowa is 15-2 when controlling the opening tip and 3-3 when not controlling the tip.
  • Iowa is 8-2 in games decided by 10 points or less, 6-1 in games decided by five points or less and 1-1 in overtime.
  • Iowa has held six opponents to 50 points or less and nine to under 60 points. Only nine 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 37-6 when shooting at least 50% from the field, including 4-0 in 2005-06. Michigan State and Purdue are the only Iowa opponents to shoot 50% or better from the field, and Iowa split those two road games. 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.

Iowa used its best shooting performance of the season to take a 94-66 home win over 20th-ranked Michigan. After a slow start that saw the Hawkeyes trail by as many as eight points in the first seven minutes, Iowa found its touch and never looked back. Two three-point baskets by Mike Henderson got Iowa back in the game and Greg Brunner’s lay-up with three minutes left in the half gave Iowa a 30-29 advantage. Iowa made 14 consecutive field goal attempts over a 14-minute span in the middle of the game. The Hawkeyes trailed 25-20 when the streak began and led 63-41 with 11:45 left in the game when the consecutive streak ended. Iowa, which also made eight straight three-point attempts in the game, shot a season-best 65.3% from the field, including 68.4% from three-point range. Iowa made a season-best 13 three-point field goals and added 17-24 (70.8%) free throws. After Michigan shot an even 50% in the first half the Hawkeye defense controlled the action in the second half. Michigan shot just 32% in the second half and 41.5% for the game. Iowa held a 34-27 rebounding advantage and the Hawkeyes had a season-high 27 assists. Iowa featured a balanced attack as five Hawkeyes scored in double figures. Adam Haluska led the way with 18 points, hitting 5-6 field goals (4-5 treys) and 4-5 free throws. Brunner had 17 points for the fifth time in six games, Jeff Horner scored 14, Henderson 11 and Tony Freeman a career-best 10. Brunner led Iowa’s rebounding efforts with nine, while Doug Thomas added six rebounds and Horner collected six assists. The 26 points scored by the Iowa reserves is the second highest total of the season for Iowa in bench scoring.

Michigan State guards Maurice Ager and Shannon Brown combined for 43 points and 19 rebounds as the Spartans claimed a 77-66 win at Northwestern Saturday. Brown hit 9-14 field goals in collecting 22 points and eight rebounds, while Ager added 21 points and 11 rebounds. In addition to Ager and Brown, MSU point guard Drew Neitzel added nine points and seven assists. MSU shot 58.3% from the field in the opening half and led 33-29 at intermission. Northwestern shot just 36% from the field, but the Wildcats held a 22-21 scoring advantage from the free throw line and forced 17 Spartan turnovers. MSU won the rebounding battle by a 40-24 margin, but both teams had 50 field goal attempts. Vedran Vukusic led the wildcats with 23 points, while Mohamed Hachad added 12 points and Bernard Cote scored 10. Hachad and Sterling Williams led Northwestern with five rebounds apiece.

Iowa’s defense has led the way as the Hawkeyes have won 18 of 23 games. Iowa opponents are averaging just 59.8 points per game, shooting 38% from the field and 31.9% from three-point range. Iowa has collected 153 steals and forced 351 turnovers while collecting 117 blocked shots. The Hawkeyes have held 18 opponents under 70 points and have won the rebounding battle in 18 games. Iowa ranks high nationally in scoring defense, field goal defense and fewest fouls per game.

Forward Greg Brunner and guard Jeff Horner both registered double-doubles in Iowa’s win over Minnesota. Brunner collected 17 points and 23 rebounds and Horner had 10 points and 10 rebounds. The Minnesota game marks the fourth time during their careers that Brunner and Horner have posted a double-double in the same game. Earlier this season, Brunner had 23 points and 11 rebounds in a win over Fairfield, while Horner added 12 points and 10 assists. In an 88-75 win over Western Carolina on 12/18/04, Brunner had 11 points and 11 rebounds and Horner collected 20 points and 10 assists. In an 84-82 double overtime win at Indiana on 2/7/04, Brunner had 23 points and 13 rebounds and Horner had 17 points and 10 rebounds.

Senior forward Greg Brunner has raised his career rebounding total to 909, moving into second place on Iowa’s career list. Kevin Kunnert (1971-73) is Iowa’s career leader with 914 rebounds. Brunner is 12th in career scoring (1,356) and sixth (93) in career blocked shots. Brunner has 29 career double-doubles, most among active players in the Big Ten Conference. Brunner has nine scoring and rebounding double-doubles this season while scoring in double figures in 16 games and collecting 10 or more rebounds in 12 outings. He leads the Big Ten in rebounding (10.1) and is averaging 14 points per game. Brunner had 17 points and nine rebounds vs. Ohio State and 17 points and eight rebounds in a win over Indiana. Last week he added 10 points and seven rebounds in a win at Purdue and 17 points nine rebounds and three assists in a win over Michigan.

Senior guard Jeff Horner, just the fourth Iowa player ever to total over 500 assists, collected career rebound No. 500 in Iowa’s win over Indiana. Horner ranks second in career assists with 563 and he has 514 career rebounds. Horner ranks 14th in career scoring (1,341). In other career stats, Horner is Iowa’s career leader in three-point field goals (232), he is second in three-point attempts (635) and ninth in steals (149). Horner missed four games in December with a partially torn posterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, stopping his consecutive games streak at 102. 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. In a road win at Purdue, Horner had a career-high 32 points and he had 14 points and six assists in a win over Michigan. He is averaging 12.9 points, 6.3 assists and 3.9 rebounds per game.

Junior guard Adam Haluska surpassed 1,000 career points with his career-high 29-point performance in a win at Penn State. He has 1,102 points in his career, with 284 of those coming in his freshman season at Iowa State, and joins teammates Jeff Horner and Greg Brunner as 1,000-point scorers. Haluska hit 6-10 three-pointers at PSU and 5-6 free throws and he had 12 points and four rebounds in the win over Minnesota, scoring Iowa’s first four points in the decisive third overtime. He added 19 points vs. Michigan State, 20 points and 10 rebounds vs. Indiana and 18 points and seven rebounds vs. Ohio State. The double-double vs. Indiana is the first for Haluska as a Hawkeye. He did record one double-double during his freshman season at Iowa State, collecting 10 points and 11 rebounds in a win over Arkansas-Pine Bluff. Last week he added 11 points in a win at Purdue and 18 points in the home win over Michigan. Against the Wolverines, he hit 5-6 FGs, 4-5 treys and 4-5 free throws, while also collecting five assists. He has scored in double figures in 21 of 23 games and was named co-Big Ten Player of the Week for his play in wins over Indiana and Ohio State. He leads Iowa in scoring at 15.3 points per game, he is averaging 4.8 rebounds and he has led Iowa in steals in eight games. Haluska has started all 87 games he has played in his career. His 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).

Center Erek Hansen is making key plays on both offense and defense in his senior season. Hansen scored a career-high 20 points in the win over Minnesota, hitting 7-12 FGs and 6-6 free throws. He connected on two free throws to tie the score at the end of the second half and added two more to force a third overtime. Hansen also had six rebounds and five blocked shots while playing a career-high 38 minutes. Hansen added 11 points (4-5 FGs) and six blocks in Iowa’s win over Indiana. Hansen had eight points vs. Ohio State, including two free throws to give Iowa the lead for good late in the contest. Hansen had eight points and four rebounds in the win over Michigan. He leads the Big Ten in field goal percentage (.587) in league games only. Hansen ranks third in career blocked shots with 190 and his 67 blocks this year ranks sixth best for a single season. Hansen matched his career-high with seven blocked shots in a win over Fairfield and he had 14 points at Iowa State. He has collected three blocked shots or more in 13 games. Hansen had seven points, six rebounds and six blocked shots at Penn State, converting a three-point play on offense and a key blocked shot on defense in the final minutes. Hansen is averaging 6.7 points and 4.0 rebounds. He leads the Big Ten and ranks 11th nationally with 2.9 blocked shots per game.

Junior guard Mike Henderson has played a key role in Iowa’s success this season, as he has improved his numbers in several categories from a year ago. Henderson matched his career scoring high with 17 points in the win at Purdue. He sparked an 11-0 scoring run in the second half that led to Iowa’s win as he hit 7-10 field goals and added three steals, and he added 11 points and four assists against Michigan, hitting all three of his three-point attempts. His previous scoring high of the season was 15 points against Valparaiso. He added 10 points vs. Arizona State and 12 points, eight rebounds and four assists vs. Drake. Henderson played a solid defensive game in Iowa’s home win over Illinois and also had 10 points and eight rebounds. Henderson is averaging 7.7 points and 4.4 rebounds per outing, improving his shooting to 46.8% from the field and 72.9% from the free throw line. Henderson has scored in double figures in eight games this year after scoring 10 or more points just three times in his first two seasons.

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 14 points and 10.1 rebounds per game. He has recorded nine double-doubles and set a Carver-Hawkeye Arena record with 23 rebounds vs. Minnesota. He ranks second in career rebounds (909), sixth in blocked shots (93) and 12th in career scoring (1,356). Horner had a career-high 32 points in a win at Purdue, 19 points vs. Valparaiso, 10 assists in wins over Fairfield and Minnesota and 17 points vs. Saint Louis in his return to action after missing four games. He led Iowa’s win over Illinois with 16 points, six rebounds, six assists and three steals and he added 17 points and nine assists at Penn State. He is averaging 12.9 points, 3.9 rebounds and 6.3 assists per game. Horner ranks 14th in career scoring (1,341), second in career assists (563) and ninth in career steals (149). Brunner has played in all 116 games in his career, with 104 starts. Horner has started 111 of the 112 games he has played at Iowa, missing four games in December due to injury.

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.

Seniors Greg Brunner and Jeff Horner joined Iowa’s 1,000 Point Club as juniors a year ago and junior Adam Haluska surpassed 1,000 career points in Iowa’s win at Penn State. Brunner ranks 12th in career scoring with 1,356 points, while Horner is 14th with 1,341. 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. Horner is the only Iowa player ever to score over 1,000 points, grab over 500 rebounds (514) and distribute over 500 assists (563). Horner was honorable mention all-Big Ten a year ago. Haluska has 1,102 career points, with 284 of those coming during his freshman season at Iowa State. He has scored 818 points at Iowa. He leads Iowa in scoring (15.3 ppg) and has scored in double figures in 21 of 23 games. This is the fifth time Iowa has had three 1,000 point scorers on the same team. In happened in 2005 (Brunner, Horner and Pierre Pierce), 1996 (Jess Settles, Kenyon Murray and Chris Kingsbury), 1989 (Roy Marble, B.J. Armstrong and Ed Horton) and 1988 (Marble, Armstrong and Jeff Moe).

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. Haluska was co-Player of the Week in the Big Ten on Jan. 30 and Horner earned the award Feb. 6.

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.
  • After 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 24-33 record against ranked opponents as Iowa’s head coach, including a 6-3 mark in 2005-06. The Hawkeyes defeated seventh-ranked Kentucky (67-63), 21st-ranked North Carolina State (45-42), sixth-ranked Illinois (63-48), 11th-ranked Indiana 73-60, 16th-ranked Ohio State 67-62 and 20th-ranked Michigan (94-66). Iowa dropped a 68-59 decision to second-ranked Texas, fell 66-52 at 24th-ranked Wisconsin and was defeated 85-55 at 11th-ranked Michigan State. Alford’s Hawkeye teams are 8-13 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), sixth-ranked Illinois (63-48 in 2006), 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 57 games against ranked teams, Alford and his Iowa team are 11-9 in home games, 10-11 at neutral sites and 3-13 when playing ranked teams in their home arena.

Iowa has outscored its opponents 767-623 in the first half and 784-727 in the second half. Iowa has led at halftime in 20 games and the Hawkeyes have outscored their opponent in the second half in 15 games. The second half scoring was even (20-20) vs. NC State. Iowa and its opponents have both scored 25 points in two overtime games, a single overtime loss at Northern Iowa and a triple overtime win vs. Minnesota.

In its 14 home games, Iowa has outscored its opponents by a 71.6-54.3 margin, shooting 44.8% from the field while holding its opponent to 34.8% shooting. Iowa holds a 41.9-34.5 rebounding advantage. In nine games away from Carver-Hawkeye Arena (two neutral site games), Iowa has been outscored 63.7-68.3. The Hawkeyes are shooting 39% from the field while opponents are shooting 43% and Iowa is being out-rebounded by a 36.7-37.0 margin.

Iowa had made over 80% of its free throws in four games and at least 70% of its free throws in 15 of 23 games, with a season-best 83.3% (20-24) in a win over Fairfield. Iowa has posted a 13-2 record when shooting at least 70% from the free throw line.

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 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, your 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: Feb. 6, 12, 20 and 27; and March 6, 13 and 20.

Iowa is on the road again this weekend, traveling to Indiana Saturday. Game time is 11:05 a.m. CT on ESPN. The Hawkeyes host Michigan State Tuesday, Feb. 14 at 8 p.m. on ESPN.