Iowa Hosts Michigan State Tuesday

Feb. 13, 2006

Complete Release in PDF Format
Download Free Acrobat Reader

Iowa (19-6, 8-3) plays its second and final February home game Tuesday, Feb. 14, hosting Michigan State (18-6, 6-4). Game time is 8:05 p.m. CT in Carver-Hawkeye Arena (15,500). Iowa defeated Indiana 70-67 in Bloomington Saturday, while Michigan State dropped a 69-55 contest at Minnesota.

Radio: Iowa games are broadcast on the Hawkeye Radio Network. Gary Dolphin handles the play-by-play with color commentator Bob Hansen. The Hawkeye Radio Network coverage includes a 60-minute pre-game show. Television: ESPN will carry the game to a national cable audience. Brent Musberger and Steve Lavin will call the action, along with courtside reporter Erin Andrews.

Iowa has played 2,368 games since beginning basketball in 1902. Overall Iowa’s record is 1,415-953 (.598). That includes an 885-306 (.743) record in home games, a 529-647 (.450) record in games away from Iowa City, a 672-656 (.506) mark in Big Ten games and a 291-80 (.784) record in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Iowa, in the Feb. 6 rankings, was ranked 18th by the Associated Press and 19th 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. Michigan State was ranked 11th in the coaches poll and 12th by the Associated Press.

Iowa is ninth in the RPI Index and 18th in the Sagarin Ratings. Iowa’s strength of schedule is 22nd in the RPI Index and 18th by Sagarin. Iowa has played 11 games against top 50 teams in the RPI Index and the six teams that have defeated Iowa hold a combined record of 98-38 (.721). Iowa joins Duke, Connecticut and West Virginia as one of four Division I teams with 11 games against top 50 teams, with only Duke and Connecticut (10 each) having more wins against top 50 teams.

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 has posted a 7-3 record against teams in the top 25 rankings at the time of the game, including a 2-1 mark against top 10 teams. The seven 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. Iowa’s current streak ranks as the longest in the Big Ten and eighth-longest in the nation.

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 an 8-3 Big Ten record, Iowa remains 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 eight of its first 11 league games since 1988, when Iowa posted a 12-6 Big Ten record. Iowa’s 19-6 record through 25 games marks 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 25 games since the 1996 Hawkeyes started the season with the same mark. Iowa’s recent four-game win streak is its 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.

Iowa’s March 4 contest against Wisconsin is sold out. Roughly 1,000 tickets remain for Tuesday’s game vs. Michigan State and 3,000 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.

Senior forward Greg Brunner and junior guard Adam Haluska have been selected to the CoSIDA/ESPN The Magazine District VII academic all-America team. Both players will now be placed on the national ballot for academic all-America honors. Haluska is a Finance and Marketing major with a 3.41 grade point average. He has been named to the District team for the second consecutive season. The Carroll, IA native has started all 25 games, scoring double figures in 22 games. He is averaging 14.9 points and 4.8 rebounds, shooting 42.3% from the field and 84.5% from the foul line. Brunner, a Charles City native, is a Communications Studies major with a 3.25 GPA. He is a two-time academic all-Big Ten selection. Brunner has 928 career rebounds to become Iowa’s all-time leader. He also ranks 10th in career scoring (1,388), ninth in free throw attempts (507) and sixth in blocked shots (95).

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 14.9 points and 4.8 rebounds per game, while Horner averages 13 points, 6.1 assists and 3.8 rebounds. Horner is one of 16 finalists for the 2006 Bob Cousy Award.

The Iowa basketball program reached 1,400 wins (now at 1,415) 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.

In NCAA statistical rankings, Iowa is sixth in field goal defense (38.3), seventh in fouls per game (15.0) and 20th in scoring defense (59.7). Individually, Jeff Horner is tied for ninth in assists per game (6.1), Erek Hansen is 14th in blocked shots per game (2.9) and Greg Brunner is 16th 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 last six 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 13 points, 6.1 assists and 3.8 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 a 19-6 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 237 treys, moving past Chris Kingsbury, who had 226 during his career (1994-96). Horner is tied for first in three-point attempts (645). 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, 10 points at Northwestern and 17 points in the win at Indiana. He was named co-Player of the Week in the Big Ten for his play vs. Purdue and Michigan. The Big Ten honor is the first for Horner this season and the fourth of his career. Horner also ranks second in career assists (571), just four shy of the school record (575), held by Andre Woolridge (1995-97). He is 12th in career scoring (1,368) and ninth in career steals (151).

Senior forward Greg Brunner has raised his career rebounding total to 928 to become Iowa’s all-time leading rebounder. With 11 rebounds at Northwestern, Brunner moved past Kevin Kunnert (914 rebounds, 1971-73) to take over as Iowa’s career leader. Brunner is 10th in career scoring (1,388), ninth in free throw attempts (507) and sixth in blocked shots (95). Brunner has 30 career double-doubles, most among active players in the Big Ten Conference and sixth most ever at Iowa. Brunner has 10 scoring and rebounding double-doubles this season while scoring in double figures in 18 games and collecting 10 or more rebounds in 13 outings. He leads the Big Ten in rebounding (10.1) and is averaging 14.1 points per game. 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.

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 285-166 (.632), including a 129-89 (.592) 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 49-58 (.458) 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 3-8 vs. Michigan State and Spartan Coach Tom Izzo.

MSU Coach Tom Izzo is in his 11th year as a college head coach, all at Michigan State. Izzo holds a record of 251-103. Izzo led the Spartans to the Final Four in 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2005, winning the NCAA title in 2000. MSU has won four Big Ten regular season titles and two Big Ten Tournament championships under Izzo while compiling a 29-10 post-season record. He has been named national Coach of the Year on three occasions. He has been a member of the Michigan State staff since 1983. Izzo is 14-4 vs. Iowa and 8-3 vs. Hawkeye Coach Steve Alford.

Coach Steve Alford has collected 129 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).

Michigan State holds a 56-48 advantage over Iowa in the series that began with a 52-37 MSU win in 1938. Michigan State won 85-55 Jan. 21 in East Lansing after the teams split two games last season. Michigan State defeated Iowa 75-64 last Feb. 5 in Iowa City before Iowa won 71-69 in the quarter-finals of the Big Ten Tournament, stopping a three-game losing streak to the Spartans. The teams split a pair of games in 2003, each winning at home, before the Spartans won 89-72 in East Lansing in the only meeting in 2004. The Spartans have won 14 of the last 19 and 17 of the last 22 meetings. Iowa holds a 30-19 advantage in games played in Iowa City. Iowa has won two of the last three in Iowa City, but MSU has won four of the last six in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Overall the Spartans hold a 10-10 record in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Michigan State in 1983 won the first basketball game ever played in Carver-Hawkeye Arena and MSU’s 10 wins in the facility are the most by any Iowa opponent. The teams have met twice at a neutral site. The Spartans defeated Iowa at the 2000 Big Ten Tournament in Chicago, winning 75-65 on their way to the national title. Iowa won 71-69 last season in Chicago in the quarter-finals of the Big Ten Tournament. Iowa went on to advance to the NCAA Tournament a year ago, while the Spartans advanced to the 2005 Final Four.

Michigan State shot 50% from the field for the game, including 60.7% in the second half, in handing Iowa an 85-55 defeat Jan. 21 in East Lansing. Despite early foul problems, Iowa stayed close and trailed by a 37-28 margin at intermission. Greg Brunner had 11 points and eight rebounds in the opening half and Adam Haluska added 10 points to keep Iowa within striking distance. Starting center Erek Hansen and reserve center Doug Thomas each collected two quick fouls, with Hansen playing three minutes and Thomas five in the first half. MSU opened the second period with a 10-2 run and shot 75% from the field in the first 10 minutes of the half, never giving the Hawkeyes a chance to get back in the game. The Spartans made 9-19 (47.4%) of their three-point attempts and added 16-18 (88.9%) free throws while collecting 26 assists on their 30 field goals. Iowa shot 33.9% from the field and won the rebounding battle (39-36), but shot just 58.3% from the foul line and had 18 turnovers, 13 in the second half. Haluska led with Iowa with 19 points, while Brunner added 17 points and 11 rebounds. Jeff Horner added five assists and Seth Gorney collected a career-best six rebounds. MSU was led by Maurice Ager with 25 points. Shannon Brown scored 17, Paul Davis added 19 points and 12 rebounds and Drew Neitzel had 11 points and six rebounds.


  • Iowa freshman Tony Freeman and MSU junior Shannon Brown are both from Maywood, IL, although they did not attend the same high school.
  • Iowa’s Greg Brunner (10.1) and MSU’s Paul Davis (9.3), both seniors, rank first and second, respectively, in the Big Ten in rebounding, for all games played. In conference games, Brunner is first and Davis third.
  • Iowa has 10 players on its roster from the state of Iowa, while the Spartan roster includes nine players from the state of Michigan.
  • Michigan State (1999 and 2000) and Iowa (2001) have won three of the eight Big Ten Conference tournaments and they are two of the five league teams (along with Illinois, Ohio State and Wisconsin) to appear in the championship game on more than one occasion (Iowa lost in the 2002 title game). Michigan won the inaugural event in 1998, Ohio State won in 2002, Illinois won in 2003 and 2005 and Wisconsin earned the 2004 title.
  • Michigan State shared the regular season Big Ten title in 2001 and Iowa won the Big Ten Tournament title. MSU won the only regular season meeting (in East Lansing) and the teams did not meet in the post-season tournament that year.
  • Iowa and Michigan State have met twice in the Big Ten Tournament, with both meetings (2000 and 2005) at the United Center in Chicago. MSU, in each of those seasons, advanced to the Final Four.
  • Rich Walker, Iowa’s director of basketball operations, is from Inkster, MI.


  • Iowa’s field goal percentage of 65.3% (32-49) against Michigan is the second best for an Iowa team in 218 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 recently shot over 60% from the field in each of three consecutive 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 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. Iowa has shot 60% or better from the field in five different halves this season, including 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 scored 52 points in the second half of 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 then scored just 48 total points in the 51-48 loss at Northwestern in the most recent outing.
  • Iowa has posted a 7-3 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), 20th-ranked Michigan (94-66) and 21st-ranked Indiana (70-67). Iowa has lost to 2nd-ranked Texas (59-68), 24th-ranked Wisconsin (52-66) and 11th-ranked Michigan State (55-85).
  • Iowa’s 70-67 win at Indiana marks Iowa’s first win on the home floor of a ranked opponent since a 67-63 win at 20th-ranked Tulsa on Dec. 28, 2002.
  • Iowa has made more free throws (378) than its opponents have attempted (359).
  • Iowa is 3-0 when scoring 80 points or more, 9-0 when scoring between 70-80 points, 6-1 when scoring between 60-70 points and 1-5 when scoring less than 60 points.
  • Iowa is 10-1 when holding its opponent to less than 60 points, 7-3 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, 3-5 when the opponent has more assists and 3-0 when assists are equal.
  • Iowa is 11-2 when having fewer turnovers than its opponent, 8-3 when the opponent has fewer turnovers and 0-1 when turnovers are even.
  • Iowa is 5-1 when collecting more steals than its opponent, 13-5 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 eight 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, 7-0 when four reach double figures, 7-2 with three in double figures and 3-4 when two are in double figures.
  • Iowa is 18-4 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 16-2 when controlling the opening tip and 3-4 when not controlling the tip.
  • Iowa is 9-3 in games decided by 10 points or less, 7-2 in games decided by five points or less and 1-1 in overtime.
  • Iowa has held six opponents to 50 points or less and 10 to under 60 points. Only 11 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 led from start to finish and made just enough free throws down the stretch in taking a 70-67 win at Indiana. The Hawkeyes started fast, leading 15-7 in the first five minutes. The Hawkeyes got a three-point basket from Greg Brunner in the final seconds of the period to hold a 38-30 margin at halftime. Iowa shot 48.3% from the field, 54.5% from three-point range and 80% from the free throw line in the opening 20 minutes. Iowa increased its advantage in the early stages of the second half and held its biggest advantage, 57-41, with 8:21 remaining after a driving lay-up by Mike Henderson. The Hoosiers stayed in the game and made a run at the end, thanks to Iowa’s failure to put the game away from the free throw line. Iowa led by nine, 62-53, with 1:54 to play. From there the Hawkeyes made just eight of their final 14 free throw attempts. Iowa led 67-65 with 11 seconds to play before Adam Haluska hit two free shots for a four point lead. After an Indiana basket Haluska hit one of two free throws for a 70-67 advantage with five seconds to play. The Hoosiers missed a hurried three-point attempt in the final seconds and Iowa had its second straight win at Assembly Hall. Iowa ended the game shooting 45.3% from the field, compared to 41.1% for Indiana. The rebounding was even at 35 and the Hawkeyes collected nine steals and eight blocked shots. Greg Brunner led Iowa’s balanced attack with 19 points and eight rebounds. Jeff Horner added 17 points, Haluska 13 and Mike Henderson 10. Haluska added seven rebounds, Brunner collected a career-best five steals and Erek Hansen added six rebounds and five blocked shots.

Minnesota used a 22-6 scoring run over the final seven minutes to take a 69-55 win over Michigan State Saturday in Minneapolis. The Gophers had 17 assists and just eight turnovers in the contest while matching the Spartans on the boards. MSU’s Shannon Brown scored 17 of his 19 points in the second half, helping his team to a four point advantage midway through the second half before Minnesota took over in the final seven minutes. MSU shot 50% from the field in the first half, but still trailed by six points (31-25) at halftime. The Spartans then shot just 35.5% in the second half, compared to 52.6% for the Gophers. Brown’s 19 points led Michigan State, while Paul Davis added 17 points. Brown and Marquise Gray led the Spartans with six rebounds each.

Iowa’s defense has led the way as the Hawkeyes have won 19 of 25 games. Iowa opponents are averaging just 59.7 points per game, shooting 38.3% from the field and 32.9% from three-point range. Iowa has collected 167 steals and forced 385 turnovers while collecting 127 blocked shots. The Hawkeyes have held 20 opponents under 70 points and have won the rebounding battle in 19 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 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 571 and he has 520 career rebounds. Horner ranks 12th in career scoring (1,368). In other career stats, Horner is Iowa’s career leader in three-point field goals (237), he is tied for first in three-point attempts (645) and ninth in steals (151). 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. He had 14 points and six assists in a win over Michigan and 17 points in the win at Indiana. He is averaging 13 points, 6.1 assists and 3.8 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 1,124 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 (home) 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. 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. Haluska had 13 points and seven rebounds in the win at Indiana, hitting 3-4 free throws in the final 11 seconds to assure the win. He has scored in double figures in 22 of 25 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 14.9 points per game, he is averaging 4.8 rebounds and he has led Iowa in steals in 10 games. Haluska has started all 89 games he has played in his career. His consecutive starts streak ranks 10th longest among all Division I players, according to STATS — Chicago.

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 home win over Indiana and he had six rebounds and five blocks in the win in Bloomington. 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. Hansen ranks third in career blocked shots with 195 and his 72 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 14 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 6.5 points and 4.0 rebounds. He leads the Big Ten and ranks 14th nationally with 2.9 blocked shots per game.

Junior guard Mike Henderson has played a key role in Iowa’s success, 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. He added 11 points and four assists against Michigan, hitting all three of his three-point attempts, and he had 10 points in the win at Indiana. He scored 10 points vs. Arizona State and had 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 7.8 points and 4.1 rebounds per outing, improving his shooting to 46.4% from the field and 72% from the free throw line. Henderson has scored in double figures in nine 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 is averaging 14.1 points and 10.1 rebounds per game. He has recorded 10 double-doubles and set a Carver-Hawkeye Arena record with 23 rebounds vs. Minnesota. He ranks first in career rebounds (928), ninth in free throw attempts (507), sixth in blocked shots (95) and 10th in career scoring (1,388). Horner is averaging 13 points, 3.9 rebounds and 6.1 assists per game. Horner ranks 12th in career scoring (1,368), second in career assists (571) and ninth in career steals (151). Brunner has played in all 118 games in his career, with 106 starts. Horner has started 113 of the 114 games he has played at Iowa, missing four games in December due to injury. Brunner’s 118 games ranks 14th on Iowa’s career list for games played.

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 10th in career scoring with 1,388 points, while Horner is 12th with 1,368. 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 (520) and distribute over 500 assists (571). Horner was honorable mention all-Big Ten a year ago. Haluska has 1,124 career points, with 284 of those coming during his freshman season at Iowa State. He has scored 840 points at Iowa. He leads Iowa in scoring (14.9 ppg) and has scored in double figures in 22 of 25 games. This is the fifth time Iowa has had three 1,000 point scorers on the same team, but the first time they have all three been native Iowans. 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 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 25-33 record against ranked opponents as Iowa’s head coach, including a 7-3 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, 20th-ranked Michigan (94-66) and 21st-ranked Indiana, 70-67. 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 58 games against ranked teams, Alford and his Iowa team are 11-9 in home games, 10-11 at neutral sites and 4-13 when playing ranked teams in their home arena.

Iowa has outscored its opponents 827-671 in the first half and 842-797 in the second half. Iowa has led at halftime in 22 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 11 games away from Carver-Hawkeye Arena (two neutral site games), Iowa has been outscored 62.8-66.6. The Hawkeyes are shooting 39.3% from the field while opponents are shooting 42.9%. Iowa holds a 36.0-35.7 rebounding advantage.

The Iowa reserves are averaging 13.2 points and 10.4 rebounds per game, compared to 11.6 points and 8.7 rebounds for the opponent reserves. Iowa is 9-2 when the reserves outscore the opponent’s reserves, 8-3 when the opponent reserves score more points and 2-1 when the reserve scoring is even. Iowa is 13-4 when the Hawkeye reserves have more rebounds than the opponent reserves and 6-2 when the opponent reserves have more rebounds.

Iowa has made 72-101 (71.3%) free throws in the final four minutes and overtime of its 12 games that have been decided by 10 points or less. Iowa’s opponents in those games have made 38-53 (71.7%) of their free throw attempts in the final four minutes and overtime periods. Iowa is 9-3 in those games.

Iowa’s captains are seniors Greg Brunner and Jeff Horner. Brunner, a native of Charles City, has started 106-118 games in his career and ranks among Iowa’s career leaders in scoring, rebounds, free throw attempts and blocked shots. He earned second team all-Big Ten honors in 2005 and placed second in the league in rebounding in each of the past two seasons. Horner, a Mason City native, has started 113 of 114 games in his career, missing four games in December due to an injury. He has led the team in assists in each of the last three seasons and ranks among Iowa’s career leaders in scoring, assists, three-point field goals, three-point attempts and steals.

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. 12, 20 and 27; and March 6, 13 and 20.

Iowa plays at Minnesota Saturday, Feb. 18 (3:35 p.m.) and the Hawkeyes visit Illinois Saturday, Feb. 25 (5:05 p.m.). Iowa closes the regular season by hosting Penn State March 1 and Wisconsin March 4.