Iowa Hosts 20th-Ranked Michigan State Sunday

Jan. 12, 2007

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The Setting ? Iowa (11-7, 3-2) returns home to host 20th-ranked Michigan State (12-4, 3-1) Sunday. Tip-off is slated for 2:05 p.m. in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The Hawkeyes enter Sunday’s contest winners of two straight, while the Spartans have lost two consecutive. Tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for youths, while UI students are admitted free.

Sunday will be Iowa’s annual “Girl Scout Day”. In addition, Iowa will be honoring former Iowa Women’s Athletic Director Dr. Christine Grant at halftime. Grant was the recipient of the NCAA’s prestigious Gerald R. Ford Award last weekend in Orlando, FL.

Report Cards Good For Admission ? Elementary school, junior high and high school fans of the Iowa Hawkeyes can gain free admission to Sunday’s game by presenting a copy of their progress report or report card to receive a free game ticket.

Elementary students must present a copy of their most recent report card or “progress report”. Junior high and high school students can gain free admission by presenting a copy of their most recent report card with at least one “A” grade.

The cards need to be presented at any of the ticket office windows on game night. The students must be accompanied by an adult, who must have purchased a full-priced ticket. The student tickets may also be exchanged in advance at the Athletic Ticket Office in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Those students who present a copy of their progress report or report card will have a chance to win a home computer system from Best Buy. That drawing will be held Sunday.

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

On the Radio ? Brent Balbinot and Shelley Till will call the action for the Hawkeye Radio Network. Hawkeye fans can listen to Sunday’s game on WHO 1040-AM in Des Moines, WMT 600-AM in Cedar Rapids and KXIC 800-AM in Iowa City.

The game can also be heard live over the Internet at Just click “Hawkeye All-Access” at the top right of the page. “Hawkeye All-Access” is a subscription service.

Iowa History ? Iowa has played 926 games since beginning basketball in 1974. Overall, Iowa’s record is 565-361 (.610). That includes a 280-133 (.678) mark in Big Ten games and a 256-75 (.773) record in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Number of the Week – – 700 ? Coach Lisa Bluder coached in her 700th game as a head coach Thursday night at Indiana. Bluder, Iowa’s second all-time winningest coach, is in her 23rd season as a collegiate head coach with a 480-220 (.686) overall record. She coached in her 200th game at Iowa vs. 10th-ranked Purdue on Jan. 3. Bluder currently sits 32nd in career winning percentage for Division I active coaches.

All-Time Series Record ? Sunday will be the 49th meeting between Iowa and Michigan State, with the Hawkeyes leading the series 29-19. Iowa boasts a 15-7 advantage in games played in Iowa City.

Michigan State has won five of the last six in the series. The Spartans were 2-1 against the Hawkeyes last season. Iowa won 75-64 in Iowa City, while Michigan State won 73-71 in East Lansing and 79-58 in Indianapolis at the 2006 Big Ten Tournament.

Scouting Michigan State ? Sunday begins a stretch of four-of-five road games for Michigan State. After traveling to Iowa Sunday, the Spartans travel to Michigan, host Iowa, then hit the road again for contests at Penn State and Rutgers.

The Spartans are 12-4 overall, with three of its four setbacks coming to nationally-ranked opponents (No. 1 Maryland, No. 7 LSU and 13th-ranked Purdue).

Michigan State lost its last game, 70-60, to 13th-ranked Purdue Thursday at the Breslin Center. The Spartans trailed by only one at half, but were outscored by nine in the second stanza. The Boilermakers sank nine 3-pointers. Purdue’s Jodi Howell, who entered the game averaging 6.8 points per game, led all scorers with 25, shooting a blistering 9-11 from the field, including 7-9 from 3-point range. Victoria Lucas-Perry led Michigan State, posting a double-double (14 points, 13 rebounds).

Michigan State has four players average double digits in scoring. Lucas-Perry ranks first in scoring (13.8), followed by Allyssa DeHaan (12.3), Rene Haynes (11.4) and Aisha Jefferson (10.2). DeHaan is the nation’s leading shot blocker (4.63) and also ranks first in team rebounding (9.1).

The Spartans rank first in rebounding (43.6) and blocks (6.44) and second in field goal percentage defense (.345) in Big Ten all games rankings. Nationally, Michigan State ranks fifth in blocks and 11th in field goal percentage defense.

Michigan State is most affected by a quirk in this year’s Big Ten scheduling. The Spartans will play four league teams (Indiana, Iowa, Northwestern and Penn State) twice in a three-game span.

Michigan State is coached by Joanne P. McCallie, who is in her seventh year (137-70, .662) as the Spartans’ head coach and her 15th season (304-143, .680) as a collegiate head coach.

Iowa, Michigan State Notes ? Iowa is 99-11 when leading at the half in the seven years under Coach Bluder. Additionally, Iowa is 81-13 when holding opponents to 69 points or less, including a 33-1 mark when opponents score 59 points or less.
? Iowa and Minnesota are tied for fourth in the Big Ten standings with 3-2 records. The Hawkeyes are only a half game from third place Michigan State (3-1).
? Michigan State has one additional non-conference game remaining, at Rutgers on Jan. 28. Iowa lost at Rutgers (70-53) on Dec. 16.
? Spartan freshman Allyssa DeHaan is one of only two players in the Big Ten who stand taller than Iowa 6-6 sophomore Megan Skouby. DeHaan stands 6-9, while Indiana senior Sarah McKay is 6-7.
? Michigan State’s Allyssa DeHaan has amassed 74 blocks in 16 games, while Megan Skouby has 76 rejections in 47 career contests.
? Iowa ranks sixth in the country in free throw percentage, 35th in 3-point field goal percentage and 43rd in assists per game. Jenee Graham ranks 34th in rebounds per contest, while Megan Skouby ranks 28th in free throw percentage.
? Twenty-three percent of Iowa’s offensive production has come from the free throw line with 285 of its 1,221 points coming from the charity stripe.
? Megan Skouby has made 18-19 at the foul line through five league contests.
? Iowa is 10-0 when having a higher field goal percentage, 9-0 when opponents shoot less than 40 percent from 3-point range this season. The Hawkeyes are also 9-3 when having more assists.
? Iowa is 4-1 in games played on January 14.
? Krista VandeVenter has grabbed 552 career rebounds and ranks 13th in Iowa career rebounding. She is only 12 rebounds from tying Necole Tunsil (564) for 12th.
? All five Big Ten road teams won Thursday night (Iowa, Purdue, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Ohio State). Four of the five games were decided by four points or less, including two two-point contests.

Last Meeting ? 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 win over Iowa in the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals on March 3, 2006.

Michigan State, the defending tourney champion and 2005’s national runners-up, reached the semifinals for the third straight year.

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.

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 tourney history.

Michigan State jumped to an early 13-6 lead, closed the half on a 18-2 run and built 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.

Wendy Ausdemore contributed 12 points. Tiffany Reedy equaled career highs in assists (5) and blocks (2) for the Hawkeyes in defeat.

Iowa vs. Ranked Teams ? Sunday will be Iowa’s third game against a ranked opponent this year. Iowa has recorded at least one victory over a ranked opponent in each of Coach Bluder’s first six years on the Hawkeye sidelines. Iowa has lost two games to ranked opponents this season (No. 7 Ohio State and No. 10 Purdue). 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

Senior Update ? Head Coach Lisa Bluder has announced that forward Johanna Solverson will sit out the remainder of the 2006-07 season and apply for a sixth year of eligibility.

“I think Johanna made a very wise decision because now we’ll have Johanna for a full year rather than having her at 40-50 percent for 10 games,” said Bluder. “She wants to end her basketball career on a positive note. This decision bodes well for the future of our program.”

Solverson, a fifth-year senior, suffered a second tear of the anterior cruciate ligament on her right knee during a Game Time League contest last June in North Liberty. Solverson sustained her first ACL injury in July 2005 in a “pick-up” game in Chicago.

“I don’t think I’m physically and mentally prepared to come back at this time,” said Solverson. “I believe this is the right decision after sitting down and listening to the coaching staff and my family. I’d rather finish my collegiate career with a full season.”

Solverson played in all but one game her first three seasons. The only game she missed was vs. Kansas State on December 12, 2003 due to an ankle injury. One of Iowa’s most versatile players, she boasts a career average of 8.5 points, 4.3 rebounds, 3.02 assists and 1.67 steals in 94 games.

During the 2004-05 campaign, Solverson became only the second Iowa player to amass over 350 points, 125 assists and rebounds and 70 steals in a single season (Michelle Edwards). She averaged 10.9 points, 3.9 rebounds, 4.12 assists and 2.12 steals in 33 contests.

The native of Lake Zurich, IL, ranks ninth in Iowa career assists (284), 12th in steals (157), 20th in rebounding (408) and 29th in scoring (802).

Road Warriors ? Iowa has compiled a 7-2 record in games away from Iowa City this season. The Hawkeyes have won their last four road games, including all three Big Ten road games (Minnesota, Northwestern and Indiana). Iowa is the only Big Ten team with three road conference wins. Last season, Iowa was 6-9 in away games. The Hawkeyes are 4-5 in home contests this year.

Double Trouble ? Sophomores Wendy Ausdemore and Kristi Smith have had a fantastic start to the Big Ten schedule. In conference games only stats, Ausdemore ranks first in 3-point field goal percentage (.636, 14-22), second in 3-pointers made (2.8), third in field goal percentage (.622) and fourth in scoring (16.0). Smith ranks second in assists (6.6), third in 3-point field goal percentage (.529), fifth in assist/turnover ratio (2.75), sixth in steals (2.6) and ninth in scoring (15.4), 3-pointers made (1.8) and field goal percentage (.509).

Last Time Out ? Iowa’s Kristi Smith and Wendy Ausdemore combined to make all six of their free throw attempts in the final seconds to help propel the Hawkeyes to another come-from-behind road victory in the Big Ten, 71-67 at Indiana Thursday night. Lisa Bluder and the Hawkeyes collected the victory in her 700th career game as a head coach.

Trailing 55-46 with eight minutes remaining, the Hawkeyes staged another furious second-half comeback. Iowa outscored Indiana 25-12 the final eight minutes to come away with its fourth consecutive road win.

The Hawkeyes had four players score in double figures en route to victory. Sophomore Wendy Ausdemore led all scorers with 22. Sophomore Megan Skouby netted 14 of her 15 points in the second half, while sophomore Kristi Smith tallied 14 points, with four of her points coming at the foul line in the final seconds to help seal the victory.

Leading by only one (65-64), Kristi Smith drained two free throws, in a one-and-one situation, with 19 seconds remaining to give Iowa a three-point advantage (67-64). After a timeout, Smith proceeded to steal the inbounds pass and then drained another pair of free throws to give the Hawkeyes a five-point lead (69-64) with 17 seconds left. Ausdemore made two additional foul shots in the final seconds. Indiana made an insignificant 3-pointer at the buzzer to make the final score, 71-67.

Iowa missed 10 straight field goal attempts, failing to score for 8:30 minutes spanning halves. Indiana took advantage of the Hawkeyes’ scoring drought, closing the first half on a 16-3 run to claim an eight-point halftime advantage (34-26).

The Hoosiers also had four players in double figures, led by Sarah McKay. The senior posted a double-double (17 points, 10 rebounds) and blocked a game-high five shots. Jamie Braun contributed 12 points, Kim Roberson tallied 11 points and Nikki Smith added 10.

Free throw shooting and rebounding were two key elements that contributed to the outcome. Iowa shot 83 percent (19-23) at the foul line, compared to Indiana’s 59 percent (13-22). The Hawkeyes also outrebounded the Hoosiers by nine (46-37). Helping Iowa clear a season-high 46 rebounds was junior Krista VandeVenter and Skouby. VandeVenter pulled down a career-high 15 rebounds, while Skouby equaled a career best with nine boards.

Final Game Notes ? Thursday was the 50th meeting between Iowa and Indiana. Iowa improves to 37-13 in the series. The Hawkeyes have now won six of the last seven in the series. Thursday was the only regular season meeting between Iowa and Indiana.
? Iowa improves to 3-0 in games decided by four points or less this season; all three wins have come on the road in league play. The Hawkeyes overcame double-digit second half deficits in two of the victories (17 at Minnesota and 11 at Indiana).
? Wendy Ausdemore scored eight of her game-high 22 points in the first 5:30 minutes of the game. The sophomore made her first three field goal attempts, two of which were 3-pointers. Her performance marked the 11th time she has posted double figures this season. She also cleared six rebounds and had two assists and no turnovers.
? Iowa made 4-5 (.800) from 3-point range in the first half and finished the contest 6-10 (.600).
? Iowa made 8-13 (.615) from the floor to start the first stanza, but closed the half 1-11 (.091).
? Trailing by nine (55-46) midway through the second half, Iowa went on a 13-3 run to take a one-point advantage (59-58) with 4:21 left. Stacy Schlapkohl made back-to-back field goals to cap the run.
? Krista VandeVenter grabbed a career-high 15 rebounds, besting her previous best of 14. Megan Skouby pulled down nine rebounds for the second consecutive game, matching a career high.
? Thursday marked the 15th time Megan Skouby reached double figures and the 13th time for KristiSmith this year. Smith also had four second-half assists, after having none in the first half, and was credited with one crucial steal.
? Kristi Smith was 2-2 from 3-point range. The sophomore has made nine of her last thirteen 3-point attempts (.692).
? Iowa shot 40.4 percent (23-57) from the field, while Indiana made 36.9 percent (24-65) of its attempts.
? Thursday was the last time juniors Stacy Schlapkohl, Krista VandeVenter, Abby Emmert and Jenee Graham played in Assembly Hall at Indiana. The Hawkeyes only play the Hoosiers once next season, in Iowa City.

No Sophomore Slump ? Wendy Ausdemore and Megan Skouby have already cracked the top-five in sophomore records for 3-pointers made and blocks, respectively.

Ausdemore’s 36 triples rank second among sophomores. She needs 24 to tie record-holder Lindsey Meder’s mark of 60 established in 1999-2000.

Skouby’s 29 rejections rank third. She is 11 blocks from tying Toni Foster (1990-91). Tangela Smith (1996-97) is the record holder with 69. Furthermore, Skouby has 76 career blocks, which rank ninth-best in Iowa career annals. She needs two more to equal Lisa Long’s total of 78 for eighth place.

Trio ? Iowa is the only team with three players ranked in the top 10 in conference scoring. Wendy Ausdemore ranks fourth, Megan Skouby ranks eighth and Kristi Smith ranks ninth. The trio are also the only sophomores in the league ranked in the top 10.

Difficult Home Schedule ? Iowa’s first three conference home games come against the only Big Ten teams that are ranked. The Hawkeyes lost to seventh-ranked Ohio State (73-67) on Dec. 31 and 10th-ranked Purdue (68-58) on Jan. 3. Iowa hosts 20th-ranked Michigan State Sunday.

Smith Leads ? Kristi Smith has done a great job leading the Hawkeye offense as point guard. Smith ranks second in team scoring (12.8) and free throws made (66) and first in assists (4.39).

Smith has led the team in scoring six times, including scoring 20-plus points four times, and led the team in steals 12 times.

The native of Thornton, CO, has been on fire in the first five conference games. She ranks high in eight statistical categories in Big Ten Conference games only rankings: first in minutes played (36.6), second in assists (6.6), third in 3-point field goal percentage (.529), fifth in assist/turnover ratio (2.75), sixth in steals (2.6) and ninth in scoring (15.4), 3-pointers made (1.8) and field goal percentage (.509).

Triple Play ? Iowa has three players averaging double figures in scoring: Megan Skouby (14.7), Kristi Smith (12.8) and Wendy Ausdemore (12.1). The Hawkeyes’ top three scorers are sophomores.

Skouby Named to Watch List ? Megan Skouby is one of 50 of the country’s top collegiate women’s basketball players named as preseason candidates for the Naismith Trophy. The preseason watch list for the Naismith Trophy, which is presented to the men’s and women’s player of the year, was compiled by the Atlanta Tip-off Club’s Board of Selectors. The board based its preseason criteria on player performances from last season and expectations for the 2006-07 season.

RPI Ratings ? Iowa ranks 52nd, while Michigan State ranks 11th in the RPI rankings published on January 12, on Iowa’s strength of schedule ranks 30th, while Michigan State’s ranks fifth. Currently, the Big Ten Conference is the nation’s best rated league.

Attendance Rankings ? Iowa ranks 32nd nationally in attendance, averaging 3,446 fans. Iowa has ranked in the top-25 fifteen of the last 17 seasons.

Behind the Arc ? Iowa has three players who have drained over 20 triples this season, Wendy Ausdemore (36), Kristi Smith (22) and Lindsey Nyenhuis (21) — all of whom are sophomores.

As a team, Iowa ranks fifth in Big Ten 3-pointers made (4.67).

Graham Steps Up ? With Iowa’s leading rebounder (Krista VandeVenter) sidelined for the first seven contests, Jenee Graham stepped up and filled the rebounding void. She grabbed double-digit rebounds in 10-18 contests and has been Iowa’s leading rebounder in 13 games. Graham corralled a career-high 14 rebounds against Indiana State and Louisiana Tech.

Graham averages 5.3 points, 9.3 rebounds and 3.17 assists. The native of Bolingbrook, IL, ranks third in Big Ten rebounding (9.3) and 15th in assists (3.17). Graham has dished out four dimes or more eight times this year.

Graham led Iowa in scoring for the first time in her career when she netted a career-high 14 points vs. Northern Iowa.

Big Ten Rankings ? Iowa ranks first in Big Ten free throw percentage (.789), second in 3-point field goal percentage (.377), third in rebounds allowed (34.2), fourth in assist/turnover ratio (0.95) and fifth in 3-pointers made (4.67) and assists (16.22). Individually, Jenee Graham ranks third in rebounding (9.3) and ninth in assist/turnover ratio (1.3). Wendy Ausdemore ranks third in 3-point field goal percentage (.404) and fourth in 3-pointers made (2.0). Megan Skouby ranks fifth in scoring (14.7), third in free throw percentage (.869) and sixth in blocks (1.61). Kristi Smith ranks second in assists (4.39), fourth in free throw percentage (.857), sixth in assist/turnover ratio (1.39), 13th in scoring (12.8) and 15th in steals (1.83).

Jackson Five ? Iowa has had five players score 20 points or more in a single game this season. Kristi Smith has accomplished the feat five times, Wendy Ausdemore three times and Krista VandeVenter, Megan Skouby and Stacy Schlapkohl each once. The Hawkeyes have had a player score 21 points or more the last six games.

Freebies ? Iowa has made free throws when it counted — in the last five minutes of games. The Hawkeyes are 74-94 (.787) in the last five minutes, 36-47 (.766) under two minutes and 36-44 (.818) under a minute to play. Iowa made all six of its free throw attempts in the final 20 seconds, leading by single digits, at Indiana on Thursday.

Iowa has made 285-361 from the foul line this year. The Hawkeyes’ 78.9 percent shooting from the free throw line is tops in the Big Ten and sixth nationally. Iowa opponents are only 197-283 (.696) from the charity stripe.

Iowa is on pace to break the school record of 512 free throws made, set in 2002-03 and free throw percentage mark of 76.9 set in 2003-04.

Home, Away Comparisons ? Iowa has a higher free throw percentage on the road than at home. The Hawkeyes have converted 82.6 percent (152-184) of its road foul shots, compared to 75.1 percent (133-177) at home. Iowa averages 6.3 more points per game, 4.9 more assists and 1.5 more rebounds at home than on the road. Here are the home and away comparisons:

    FG%  3-PT%   FT% REB AST TO  PTSHome    .444    .373    .751    37.4    18.7    16.4    71.0Away    .431    .381    .826    35.9    13.8    17.7    64.7

Wins, Losses Comparisons ? There are big differentials in the stats between Iowa’s wins and losses. The Hawkeyes score an average of 13.8 more points and shoot 6.8 percent better from the field in their victories. Iowa averages 6.0 more rebounds and 2.5 more assists in wins than losses. Here are the wins and losses comparisons:

    FG%  3-PT%   FT% REB AST TO  PTSWins    .464    .398    .792    39.0    17.2    16.1    73.2Losses  .396    .396    .784    33.0    14.7    18.6    59.4

Hawkeyes Honored ? Sophomores Wendy Ausdemore and Megan Skouby were named to the KCRG-TV9 Hawkeye Challenge All-Tournament team. Skouby was recognized as the tournament’s Most Valuable Player.

Ausdemore Ties Record ? Wendy Ausdemore tied a Carver-Hawkeye Arena record by an Iowa player when she made five triples vs. Quinnipiac. The sophomore was 5-7 (.714) from behind the arc against the Bobcats. For the season, she is 36-89 (.404) from 3-point range.

Hi-Octane ? The 171 combined points in Iowa’s 88-83 win over Indiana State on Nov. 15, was the highest scoring game in Carver-Hawkeye Arena since a 94-83 loss to Minnesota in 2001.

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 Valuable 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Bluder Approaches Milestones ? After garnering her 300th Division I victory in Iowa’s regular season finale vs. Indiana last season, Bluder reached two additional coaching milestones in 2006-07. She coached in her 700th career game and 200th on the Iowa sidelines, both during conference play. The Marion, IA, native has coached in 700 career games (480-220, .685) and 202 contests (124-78, .612) on the Hawkeye sidelines.

In her first six years at Iowa, Bluder 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.

No Senior Starters ? For the first time under Coach Bluder, Iowa does not have a senior in the starting lineup. Iowa’s starting lineup includes three sophomores (Wendy Ausdemore, Kristi Smith and Megan Skouby) and two juniors (Jenee Graham and 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).

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

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).

Hy-Vee Cy-Hawk Series ? Iowa currently leads the third annual Hy-Vee Cy-Hawk Series 11-4 with only three events remaining. Iowa was victorious in women’s soccer (1-0, OT), football (27-17), wrestling (24-6) men’s basketball (77-59) and women’s swimming (181.5-117.5). Iowa State won volleyball (3-2) and women’s basketball (80-74).

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.

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 The duo will share their thoughts on practices, games, road trips, and everything else surrounding the program.

Hawkeyes Ink Two ? Kachine Alexander and Kelsey Cermak signed National Letters of Intent to attend the University of Iowa.

Alexander, a native of Minneapolis, 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 years. 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.

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.

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 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 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.

Fans can call toll-free at (877) 464-2957. The show originates from Bob’s Your Uncle restaurant on the eastside of Iowa City.

Big Ten Tournament Tickets on Sale ? All-session tickets for the 2007 Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament presented by Xbox Live are $65. Tickets can be purchased at the Conseco Fieldhouse box office, Ticketmaster outlets, or by calling Ticketmaster at (317) 239-5151.

The tournament returns to Indianapolis for the 12th time in 13 years and has attracted more than 30,000 fans for each of the last five events. The 2006 tournament attendance of 38,638 and session average of 7,728 were both event records. In the past 12 years of Big Ten Tournament play, the conference has welcomed more than 353,000 fans. Six different league representatives have become tournament champions. Purdue leads all teams with five titles followed by two championships for both Iowa and Penn State and a single title for Indiana, Michigan State and Ohio State.

On the Horizon ? Iowa will receive its first of two “byes” Thursday before returning to action at Michigan State in East Lansing, MI. The Hawkeyes return home to host Minnesota on Jan. 25 at 7:05 p.m. at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.