Iowa to Compete in its 16th NCAA Tournament

March 15, 2006

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The Setting ? The University of Iowa women’s basketball team (17-11) will meet 20th-ranked BYU (25-5) in the San Antonio Region First Round of the 2006 NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship Saturday, March 18, in Denver, CO. Tip-off is slated for 2:30 p.m. (CST) in the Pepsi Center with the University of Colorado serving as one of the eight first and second round host sites. A crowd of 4,000-5,000 is expected. Iowa will be playing its first game in 15 days, falling to Michigan State in its last game on March 3 at the Big Ten Tournament in Indianapolis.

Iowa is the tenth seed, while BYU is seeded seventh. The Iowa-BYU winner will play the winner of second-seeded Oklahoma (29-4) and 15th-seeded Pepperdine (14-16) on Monday, March 20.

NCAA Tournament Ticket Information ? Tickets cost $60 for adults, $30 for students and can be purchased by calling (800) 872-8337. Fans of the Hawkeyes can also purchase tickets online at or at the UI Athletic Ticket Office in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

On the Tube ? Iowa’s first round game vs. BYU will be televised to a regional cable audience on ESPN2. Monday’s second round game will be televised regionally on ESPN2 with the game time yet to be determined. All tournament games are available via the pay-per-view package ESPN Full Court. Pam Ward, Nancy Lieberman and Heather Cox will call the action.

On the Radio ? Brent Balbinot and Shelley Till will call all the Iowa NCAA Tournament action for the Hawkeye Radio Network. Hawkeye fans can listen to the games 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 Just click “Hawkeye All-Access” at the top right of the page. “Hawkeye All-Access” is a subscription service.

Iowa History ? Iowa has played 907 games since beginning basketball in 1974. Overall, Iowa’s record is 554-353 (.611). That includes a 277-131 (.679) mark in Big Ten games and a 249-61 (.803) record in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Trifecta ? Iowa, Ohio State and Florida are the only schools to have played in a January bowl football game and have both its men’s and women’s basketball teams playing in the NCAA Tournament. Additionally, Iowa, Michigan State and Ohio State are the only Big Ten teams to have both its men and women in the NCAA Tournament.

NCAA Tournament Experience ? Iowa has only two players with NCAA Tournament experience. Seniors Crystal Smith and Tiffany Reedy were on the Hawkeyes’ 2004 team that lost at Virginia Tech in the first round. Both came off the bench for the Hawkeyes. Smith collected 10 points, five rebounds and three steals, while Reedy registered seven points, three rebounds and one steal.

This marks Iowa Head Coach Lisa Bluder’s eighth trip to the NCAA Tournament. Before mentoring the Hawkeyes, Bluder coached the Drake Bulldogs to four NCAA Tournaments in her 10 seasons on the Drake sidelines. Bluder is 3-7 all-time in NCAA Tournament games, 2-3 with Iowa and 1-4 with Drake. Two of Bluder’s victories came in overtime. In 2001, Iowa bounced Oregon (89-82) in Salt Lake City and in 1995, Drake defeated Mississippi (87-81) in Washington, D.C.

Iowa vs. Tournament Field ? Iowa is 3-8 against teams invited to the 2006 Division I Women’s Basketball Championship. Only one of the Hawkeye wins came out of conference, with Iowa overwhelming UW-Milwaukee (82-42) in the season opener in Iowa City. The Hawkeyes also defeated Purdue (77-71, ot) and Michigan State (75-64). Iowa lost to Rutgers (56-51), Louisiana Tech (95-91, 2ot), Oklahoma (85-68), Minnesota (80-68), Michigan State (73-71 and 79-58) and Ohio State (72-62 and 88-77).

Iowa Travel and Practice Schedule ? The Hawkeyes will depart for the NCAA Tournament via charter Thursday afternoon following a morning practice in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Iowa will be housed at the Adams Mark in downtown Denver. On Friday, the Hawkeyes will practice from 2-2:50 p.m. in the Pepsi Center. This is the only practice open to the media and public. Iowa will have its shoot around on Saturday from 7:50-8:10 a.m. Should Iowa win and advance, its Sunday closed practice would be from 1:40-3:10 p.m. All times listed are mountain.

Iowa NCAA Tournament History ? This marks the 16th NCAA Tournament appearance for the Hawkeyes. Iowa ranks third for the most NCAA Tournament appearances by a Big Ten school (Penn State — 21 and Purdue — 17). Iowa holds a 16-15 tournament record. The Hawkeyes are 7-1 in first round contests and 5-9 in second round match-ups.

Iowa’s tenth seed is the lowest seed it has ever received. The Hawkeyes were a nine seed in 1997 and 2004. Iowa advanced to the second round in 1997, but lost in the first round in 2004.

This marks the second time in four NCAA Tournament appearances under six-year Head Coach Lisa Bluder that Iowa will be playing in the mountain time zone. The Hawkeyes advanced to the second round of the 2001 tournament when it played at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City.

This marks Iowa’s fourth NCAA Tournament appearance under Coach Bluder. The Hawkeyes advanced to the second round in 2001 and 2002, but lost in the first round in 2004. Although Iowa did not qualify for the NCAA Tournament the other two years under Bluder, the Hawkeyes did play in the post-season WNIT where they advanced to the quarterfinals in 2003 and the semifinals in 2005.

The Hawkeyes have advanced to one Final Four in its 30-year history. Iowa lost to Big Ten rival Ohio State (73-72) in overtime in 1993. The Hawkeyes have advanced to the “Sweet 16” five times (1987, 1988, 1989, 1993 and 1996) and the “Elite Eight” three times (1987, 1988 and 1993).

Iowa Returns to Colorado ? Iowa will make only its second trip to the state of Colorado in its 32-year history. The Hawkeyes last visited the Rocky Mountain State in 2001; Coach Bluder’s second year on the Hawkeye sidelines. Iowa won at Denver (84-72) on Nov. 30, 2001, but lost at Colorado (92-83) on Dec. 1, 2001. This weekend will mark the first time Iowa has ever played at the Pepsi Center.

Hawkeye Frosh Returns Home ? Starting point guard Kristi Smith returns to her home state this weekend. Smith, who has started 20-of-28 games for the Hawkeyes and averages 7.3 points and 2.93 assists, was raised in Thornton, a Denver suburb. During her Horizon High School career, Smith was a two-time all-Colorado Class 5A all-tournament honoree and a four-time all-conference and academic all-league selection. She was also named the Northglenn-Thornton Sentinel Player of the Year her senior year. Smith helped lead her team to the state Final Four her junior and senior seasons, including a runner-up finish her senior year. The 5-6 guard also played on the Boulder Rockies AAU team.

Eight is Enough ? In addition to Iowa, BYU, Oklahoma and Pepperdine, four other teams will be playing at the Pepsi Center. Louisiana Tech, Florida State, SE Missouri State and Stanford will also play in Denver and are also part of the regional bracket. Denver (San Antonio Region) and Tucson (Albuquerque Region) are the only two first and second round sites where all eight teams competing are in the same regional bracket.

Smith Named Region 6 All-American ? Senior Crystal Smith was named a Region 6 WBCA All-American Tuesday. Smith becomes Iowa’s first regionally all-American since Cara Consuegra was recognized in 2001.

Trio of Hawkeyes Earn All-Big Ten Honors ? Megan Skouby was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year by both the media and coaches. She earned all-freshman team recognition and was selected to the all-Big Ten second team by the media and third team by the coaches. Senior Crystal Smith was a consensus first team selection and was also selected to the all-defensive team. Sophomore Krista VandeVenter earned honorable mention laurels by the media and is a nominee for the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award.

Skouby becomes the third Hawkeye to earn Big Ten Freshman of the Year honors, joining Franthea Price (1987) and Tiffany Gooden (1995). The 6-6 center is also the sixth Big Ten post-player to earn the award since 1983 and the first since Ohio State’s Jessica Davenport in 2004.

Smith earned all-Big Ten recognition for the second-straight year after being named to the third team by the coaches last year. VandeVenter also earned conference recognition for the second consecutive year, as the sophomore was was named to the all-freshman team last season.

Scouting No. 20 BYU ? Like Iowa, the No. 20 BYU are a youthful team. The Cougars have 10 underclassmen on its roster (four freshmen and six sophomores), while the Hawkeyes have nine (five freshmen and four sophomores). Eight of BYU’s 16-player roster hail from Utah. Ambrosia Anderson, who leads the team averaging 17.9 points and 7.4 rebounds, hails from local Colorado Springs. Anderson was named the co-Mountain West Conference Player of the Year and was recognized as a Region 7 WBCA all-American.

The Cougars won the MWC regular season title with a 13-3 league record. BYU has a three-guard lineup and has had the same starting five in all 30 games this season. The back court consists on Mallary Gillespie (10.2 points and 3.0 assists), Melinda Johnsen (4.4 points, 3.4 assists and 1.8 steals) and Jennie Keele (4.2 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.6 assists). Joining forward Anderson in the front court is center Dani Kubik (10.7 points and 6.3 rebounds).

BYU ranks fifth in the nation in field goal percentage defense (.349). The Cougars only allow 55.3 points per game. BYU likes to shoot the three-ball, as it averages 18.4 attempts from behind the arc. The Cougars average 6.1 treys made per game. Anderson leads the team, making 2.0 triples per game.

BYU is familiar with the Pepsi Center as it played there in the Mountain West Tournament last weekend. BYU lost to Utah in the title game (84-60).

BYU is coached by Jeff Judkins, who is in his fifth year (102-54, .654) as a head coach. Judkins, who was named MWC Coach of the Year, was named the Cougars’ head coach in 2001 after serving as its Director of Basketball Operations for one year. Prior to joining the BYU staff in 2000. Judkins played at the University of Utah (1974-78) and professionally in the NBA for five years. The native of Salt Lake City, served as an assistant coach at Utah (1990-99).

All-Time Series Record ? Saturday will be the third meeting between Iowa and BYU, with the Cougars leading the series 2-0. Saturday will be the first meeting between the two schools in 25 years. BYU defeated Iowa 103-79 in Iowa City on Jan. 3, 1980, and 87-67 on Jan. 7, 1981, in Missoula, MT in the Lady Griz Insurance Classic.

The Hawkeyes are 4-7 against current members of MWC. Iowa has played Colorado State (1-0), BYU (0-2), Wyoming (2-1) and Utah (1-4).

Iowa has never faced Pepperdine and is 2-1 against Oklahoma. The Hawkeyes and Sooners have met twice the last two years. Iowa defeated Oklahoma (54-47) in November 2004 in the Junkanoo Jam championship game in the Bahamas, but fell to the Sooners (85-68) in the first round of the Odwalla Classic played in San Francisco this past November.

RPI Ratings ? Iowa ranks 56th, while BYU is 21st in the RPI ratings published on All 11 Iowa losses came to opponents with an RPI of 100 or better, including four in the top 10. The Hawkeyes were credited with two top-25 victories (Purdue and Michigan State). BYU had seven top-50 wins, including two top-25 triumphs.

In the Rankings ? Iowa ranks sixth in the nation in free throw percentage, 15th in assists, 17th in field goal percentage and fewest fouls and 22nd in scoring. Megan Skouby ranks 24th nationally in field goal percentage.

BYU ranks fifth in field goal percentage defense, 16th in scoring defense and win-lost percentage and 36th in scoring margin. Ambrosia Anderson ranks 41st in points.

Gold on the Road ? Iowa has worn its gold uniforms in all road games this year after it had its black uniforms shrunk at the Odwalla Classic, Nov. 25-26. After the Hawkeyes played nationally-ranked Oklahoma on Nov. 25, the San Francisco Athletic Department, who hosted the tournament, accidentally overheated Iowa’s road uniforms while washing the uniforms for the Iowa’s consolation game vs. Rider.

Iowa vs. Ranked Teams ? Iowa has recorded at least one victory over a ranked opponent in each of the six years under Coach Bluder. Iowa is 2-7 against ranked foes this season. These are Iowa’s most recent wins vs. nationally ranked opponents:

At Home:          77-71 (OT) over 8th-ranked Purdue, 2/2/06On the Road: 78-67 over 18th-ranked Michigan State, 2/1/04Neutral Court:   54-47 over 21st-ranked Oklahoma, 11/27/04

Giant Killers ? Iowa has recorded two victories over top-ten opponents this season (No. 9 Michigan State 75-64 and No. 8 Purdue 77-71, ot). The last time the Hawkeyes recorded two wins against top-ten teams in the same season was Head Coach Lisa Bluder’s first season on the Hawkeye sidelines (2000-01). Iowa picked up two victories over Purdue that year, first when it was ranked fifth (96-87 at Iowa City) and second when the Boilermakers were ranked seventh (75-70 at Grand Rapids).

Hawkeyes Crack History Books ? Iowa’s 2005-06 team ranks second in school annals in single-season free throw percentage (.765), fifth in assists (17.0), seventh in 3-point field goal percentage (.362) and ninth in scoring (72.7).

DE-FENSE! ? Iowa’s perimeter defense has been stellar through 28 games. The Hawkeyes rank first in Big Ten 3-point field goal defense (.289). Last season Iowa ranked 10th in the league in 3-point field goal defense (.361).

On This Date ? Iowa is 3-1 in games played on March 18 and 1-2 in contests played on March 20. The Hawkeyes are 2-0 in games played on Saturday and 1-0 in Monday contests this season.

Another First ? Iowa never had a regulation lead in its thrilling 77-71 victory over Purdue on Feb. 2. The Hawkeyes’ first lead came one minute into overtime. It is believed to be the first time in Iowa women’s basketball history that the Hawkeyes won a game without holding the lead in regulation.

Iowa NCAA Tournament Fast Breaks ? This season marked the first time Iowa has ever placed fifth in the Big Ten standings.
? Krista VandeVenter will start her 62nd game Saturday, becoming the first Hawkeye to start 62 games her first two years.
? Crystal Smith is only 18 points from netting her 500th point this season. Smith could become only the fourth Hawkeye to collect 500 points in two seasons in a Hawkeye uniform, joining Michelle Edwards, Lindsey Meder and Cindy Haugejorde.
? Both Iowa and BYU have a starter that hails from Colorado. Iowa point guard Kristi Smith was raised in nearby Thornton, while BYU small forward Ambrosia Anderson is a native of Colorado Springs.
? Crystal Smith and Ohio State all-American Jessica Davenport are the only Big Ten players to be named to the all-Big Ten defensive team and a consensus first team honoree.
? Iowa, who will be playing in its 16th NCAA Tournament, has the seventh highest number of NCAA Tournament appearances among teams competing this year. BYU will be making its fourth NCAA Tournament appearance — its first since 2003.
? Iowa is one of five Big Ten squads that will be playing in the NCAA Tournament. The Hawkeyes join, Ohio State, Michigan State, Minnesota and Purdue in the 64-team field. Indiana and Illinois will be playing in the WNIT. The Big Ten Conference boasts the fourth-most teams in the NCAA Tournament. The ACC and Big East have the most (7), followed by the SEC (6).
? Seven of Iowa’s 11 losses this season have come to ranked opponents. The four losses to unranked foes came on the road at Louisiana Tech (2ot), Iowa State, Indiana and Penn State. Iowa was 11-3 in home games this season, with its three defeats coming to No. 6 Rutgers, No. 8 Ohio State and No. 12 Minnesota.
? Iowa’s Krista VandeVenter collected two steals vs. Michigan State to raise her season total to 61. The 61 thefts is a new Iowa single-season record for a sophomore, besting Toni Foster’s 56 established in 1990-91.
? Iowa’s Kristi Smith dished out four assists vs. Michigan State to raise her season total to 83. The number equals Necole Tunsil for first in Iowa single-season freshman assists. Smith also ranks fourth in 3-pointers made (22).
? Iowa was out-rebounded in its 11 losses. The Hawkeyes boast a 14-2 record when holding opponents to 69 points or less and are 15-1 when having a higher field goal percentage than their foes.
? Iowa is 1-3 in games decided by six points or less.
? Iowa is 13-2 when leading at the half this year and a stagerring 91-9 during Head Coach Lisa Bluder’s six years on the Hawkeye sidelines.
? Among the nation’s freshmen, Megan Skouby ranks fourth in field goal percentage (.554), 10th in free throw percentage (.746), 11th in blocked shots (1.64) and third in active double figure scoring (15).
? Iowa shot a blistering 85.2 percent clip at the foul line in the final five minutes in conference play. The Hawkeyes converted 75-88 free throw attempts down the stretch.
? Hawkeye senior Tiffany Reedy has a higher shooting percentage from 3-point range than inside the arc. Reedy is shooting 40.0 percent (36-90) from behind the arc and 38.0 percent (35-92) from two-point range.
? Iowa freshman Megan Skouby ranked third in conference scoring, averaging 16.8 points. She is the highest ranking freshman in scoring, since Penn State all-American Kelly Mazzante ranked first in 2000-01, averaging 19.7 points.
? Skouby’s 395 points through 28 games, ranks second in Iowa single-season freshman scoring, only 21 points from matching Lisa Becker’s school freshman record of 416. She also ranks second in freshman single-season blocks (46).
? Iowa Athletic Director Bob Bowlsby will be racking-up the frequent flyer miles this week. Bowlsby will be in Oklahoma City Thursday for the NCAA Wrestling Championships, Auburn Hills Friday for the first round of the men’s tournamet and Denver Saturday for the first round of the women’s tournament.

Reedy Set Go ? Tiffany Reedy played the best basketball of her career at No. 7 Ohio State and No. 14 Michigan State. Reedy scored 36 points, bolstered by 10-16 shooting behind the arc on the two-game road trip. She posted personal bests in scoring (20), field goals made (7) and attempted (13), 3-pointers made (6) and attempted (11) and matched career bests in blocks (2) and minutes (38) in the two-point loss at No. 14 Michigan State. Her new career high in scoring bests her previous best (18) established in her first game vs. IUPUI — a span of 117 games. The native of Dysart, IA, ranks fourth in team scoring (7.4) and steals (22) and third in rebounding (4.0). She ranks fourth in Big Ten 3-point field goal percentage (.400).

Skouby Joins Elite List ? Megan Skouby was Iowa’s scoring leader in conference games only, averaging 16.8 points. Only two other freshman Hawkeyes have ever finished the season leading the team in scoring in league games only (Lisa Becker, 1984 and Tiffany Gooden, 1995).

Last Time Out ? Liz Shimek scored a career-high 31 points and Lindsay Bowen added 12 as they traded the title of Michigan State’s career scoring leader, leading the Spartans to a 79-58 rout over Iowa in the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals.

Michigan State, the defending tourney champion and last year’s national runner-up, reached the semifinals for the third straight year.

As well as Shimek and Bowen played, it was Michigan State’s defense that proved the difference. The Hawkeyes were led by Megan Skouby with 13 points and seven rebounds, but could not overcome 23 turnovers, 19 in the first half, as their three-game winning streak ended.

The Spartans showed no rustiness after an eight-day layoff, winning for the eighth time in nine games.

Shimek passed Bowen for the school’s career scoring lead, breaking a tie with a strong second-half performance. Bowen had held the title since Feb. 16, but now trails Shimek (1,713 points) by 16 points.

Michigan State finished with 17 steals, the third most in tournament history.

The Spartans sprinted to a 13-6 advantage, closed the half on a 18-2 run to build a 42-20 halftime lead.

Not much changed in the second half. Iowa threw the ball away on its first possession, drew a foul on Michigan State’s first possession and got into deeper trouble when Shimek went on a personal 10-0 run to make it 52-22.

Iowa only got as close as 21 the rest of the way.

Freshman Wendy Ausdemore contributed 12 points, while senior Crystal Smith added 10. Senior Tiffany Reedy equaled career highs in assists (5) and blocks (2) for the Hawkeyes in defeat.

Crystal Smith Nets Career Point No. 1,000 ? Crystal Smith became the 22nd Iowa player to amass 1,000 career points when the senior netted 26 points vs. No. 8 Ohio State on Jan. 12 to eclipse the 1,000-point plateau. Smith currently ranks 14th in Hawkeye career scoring (1,176), 1,038 of which came the last 61 games (17.0 ppg). She also ranks fifth in career triples (116) and steals (211).

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 averages 17.2 ppg through 28 games in her senior campaign. Smith’s scoring average ranks fifth in the Big Ten. She has led Iowa in scoring 15 times this season.

Skouby Leads Big Ten Freshmen ? Megan Skouby has raised her game to a new level since taking over the starting center position for injured sophomore Stacy Schlapkohl. Skouby, who is the Big Ten freshmen scoring leader, averaged 16.8 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.69 blocks in conference play. The 6-6 standout ranks 11th in overall scoring (14.1) in the Big Ten, fourth in blocks (1.64) and field goal percentage (.554). She ranked fourth in conference scoring (16.8) and blocks (1.69) and 16th in rebounding (5.8).

Skouby led Iowa in scoring ten of the last 18 contests, including seven of the last 12. She has posted 20 points or more five times this year. The native of Mentor, OH, has netted double figures 15 consecutive games — a streak that ranks second-best in the Big Ten behind Wisconsin’s Jolene Anderson.

Kristi Smith Matures Into Starting Role ? Hawkeye freshman Kristi Smith has done a fantastic job directing the Iowa offense since taking over the starting role. In Big Ten play, Smith averaged 7.9 points, 3.19 assists and 1.06 steals. Smith dished out a personal-best eight assists at No. 7 Ohio State. She ranked 13th in Big Ten assists.

Cashing in at the Free Throw Line ? Freshman Wendy Ausdemore became the first Hawkeye to start the season making her first 19 free throw attempts. She has made 35-37 (.946) from the charity stripe this season to lead all Big Ten freshmen.

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 percentage in a game. She shot a blistering 91.0 percent (61-67) from the free throw line in conference games, which ranked second in the league.

As a team, Iowa ranks sixth nationally (.756).

Big Ten Rankings ? Iowa ranks first in 3-point field goal percentage defense (.289), free throw percentage (.765) and scoring offense (72.7), second in field goal percentage (.456), assists (16.96), assist/turnover ratio (+1.01) and 3-pointers made (5.04) and third in 3-point field goal percentage (.362) and defensive rebounds (24.46).

Senior Crystal Smith ranks second in league steals (2.44), fifth in scoring (17.2), seventh in assist/turnover ratio (1.4) and free throw percentage (.851), eighth in 3-pointers made (1.79) and 11th in assists (3.36). Freshman Megan Skouby ranks fourth in blocks (1.64) and field goal percentage (.554) and 11th in scoring (14.1). Sophomore Krista VandeVenter ranks third in rebounding (8.2) and second in defensive rebounds (5.86) and sixth in steals (2.18).

Smith Ranks Third in Big Ten in Scoring ? Senior Crystal Smith ranks fifth in Big Ten scoring (17.2); Ohio State’s Jessica Davenport (18.6) ranks first, followed by Indiana’s Cyndi Valentin (18.1), Michigan State’s Liz Shimek (17.8) and Wisconsin’s Jolene Anderson (17.3). Smith has led Iowa in scoring in 15 of Iowa’s 28 contests.

Smith and Indiana State’s Melanie Boeglin scored an NCAA single-game-high 46 points. Both amassed their scoring totals in double overtime as Smith recorded 46 points at Louisiana Tech, while Boeglin tallied 46 at Drake.

Injured Hawkeye Returns ? Freshman power forward Nicole VanderPol returned to game action in Iowa’s regular season finale against Indiana. She missed nine games due to a partial MCL tear to her left knee on Jan. 15. The native of Grundy Center, IA, saw limited action and sank both her free throw attempts.

Dishing the Rock ? Iowa ranks second in Big Ten assists, dishing the ball 16.97 times per game. Three Hawkeyes average 2.93 assists or better: Crystal Smith (3.36), Krista VandeVenter (2.96) and Kristi Smith (2.93).

Vandy is Dandy ? Sophomore Krista VandeVenter is one of the top all-around threats in the Big Ten. VandeVenter, who has started every game (61) as a Hawkeye, ranks third in Big Ten rebounding (8.2) and sixth in steals (2.18). She has led the Hawkeyes in rebounding 20 times this season. The 6-2 forward has recorded three double-doubles (Iowa State, Minnesota and Northwestern) this season and six in her career.

VandeVenter fouled out of her first career game at Ohio State Feb. 12.

Movin’ On Up ? Senior Crystal Smith (211) ranks fifth on Iowa’s career steals chart, 11 thefts from tying Steph Schueler (222) for fourth. Smith also (1,176) ranks 14th in career scoring at Iowa, 54 points from Lisa Long (1,230) for 13th. Sophomore Krista VandeVenter (481) is only one rebound from matching all-American Michelle Edwards (482) for 17th in career rebounds.

Attendance Rankings ? Iowa ranks 25th (3,920) nationally in the women’s basketball attendance rankings.

Triple Play ? Tiffany Reedy made 19 triples in each of her first three seasons. The senior drained a personal-best six 3-pointers at Michigan State to raise her total to 31, which is a new single-season best. She is shooting at a 40.0 percent clip from behind the arc, which ranks fourth in the Big Ten.

Iowa ranks second in Big Ten 3-point field goal percentage (.362) after ranking fourth last year (.343). The Hawkeyes shot a Big Ten-season-best 69.2% (9-13) from behind the arc at Northwestern on Jan. 15. Iowa also converted 53.3% (8-15) from 3-point range at Ohio State on Feb. 12. The Hawkeyes rank second in Big Ten 3-pointers made (5.04).

Underclassmen Start for Hawkeyes ? Iowa’s starting lineup includes two freshmen (Kristi Smith and Megan Skouby) and one sophomore ( Krista VandeVenter). The last time Iowa had two freshmen starters was during the 1998-99 campaign (Lindsey Meder and Leah Magner).

VandeVenter started all 60 games as a Hawkeye, including all 27 this season. The power forward ranks third in team scoring (8.9) and first in rebounding (8.4). She has pulled down 478 rebounds and is only four rebounds from equaling all-American Michelle Edwards (482) for 17th on Iowa’s career rebounding chart.

Smith started the last 19 games at point guard for Iowa. The native of Thornton, CO, ranks fifth in team scoring (7.2) and third in assists (2.89).

Skouby will start her 17th contest Friday. The 6-6 center ranks second in team scoring (14.1), first in blocks (1.69) and field goal percentage (.553) and second in rebounding (4.9).

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

Home, Away Comparisons ? In 14 home games, Iowa out-scored its opponents 1,046-887 (+11.4 margin), shooting 47.1 percent from the field and holding opponents to a 41.2 shooting percentage. Iowa also collected 245 assists to its opponents’ 165 and attempted 130 more free throws (324-194). Iowa converted 76.2 percent of its free throw attempts at home in 2005-06.

In 14 games away from Iowa City, Iowa has out-scored its opponents 989-959 (+2.1 margin). Iowa has a better 3-point shooting percentage on the road (38.9%) than at Carver-Hawkeye Arena (32.7%). Here are the home and away comparisons:

    FG%  3-PT%   FT% REB AST TO  PTSHome    .471    .327    .762    36.6    17.5    17.3    74.7Away    .442    .389    .768    34.9    16.4    16.3    70.6

High Octane ? Iowa, who ranks first in Big Ten scoring offense (72.7), has scored 80 points or more seven times. The Hawkeyes are 14-3 when scoring 70 points or more; the three losses came in double overtime at Louisiana Tech (95-91), at No. 7 Ohio State (88-77) and No. 14 Michigan State (73-71).

Wins, Losses Comparisons ? There are big differentials in the stats between Iowa’s wins and losses. The Hawkeyes shoot 8.3 percent better from the field, including 9.8 percent from 3-point range in their victories. Iowa averages 5.9 more rebounds in wins than losses. The Hawkeyes have made more free throws (286) than its opponents have attempted (212) in its 17 wins. Iowa holds opponents to only 26.8 percent shooting from behind the arc in their wins. The Hawkeyes average only 15.1 assists in its 11 defeats. Here are the wins and losses comparisons:

    FG%  3-PT%   FT% REB AST TO  PTSWins    .489    .410    .781    38.1    18.2    16.6    77.3Losses  .406    .312    .734    32.2    15.1    17.0    65.5

Iowa Ties Arena Mark ? Iowa’s 55 second-half points scored in its 84-65 triumph over Illinois on Jan. 1, matched the Carver-Hawkeye Arena record for most points in a second half. The Hawkeyes also scored 55 vs. Western Illinois on Nov. 25, 2000.

Freshmen Step Up ? Iowa’s freshmen class (Megan Skouby, Wendy Ausdemore, Kristi Smith, Nicole VanderPol and Lindsey Nyenhuis) average 30.9 points, including a 36.6 average the last nine contests. The trio of Ausdemore, Skouby and Smith tallied a freshmen season-best 57 points vs. No. 8 Purdue on Feb. 2.

Skouby ranks second in team scoring (14.1) and second in rebounding (5.0), while Smith (7.3) ranks fifth and Ausdemore (6.8) sixth in scoring. Smith also ranks third in assists (2.93).

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.

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.

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.

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).

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.

Century Club ? Iowa Head Women’s Basketball Coach Lisa Bluder reached another milestone on Dec. 3, when she collected her 100th victory as Iowa Head Coach in the 79-57 triumph over Vermont on Dec. 3. Bluder, who is the second all-time winningest Iowa coach, boasts a 113-69 (.621) record in six years mentoring the Hawkeyes.

Jane Meyer Named WBCA Administrator of the Year ? Iowa Senior Associate Athletic Director Jane Meyer was named the 2006 Women’s Basketball Coaches Association’s Administrator of the Year Award for her excellence in athletic administration. This award is presented annually to an administrator, athletic director, associate or assistant athletic director or senior woman administrator who has excelled at encouraging the growth and quality of women’s basketball programs and women’s athletic programs overall. The candidate must also have served as a professional role model for student-athletes.

Recently, Meyer began a five-year term on the 10-member Division I Women’s Basketball Committee and will serve on the committee until September 2010.

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).

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.

Hy-Vee Cy-Hawk Series ? Iowa State leads the second annual Hy-Vee Cy-Hawk Series 11-4. Iowa State has recorded victories in women’s soccer (2-1), football (23-3), women’s basketball (77-61), men’s basketball (72-60) and women’s gymnastics (195.7-193.375). Iowa’s two wins came in wrestling (20-15) and women’s swimming and diving (156-144).

Iowa Quotes Making the Tournament ? Below are quotes from Hawkeye players and Head Coach Lisa Bluder.

Head Coach Lisa Bluder
“I can’t tell you what an excited locker that was when our name popped up. These last eight days have been pretty tough. I think our strength of schedule and the conference was critical for us. You have to go back to 1995 for the last time they didn’t take five from the Big Ten.”

“I think I gave Bob Bowlsby (Iowa Athletics Director) a huge bruise in his back. I think he was next to me and I got him right off the bat. Everybody was pretty excited and jumped up and down. It was a loud locker room. Nobody even saw who else was in our bracket.”

“I’m also excited for Kristi Smith in being able to play at home in Denver. I’m really happy for her since we weren’t able to go to Denver and play this year. I’m also thrilled for our seniors; what a way for them to go out. Obviously, we want to do well now that we’re in it, but I’m really happy for them to have this opportunity to go out playing in the NCAA Tournament.”

“I think BYU is not a team that is real veteran savvy, with only one senior in its starting lineup. They aren’t going to have a ton of tournament experience either. But at the same time, your freshmen don’t know what its like to be there and they are such a big part of our team. I really want this freshman class to know that this is what is expected. I want them to be a class that is in the NCAA Tournament every single year, and they started that today.”

“I know they are a good defensive team. I know in the past they put up a lot of three’s, maybe around 18 a game. It appears that Krista VendeVenter is going to have a tough matchup inside.”

Sophomore Krista VandeVenter
“I was pretty optimistic about being selected. I had heard both sides, and I didn’t really know what to think. I was hoping for the best. It’s a very different atmosphere after you are selected. We are still celebrating.”

Senior Tiffany Reedy
“Just being able to say that we made the NCAA two out of my fours years in college is personally gratifying. Hopefully this is starting a new era in women’s basketball at Iowa.”

Senior Crystal Smith
“I’m really happy and excited right now. I always believed we would get in; I never doubted it. I didn’t see a good reason why they shouldn’t have taken us. We played hard down the stretch and we are all really excited.”

Freshman Kristi Smith
“It’s going to be so exciting to see my family and friends. I was thinking about it (going to Denver), but I didn’t even realize it when it was announced.”

“I played in an all-star game there (Pepsi Center) my junior and senior years. It’s a fun place to play.”

“It’s crazy. To be honest, I didn’t even realize. I was jumping and down, so excited that we got in, then someone was like, `You’re going home.'”