Iowa Hosts KCRG-TV9 Hawkeye Challenge

Nov. 16, 2006

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The Setting ? Iowa has a short turnaround as it has only one day to prepare for the 21st annual KCRG-TV9 Hawkeye Challenge. The Hawkeyes welcome Florida A&M, Florida International and Quinnipiac to compete in the four-team tournament, Friday and Saturday, in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Florida A&M will play Florida International Friday at 5 p.m., followed by Quinnipiac vs. Iowa at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets are $7 for adults, $5 for youths and UI students with their student I.D. will be admitted free.

Iowa History ? Iowa has played 911 games since beginning basketball in 1974. Overall, Iowa’s record is 557-354 (.611). That includes a 277-131 (.679) mark in Big Ten games and a 253-70 (.784) record in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

On the Radio ? Brent Balbinot and Shelley Till will call the 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 hawkeyesports.com. Just click “Hawkeye All-Access” at the top right of the page. “Hawkeye All-Access” is a subscription service.

Iowa in Hawkeye Challenge ? Iowa has won 16 of the 20 tournaments, including six of the last eight, and boast a 35-5 tournament record. Last year, Iowa defeated Vermont (79-57) in the first round, but lost to nationally-ranked Rutgers (57-51) in the championship.

Scouting Quinnipiac ? Quinnipiac, which is located in Hamden, CT, opened its season with a 72-69 triumph over Holy Cross. The Bobcats were led by junior Monique Lee, who posted a double-double (26 points, 11 rebounds). Sophomores Erin Kerner and Mandy Pennewell each contributed 14 points in the victory. Quinnipiac was out-rebounded 40-33 and allowed Holy Cross to make 9-22 (.409) behind the 3-point arc.

The Bobcats will look to improve upon their school Division I record 22 victories last season. Quinnipiac returns all five starters from a squad that tied for second in the Northeast Conference last season. The Bobcats have been picked to finish second in the league this season, behind Sacred Heart.

Sophomore point guard Erin Kerner was named to the Pre-season All-NEC team by the league’s coaches. Kerner averaged 13.9 points and 3.4 assists her freshman campaign. Lee, who averaged 15.9 points and 8.9 rebounds, has posted 20 career double-doubles and has netted double digits 38 career times.

Quinnipiac is coached by the only active two-time NEC of the Year Tricia Fabbri. Fabbri, who was named NEC Coach of the Year last year, just entered her 12th season as a collegiate coach, all on the Bobcat sidelines. She has compiled a 137-167 (.451) record.

Iowa, Quinnipiac Notes ? Iowa and Quinnipiac both started three sophomores and two juniors in their last game.
? Quinnipiac has a six-year student-athlete, Charmaine Steele, who received a second medical red-shirt from the NCAA after missing the 2002-03 and 2003-04 seasons with knee injuries. She is currently pursuing a second master’s degree in interactive communications.
? Quinnipiac was 8-0 when it scored 70 points or more and 18-1 when shooting at a higher percentage than its opponents in 2005-06. Iowa was 14-3 when scoring 70-plus points and 15-2 when having a higher field goal percentage than its foes last season.
? Friday will only be Iowa’s third game against a Northeast Conference opponent. The Hawkeyes are 2-0 against Mount St. Mary’s. Iowa won at Mount St. Mary’s (89-63) in December 2000, Coach Bluder’s first season with the Hawkeyes.
? Quinnipiac shot 72.5 percent from the foul line, tops in the NEC in 2005-06.
? With Krista VandeVenter sidelined indefinitely, junior Abby Emmert has replaced her as on-court team co-captain along side junior Stacy Schlapkohl.

Scouting Florida A&M ? Florida A&M won its season-opener, 86-61, over Saint Leo last Friday. The Lady Rattlers shot a blazing 57.1 percent (20-35) in the first half en route to a comfortable victory. Freshman Secrett Anderson and sophomore Deidra Jones paced FAMU in the win. Anderson tallied a game-high 17 points, while Jones netted 15 points and collected six dimes.

FAMU returns all five starters from a squad that finished seventh in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference last season. Jones was honored as the league’s Rookie of the Year as the guard led the team in scoring and blocks.

FAMU is coached by Debra Clark, who is 71-69 (.507) in six years on the Lady Rattlers sidelines. Clark is 182-158 (.535) in her 13 years as head coach.

Scouting Florida International ? Florida International captured a 69-36 victory over Division II Barry University last Sunday. The Golden Panthers out-rebounded Barry by 19 and collected 22 steals. Junior LaQuetta Ferguson netted a game-high 16 points and six assists to lead the Golden Panthers to victory. Sophomore Iva Ciglar scored 13 points and collected a game-high seven steals. Lasma Jekabsone snagged a game-high 12 rebounds.

Jekabsone was honored on the second team Pre-season All-Sun Belt team. The senior averaged a double-double last season (15.8 ppg and 10.2 rpg).

Florida International is coached by Cindy Russo, who entered her 30th season as head coach (594-252, .702). Russo is in her 28th season on the Golden Panthers sidelines (554-230, .707).

FAMU is coached by Debra Clark, who is 71-69 (.507) in six years on the Lady Rattlers sidelines. Clark is 182-158 (.535) in her 13 years as a collegiate head coach.

All-Time Series Record ? Iowa has never faced Quinnipiac or Florida A&M. The Hawkeyes are 1-0 vs. Florida International, winning 93-86 to win the 2003 FIU Thanksgiving Classic.

On This Date ? Iowa is 2-4 in games played on November 17 and 1-2 in contests played on November 18. The Hawkeyes topped Marquette (70-57) in their season opener on November 17, 2000.

Five For Fighting ? Iowa is in the middle of its busiest schedule this season. The Hawkeyes play their first five games of the regular season in eight days. Iowa, who currently have only eight healthy players, concludes the difficult stretch with three home games this week.

Last Time Out ? Iowa outscored Indiana State 11-2 in the final 3:30 to escape with a thrilling 88-83 victory over the Sycamores in its home opener Wednesday. The Hawkeyes improve to 7-0 in home openers under Coach Lisa Bluder.

Like its first two games, Iowa needed clutch free throw shooting down the stretch to come away with a win. The Hawkeyes converted nine of their last 10 foul shots en route to victory.

Stacy Schlapkohl netted career-high 24 points and also corralled five rebounds to lead the Hawkeyes. Wendy Ausdemore tallied a season-best 19 points and dished out a career-high five assists.

Jenee Graham had a big contribution defensively, pulling down a career-high 14 rebounds. She posted double-digit rebounds in Iowa’s first three games.

Iowa did a good job of handling Indiana State’s full-court pressure, recording only nine turnovers in the contest.

With Iowa trailing 81-77 with just over three minutes remaining, Skouby scored six straight points to give the Hawkeyes an 83-81 advantage with 2:30 left. Iowa did not trail again in the contest. The close game included six ties and 12 lead changes.

Megan Skouby netted 11 of her 17 points from the foul line, while Kristi Smith added 11 and four assists for the Hawkeyes.

Hi-Octane ? The 171 combined points in Iowa’s 88-83 win over Indiana State was the highest scoring game in Carver-Hawkeye Arena since a 94-83 loss to Minnesota in 2001.

Number of the Week – – 43 ? Iowa attempted 44 combined free throws in its first two games in Kansas City last weekend. The Hawkeyes converted 33-43 (.767) in their five-point win over Indiana State on Wednesday.

Hawkeyes Win WBCA Classic ? Iowa opened the season with two quality road wins, defeating Missouri State (79-70) and Kansas (63-49) to capture the fifth-annual WBCA Classic in Kansas City, MO.

Trifecta ? The Hawkeyes had three sophomores recognized on the WBCA Classic All-Tournament team. Wendy Ausdemore, Megan Skouby and Kristi Smith all earned all-tournament laurels. Skouby was honored as the tournament’s Most Valubale Player.

Skouby averaged 16.0 points, 7.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 2.0 blocks in the two contests. Smith averaged 15.0 points, 4.0 assists, 2.5 steals and 2.5 rebounds. Ausdemore averaged 13.5 points, 6.0 rebounds and 3.5 assists.

Freebies ? One of the reasons why Iowa is 3-0 is its ability to get to the free throw line and convert. Iowa is 71-87 (.816) at the charity stripe in its first three games. The Hawkeyes have made more foul shots (71) than its opponents have attempted (43). Iowa made 38-44 (.864) from the free throw line in its two games at the WBCA Classic.

Additionally, Iowa made the free throws when they counted — in the last five minutes of the games. The Hawkeyes are 24-28 (.857) in the last five minutes, 15-18 (.833) under two minutes and 16-18 (.889) with under a minute to play.

The Hawkeyes were 11-12 from the free throw line the final five minutes vs. Missouri State, 4-6 the final four minutes vs. Kansas and 9-10 in the last four minutes against Indiana State.

Schlapkohl Delivers ? Stacy Schlapkohl, who missed some pre-season practice due to knee surgery, had a big game championship game for the Hawkeyes. The junior netted 11 points off the bench and grabbed four rebounds vs. the Jayhawks.

Kansas trimmed Iowa’s lead to 48-44 with 8:27 left in the game and Schlapkohl sparked a 9-0 run for the Hawkeyes to rebuild a 13-point cushion. The team co-captain called for the ball twice and knocked down consecutive jumpers to stretch Iowa’s advantage to 52-44. An Abby Emmert lay-up and a Lindsey Nyenhuis 3-pointer concluded the run that spanned 2:47.

Schlapkohl Delivers, Again ? Stacy Schlapkohl made her first start of the season and poured in a game and career-high 24 points in 9-15 shooting from the field and 6-10 from the foul line. She also pulled down five rebounds and matched a career high with two assists in the winning effort.

VandeVenter Out ? Krista VandeVenter, who sprained her ankle in practice Oct. 24, played little in the exhibition opener. The junior played six minutes, scoring two points and grabbing one rebound. Unfortunately, her night ended prematurely as with a dislocated right shoulder while diving for a loose ball in the second half. She is out indefinitely.

The native of Osseo, MN, missed her first career start last weekend. VandeVenter is the only Iowa player in history to have started 62 games her first two seasons. The team co-captain enters the 2006-07 campaign ranked 16th in career rebounding at Iowa.

Graham Steps Up ? With Iowa’s leading rebounder sidelined indefinitely, Jenee Graham has stepped up and filled the rebounding void. The junior has grabbed double-digit rebounds in Iowa’s first three contests. Graham pulled down 10 rebounds in each of Iowa’s first two games and then corralled a career-high 14 rebounds Wednesday against Indiana State. She also averages 6.0 points, 2.7 assists and 1.7 steals.

Streaking ? Sophomore Megan Skouby has scored double figures in 19 consecutive games, three this season, dating back to Iowa’s road game at Michigan (1/5/06).

All-Big Ten Recognition ? For the second straight year, Iowa has been picked to finish fifth in the Big Ten by the media and coaches. Individually, Megan Skouby was named to the pre-season all-conference team by the media and coaches. Skouby is the only sophomore to be recognized; the team is comprised of three seniors, one junior and one sophomore.

Iowa Ranked 24th by Lindy’s ? Iowa is ranked 24th in Lindy’s pre-season poll. The Hawkeyes are one of four Big Ten teams ranked; Ohio State is 10th, followed by 11th-ranked Purdue and 20th-ranked Michigan State. In addition to the ranked Big Ten teams, which Iowa will play twice each, Rutgers (ninth) and Louisiana Tech (23rd) are also on the Hawkeyes’ schedule.

Gunning For Seven ? Iowa has posted a winning season each year Coach Bluder has been on the Hawkeye sidelines. The Hawkeyes have strung together six straight winning seasons since the 2000-01 campaign, earning an NCAA Tournament berth four times. The school record for consecutive winning seasons is 11, established 1984-1994.

Challenging Schedule Awaits ? Iowa’s schedule looks to be just as challenging as last year’s, if not more so. The Hawkeyes have the potential to play 16 teams that competed in 2006 post-season tournaments, including eight that participated in the NCAA Tournament. Iowa will play 17 games (two exhibitions) inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena, the most regular season home contests in school history.

20-Year Anniversary ? This season marks the 20-year anniversary of Iowa’s first Big Ten regular season championship. Iowa’s 1986-87 team finished the league campaign 17-1 and shared the title with Ohio State. The squad advanced to the Elite Eight in the NCAA Tournament before falling to eventual NCAA runner-up Louisiana Tech. Michelle Edwards earned all-America honors, while Franthea Price was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year.

Senior Update ? Redshirt senior Johanna Solverson, who is Iowa’s lone senior on the roster, suffered her second ACL tear on her right knee in late June. She is currently rehabbing and it is hopeful that she will return to game action in February.

Bluder Approaches Milestones ? After garnering her 300th Division I victory in Iowa’s regular season finale vs. Indiana last season, Bluder will reach two additional coaching milestones in 2006-07. She will coach in her 700th career game and 200th on the Iowa sidelines, both during conference play. The Marion, IA, native has coached in 685 career games (472-213, .689) and 184 contests (116-71, .620) on the Hawkeye sidelines.

In her first six years at Iowa, Bluder has guided the Black and Gold to four first division finishes in the highly regarded Big Ten Conference. Iowa’s 56 league wins the last six seasons rank as the fourth-highest total in the Big Ten behind Purdue (75), Penn State (69) and Ohio State (64). She has coached five Hawkeye players to all-Big Ten first team status, three to the second team and three that were named to the all-freshman team.

Iowa Returned to NCAA Tournament ? A season that was filled with numerous knee injuries did not keep the 2005-06 Iowa Hawkeyes from achieving success. Three starters suffering season-ending ACL injuries and two reserves missing substantial time due to knee injuries only propelled the freshman class to contribute and help lead the Hawkeyes to a first-division finish in the Big Ten and an at-large berth to the NCAA Tournament.

Iowa finished the season 17-12 overall and placed fifth in the Big Ten with a 10-6 mark. Playing in its 16th NCAA Tournament, Iowa lost to 20th-ranked BYU (67-62) in the first round.

The Hawkeyes were led by senior Crystal Smith, who was a consensus first team all-Big Ten selection, and Big Ten Freshman of the Year Megan Skouby. The inside-outside punch of Skouby and Smith ignited the Hawkeye offense, which was tops in the Big Ten.

No Senior Starters ? For the first time under Coach Bluder, Iowa will not have a senior in the starting lineup. Iowa’s probable starting lineup includes four sophomores (Wendy Ausdemore, Lindsey Nyenhuis, Kristi Smith, Megan Skouby) and one junior (Krista VandeVenter).

The last time Iowa did not have a senior starter was the 1999-00 season (two juniors, three sophomores). Iowa has had at least two senior starters every year under Bluder, except the 2002-03 season (center Tracy Schrupp). Below is a list of Iowa’s senior starters under Bluder:

2000-01:    Cara Consuegra, Randi Peterson2001-02:    Leah Magner, Lindsey Meder, Jerica Watson2002-03:    Tracy Schrupp2003-04:    Kristi Faulkner, Jennie Lillis2004-05:    Jenna Armstrong, Jamie Cavey2005-06:    Tiffany Reedy, Crystal Smith="https://hawkeyesports.com/http:%3E%3C/ahref="http:>="https://hawkeyesports.com/http:%3E%3C/ahref="http:>

Hawkeyes on the Tube ? Seven regular season games are already scheduled to be televised by either KCRG or Comcast SportsNet Chicago. KCRG will televise home contests vs. Iowa State (Nov. 30), Northern Iowa (Dec. 19), Michigan State (Jan. 14) and Wisconsin (Feb. 25). Comcast SportsNet Chicago will air home games vs. Minnesota (Jan. 25) and Michigan (Feb. 8) and the Hawkeyes’ road game at Penn State (Jan. 28).

Underclassmen Stepped Up in 2005-06 ? Last year’s freshman class of Megan Skouby, Kristi Smith, Wendy Ausdemore, Nicole VanderPol and Lindsey Nyenhuis stepped up and accounted for 42.5 percent of Iowa’s offense. The sophomore class of Krista VandeVenter, Abby Emmert and Stacy Schlapkohl was responsible for 20.6 percent of Iowa’s offense. Combined, the underclassmen accounted for 63.1 percent of Iowa’s offense, which bodes well for the future.

Hawkeye Fast Breaks ? 2005-06 marked the first time Iowa ever placed fifth in the Big Ten standings.
? Eight of Iowa’s 12 losses came to ranked opponents in 2005-06. 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, with its three defeats coming to No. 6 Rutgers, No. 8 Ohio State and No. 12 Minnesota.
? Krista VandeVenter finished the season with 61 steals, the most ever by a Hawkeye sophomore. The 61 thefts topped Toni Foster’s 56 established in 1990-91.
? Kristi Smith finished the season with 82 assists, the most ever for a Hawkeye freshman. Smith bested Necole Tunsil’s 78 set in 1990-91. Smith also ranks fourth in 3-pointers made (22).
? Wendy Ausdemore made 20 triples in 2005-06, which ranks fifth for a Hawkeye freshman.
? Iowa freshman Megan Skouby ranked third in conference scoring, averaging 16.8 points. She is the highest ranking freshman scorer, since Penn State all-American Kelly Mazzante ranked first in 2000-01, averaging 19.7 points.
? Skouby’s 414 points ranks second in Iowa single-season freshman scoring, only two points from matching Lisa Becker’s school freshman (416). She also ranks second in freshman single-season blocks (47).

Home Grown Hawkeyes ? Iowa’s 2006-07 roster features four players from the state of Iowa (Wendy Ausdemore, Abby Emmert, Stacy Schlapkohl and Nicole VanderPol). The Hawkeyes also have two players from Illinois (Jenee Graham and Johanna Solverson) and Minnesota (Krista VandeVenter and Zoraa Quoie). Iowa’s 12-person roster also features players from Colorado (Kristi Smith), Kansas (JoAnn Hamlin), Michigan (Lindsey Nyenhuis) and Ohio (Megan Skouby).

Hawkeye Newcomers ? Iowa’s only freshman is Zoraa Quoie, from Woodbury, MN. Quoie was named to the Miss Minnesota Basketball Senior All-State team her senior season. She was also named to the Star-Tribune third defensive team as a senior. Quoie was a 2005 and 2006 all-conference selection and earned 2004 and 2005 honorable mention all-state laurels. Quoie holds her high school’s record for single-season steals.

Also on the roster this year is JoAnn Hamlin, who transferred from Kansas State. Hamlin cannot compete due to NCAA transfer rules, but can practice with the team and will have three years of eligibility remaining starting in 2007-08. Hamlin played in 33 games last year, with 31 starts at center for the Wildcats. The 31 starts were the fifth-most in the nation among freshmen. She scored in double figures 15 times, reaching the 20-point plateau four times. Hamlin averaged 10 points, 4.6 rebounds, had a total of 22 blocks and 26 steals.

Hawkeyes Traveling Overseas in 2007 ? The women’s basketball team will be traveling overseas for 12 days to Greece, August 2007, to play four exhibition games and do some sightseeing.

Hy-Vee Cy-Hawk Series ? Iowa currently leads the third annual Hy-Vee Cy-Hawk Series 5-2. Iowa was victorious in women’s soccer (1-0, OT) and football (27-17), while Iowa State won volleyball (3-2). The next event is women’s basketball on Nov. 30 in Iowa City.

The nine-sport series awards two points (except football, which is worth three) to the winning school in each head-to-head match-up between the two institutions. Additionally, two points are awarded to an institution if the graduation rate of its student-athletes is greater than the national average as reported each fall by the NCAA. Hawkeyes Ink Two ? Kachine Alexander and Kelsey Cermak have signed National Letters of Intent to attend the University of Iowa.

Alexander, a native of Minneapolis, MN, is a three-time all-conference honoree. She earned the Best Defensive Player Award at Benilde-St. Margaret’s High School her freshman and sophomore seasons. Her team was three-time conference champions and won the Minnesota State AAA Championship in 2006. The 5-9 forward was named state tournament MVP and earned honorable mention all-state honors her junior year. She averaged 12.8 points, 8.0 rebounds, 3.5 steals and 3.0 assists in 29 starts her junior season.

Cermak, who hails from Norwalk, IA, is a two-time first team all-state honoree and a three-time first team all-conference and all-district selection. She was the Norwalk High School MVP her first three years. The 6-1 guard holds her school’s single-season record for steals (90). She averaged 17.2 points, 7.4 rebounds and 2.8 steals in 26 starts on a team that won the Iowa state and conference championship her junior season. Cermak averaged 18.9 points, 7.0 rebounds and 3.6 steals her sophomore campaign. Norwalk placed second in its conference her freshman and sophomore seasons.

“We are excited to sign these two talented recruits,” said Head Coach Lisa Bluder. “We welcome both of these new Hawkeyes to our family!”

Blogging ? Hawkeye fans will be treated to behind-the-scenes information this season as sophomore Wendy Ausdemore and junior Abby Emmert will have their own blogs, which will be posted on the women’s basketball page of hawkeyesports.com. The duo will share their thoughts on practices, games, road trips, and everything else surrounding the program.

Iowa Information on the Web ? Statistics and play-by-play accounts of all Big Ten Tournament games will be available live on the internet. The statistical program allows viewers to read the play-by-play action just moments after it takes place, and to view all individual and team statistics while the game is in progress.

The program can be accessed through hawkeyesports.com and then clicking on the `Gametracker’ link.

“Hawk Talk with Lisa Bluder” ? Catch “Hawk Talk with Lisa Bluder”, the radio call-in program Monday nights featuring Iowa Hawkeye women’s head coach Lisa Bluder, on KXIC-AM 800 in Iowa, WHO-AM 1040 in Des Moines and WMT-AM 600 in Cedar Rapids from 7:30-8:30 p.m. The first show is set for November 27.

Fans can call toll-free at (800) 332-5401 or locally at (319) 365-0600. The show originates from Bob’s Your Uncle restaurant on the eastside of Iowa City.

On the Horizon ? Iowa concludes its four-game homestand when it hosts Louisiana Tech next Tuesday at 6:35 p.m. inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Next Tuesday is “Buck Night”, where everyone is admitted for only $1, except UI students and children 18-years-and-under, who are admitted free.