Iowa Remains on the Road at Fifth-Ranked Ohio State

Feb. 2, 2007

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The Setting ? Iowa (11-11, 3-6) will look to snap a four-game losing streak Sunday when it travels to Columbus, OH, to face fifth-ranked Ohio State (20-1, 9-0). Tip-off is slated for 1:05 p.m. (CST) at Value City Arena. Ohio State boasts a 25-game home winning streak, with its last loss coming to LSU (64-48) on December 15, 2005.

Sunday will mark the second time in five years that the Hawkeyes will play at Ohio State on “Super Bowl Sunday”.

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 930 games since beginning basketball in 1974. Overall, Iowa’s record is 565-365 (.608). That includes a 280-137 (.671) mark in Big Ten games and a 256-77 (.769) record in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Scouting #5 Ohio State ? Ohio State’s 20-1 record is its best start in school history. The Buckeyes have won 13 consecutive games and 36 of its last 37 regular season contests, dating back to last year. Ohio State routed Northwestern (66-42) Thursday night in Evanston, IL. Star Allen posted her second consecutive double-double (19 points, 15 rebounds) to lead the Buckeyes to victory.

Ohio State stands alone atop the Big Ten standings after Monday’s 64-55 triumph at Purdue. The Buckeyes and Boilermakers play only once during the regular season, so if Purdue and Ohio State were to finish the league schedule tied, the Buckeyes would own the tiebreaker.

In Monday’s contest, Purdue led by three points (33-30) at intermission, but was limited to 25 percent (8-32) shooting and was outscored 34-22 by the Buckeyes in the second half. Ohio State outrebounded Purdue by 11 (41-30) and was led by Jessica Davenport, Brandie Hoskins and Allen. Allen collected her first career double-double in posting game highs in points (21) and rebounds (13). Davenport contributed 12 points and eight rebounds, while Hoskins added 12 points and a game-high seven assists.

Davenport, who is the reigning two-time Big Ten Conference Player of the Year and all-American, ranks first in Big Ten scoring (18.5), rebounding (9.9), second in and field goal percentage (.623) and third in blocked shots (3.0). Hoskins ranks first in league assists (4.9) and fourth in scoring (14.8).

Ohio State is coached by Jim Foster, who is in his 29th year (626-254, .711) as a head coach and his fifth season (122-29, .808) with the Buckeyes. Foster is 7-0 against Iowa.

All-Time Series Record ? Sunday will be the 47th meeting between Iowa and Ohio State, with the Hawkeyes holding a slim 24-22 advantage in the series. Ohio State owns a 14-7 edge in games played in Columbus. The Buckeyes have won all six contests vs. the Hawkeyes in Value City Arena.

The Buckeyes have won the last seven in the series and eight of the last nine. Ohio State defeated the Hawkeyes 73-67 earlier this season at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on December 31, 2006. Iowa’s last victory over Ohio State came on Jan. 20, 2002 in Iowa City when the Hawkeyes won 70-65.

RPI Ratings ? Iowa ranks 85th, while Ohio State ranks fourth in the RPI rankings published on January 30, on Iowa’s strength of schedule ranks 38th, while Ohio State’s ranks 26th. Currently, the Big Ten is the fourth rated conference behind the SEC, Big XII and ACC.

Iowa, Ohio State Notes ? Iowa won its first three league road games by a combined eight points, including two by four points.
? Value City Arena is one of two Big Ten arenas Iowa Head Coach Lisa Bluder has not recorded a victory; the other being Purdue’s Mackey Arena. Earlier this season the Hawkeyes collected their first victory at Minnesota’s Williams Arena.
? Iowa and Ohio State have a storied rivalry. The Buckeyes defeated the Hawkeyes 73-72 in the 1993 Final Four semifinals. The two teams also met on Feb. 3, 1985 in Iowa City when 22,157 fans squeezed into Carver-Hawkeye Arena, shattering the NCAA attendance record. Ohio State won the contest, 56-47.
? Freshman Megan Skouby is the only Iowa player that hails from Ohio (Mentor). In fact, her grandfather palyed basketball for the Buckeyes.
? Iowa ranks fifth in the country in free throw percentage, 21st in 3-point field goal percentage and 45th in assists per game. Jenee Graham ranks 65th in the nation in rebounds per contest, Kristi Smith ranks 23rd in free throw percentage and Megan Skouby ranks 32nd in foul shooting and Wendy Ausdemore ranks 35th in 3-point field goal percentage.
? Ohio State ranks second nationally in field goal percentage, fourth in fewest fouls, eighth in assists, 13th in scoring margin and 26th in scoring offense. Jessica Davenport ranks second in the country in field goal percentage, 14th in blocked shots and 22nd in scoring and rebounding.
? Sunday’s game will feature two of the conference’s top 3-point shooters in Iowa’s Wendy Ausdemore and Ohio State’s Marscilla Packer. Ausdemore ranks second in Big Ten percentage (.402, 45-112), while Packer ranks fifth (.379, 36-95).
? Wendy Ausdemore has made two or more 3-pointers 15 times this season, including eight-of-nine Big Ten contests. Additionally, Kristi Smith has drained at least one triple in eight straight games.
? Sunday’s contest will also feature two of the league’s top point guards in Iowa’s Kristi Smith and Ohio State’s Brandie Hoskins. Smith ranks fourth in Big Ten assists (3.95) and 12th in scoring (13.2), while Hoskins ranks first in assists (4.9) and fifth in scoring (14.8).
? Iowa has three players who are shooting over 87.8 percent from the foul line in league contests. Wendy Ausdemore ranks first in the Big Ten (.950, 19-20), Kristi Smith ranks fourth (.906, 29-32) and Megan Skouby ranks eighth (.878, 36-41).
? Kristi Smith is four points from netting her 500th career point. She has played in 51 career games.
? Megan Skouby averages 4.1 free throws made per game and Kristi Smith averages 3.7 makes, which rank second and fourth in the Big Ten, respectively.
? Iowa is 99-11 when leading at the half in seven years under Coach Bluder. Iowa is 81-14 when holding opponents to 69 points or less, including a 33-1 mark when opponents score 59 points or less.
? Iowa is 10-0 when having a higher field goal percentage, 9-2 when opponents shoot less than 40 percent from 3-point range this season. The Hawkeyes are also 9-3 when having more assists.
? The Hawkeyes have lost all four of its games against ranked opponents this season (No. 7 Ohio State, No. 10 Purdue, No. 20 Michigan State and No. 21 Michigan State).
? Krista VandeVenter has grabbed 586 career rebounds and ranks 12th in Iowa career rebounding. She is 28 rebounds from tying Lynn Kennedy (614) for 11th.
? Kristi Smith ranks third in Iowa’s single-season sophomore rankings for 3-pointers made with 31. Classmate Wendy Ausdemore ranks second with 45.
? Iowa is 4-5 in games played on February 4, including winning the last three contests.

Road Warriors ? Iowa has compiled a 7-4 record in games away from Iowa City this season. The Hawkeyes have won four of their last six road games. Last season, Iowa was 6-9 in road games. The Hawkeyes are 4-7 in home contests this year. Iowa has lost its last five home games.

Iowa will conclude a stretch of playing five of seven road games on Sunday. The Hawkeyes conclude the regular season with four of six at home.

Iowa vs. Ranked Teams ? Sunday will be Iowa’s fifth game against a ranked opponent. 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 four games to ranked opponents this season (No. 7 Ohio State, No. 10 Purdue, No. 20 Michigan State and No. 21 Michigan State). 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

Last Time Out ? Five Penn State players scored double figures en route to a 78-71 victory over Iowa last Sunday at the Bryce Jordan Center. The win was the Lady Lions’ sixth straight over the Hawkeyes.

Iowa took command of the game early on the shoulders of Megan Skouby and Wendy Ausdemore. The duo scored 16 of Iowa’s first 20 points.

The Hawkeyes built a 15-point advantage (34-19) with 6:01 left in the first half. However, Iowa’s double-digit lead evaporated by halftime as the Hawkeyes missed their last seven field goal attempts of the half and Penn State took advantage of Iowa’s scoring drought, closing the half on a 17-0 run and taking a slim two-point advantage (36-34) into the half.

A Kristi Smith 3-pointer at the 13:27 mark of the second half gave the Hawkeyes its only lead of the second half (50-49). The Lady Lions responded by going on a 22-9 run to give them their largest lead 71-59 with 4:42 left. Iowa trimmed the deficit to five in the final minute, but would get no closer.

Junior Kam Gissendanner scored a team-high 18 points to lead the Lady Lions to their ninth home win of the year. Senior Amanda Brown posted her ninth double-double of the sedason, collecting 14 points and 12 rebounds. Brianne O’Rourke tallied 15 points, Tyra Grant contributed 12 and Rashida Mark added 11 for the home squad.

Iowa junior Krista VandeVenter netted a game-high 20 points on 6-12 shooting from the field and 8-9 from the foul line. The native of Osseo, MN, also grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds, to register her first double-double of the season and seventh of her career.

Skouby scored 19 points, while Ausdemore and Smith each netted 12. All 12 of Ausdemore’s points came in the first ten minutes of the contest when she was 4-5 from 3-point range; she missed her last seven shot attempts from the field.

Iowa out-rebounded Penn State by eight (40-32) and pulled down a season-high 19 rebounds in defeat. In addition to VandeVenter’s 13 boards, junior Jenee Graham corralled 11, marking the 11th time this season she has had double-digit rebounds.

Final Game Notes ? Sunday was the 30th meeting between Iowa and Penn State State. Penn State improved to 19-11 against Iowa. The Lady Lions have won six straight games against the Hawkeyes, including the last four at the Bryce Jordan Center. Penn State improved to 9-1 in homes games this season.
? The Hawkeyes have lost four straight, marking the first time Iowa has been defeated four consecutive times under Coach Bluder. The last time the Hawkeyes lost four consecutive games was in December during the 1999-00 season.
? Iowa wore pink shoelaces to recognize Breast Cancer Awareness.
? Megan Skouby’s 19 points are the most points she’s scored since Iowa’s game at Northwestern on Jan. 7 when she poured in 25.
? Krista VandeVenter grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds, two shy of a career high, to go along with her game-high 20 points. The 20 points mark only the second time in her career she eclipsed the 20-point plateau. VandeVenter collected her first double-double of the season and the seventh of her career. Sunday marked the second time VandeVenter corralled double-digit rebounds.
? Jenee Graham pulled down 11 rebounds, marking the 11th time this season she has cleared double figures in rebounds. Graham ranks fourth in Big Ten rebounding. She also scored six points and had a game-high four assists.
? Kristi Smith was 2-6 from 3-point range Sunday. The sophomore has made 18 of her last 28 (.643) 3-point attempts.

Smith Joining Iowa Point Guard Elite ? Kristi Smith’s numbers are resembling a previous Hawkeye point guard who was an honorable mention all-American honoree, Cara Consuegra.

Smith has amassed 169 assists so far her first two seasons, 82 her freshman year and 87 this year. The native of Thornton, CO, scored 206 points her freshman campaign and 290 so far this season for a total of 496.

Consuegra started her career with 94 assists her freshman year and 153 her sophomore season. She netted 97 points as a freshman and 309 as a sophomore for a total of 406.

Quoie Sidelined ? Freshman Zoraa Quoie is from Woodbury, MN, and has been declared academically ineligible for the remainder of the season. She will remain in school and attempt to regain her academic standing for the 2007-08 campaign. Quoie will be able to practice with the team, but will be unable to play in games or travel with the team. The 5-6 guard played sparingly in three games, averaging 2.0 points, 1.3 steals and 1.0 assists.

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 45 triples rank second among sophomores. She needs 15 to tie record-holder Lindsey Meder’s mark of 60 established in 1999-2000.

Skouby’s 32 rejections rank third. She is eight blocks from tying Toni Foster (1990-91) for second place. Tangela Smith (1996-97) is the record holder with 69. Furthermore, Skouby has 79 career blocks, which rank eighth-best in Iowa career annals. She needs only three more to equal Jerica Watson’s total of 82 for seventh place.

Solverson Update ? Senior Johanna Solverson will sit out the remainder of the 2006-07 season and apply for a sixth year of eligibility.

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.

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).

Double Trouble ? Sophomores Wendy Ausdemore and Kristi Smith have had a fantastic first half to the Big Ten schedule. In conference games only stats, Ausdemore ranks first in free throw percentage (.950, 19-20), second in 3-point field goal percentage (.511, 23-45) and 3-pointers made (2.56), ninth in field goal percentage (.466) and 13th in scoring (13.8). Smith ranks first in 3-point field goal percentage (.563, 18-32), fourth in assists (4.56) and free throw percentage (.906), fifth in assist/turnover ratio (1.46), sixth in scoring (15.2) and 3-pointers made (2.0), 11th in steals (1.78) and 15th in field goal percentage (.461).

Triple Play ? Iowa has a trio of sophomores averaging double figures in scoring: Megan Skouby (14.4), Kristi Smith (13.2) and Wendy Ausdemore (11.9).

Trio ? Iowa is the only team with three players ranked in the top 13 in conference scoring. Kristi Smith (15.2) ranks sixth, Megan Skouby (14.4) ranks ninth and Wendy Ausdemore (13.8) 13th. The trio are also three of the four highest sophomore scorers in the league, alongside Illinois’ Lori Bjork (15.4), who ranks fifth.

Smith Leads ? Kristi Smith has done a great job leading the Hawkeye offense as point guard. Smith ranks second in team scoring (13.2) and free throws made (79) and first in assists (4.00).

Smith has led the team in scoring seven times, including scoring 20-plus points a team-best five times, and led the team in steals 13 times.

The native of Thornton, CO, has been on fire the first half of conference play. She ranks high in nine statistical categories in league games only rankings: first in 3-point field goal percentage (.563) and minutes played (36.44), fourth in assists (4.56) and free throw percentage (.906), fifth in assist/turnover ratio (1.46), sixth in scoring (15.2) and 3-pointers made (2.0), 11th in steals (1.78) and 15th in field goal percentage (.446).

Jackson Five ? Iowa has had five players score 20 points or more in a single game this season. Kristi Smith has accomplished the feat a team-best six times, Wendy Ausdemore and Megan Skouby three times, Krista VandeVenter twice and Stacy Schlapkohl each once. The Hawkeyes have had a player score 20 points or more eight of the last 10 games.

Freebies ? Iowa has made free throws when it counted — in the last five minutes of games. The Hawkeyes are 90-112 (.804) in the last five minutes, 41-53 (.774) under two minutes and 42-52 (.807) 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 Jan. 11.

Iowa has made 357-455 from the foul line this year. The Hawkeyes’ 78.5 percent shooting from the free throw line is tops in the Big Ten and fifth nationally. Iowa opponents are only 260-374 (.695) from the charity stripe.

The Hawkeyes are well on their way to shattering the school free throw percentage record of .769 (433-563) established in 2002-03.

Home, Away Comparisons ? Iowa has a higher free throw percentage on the road than at home. The Hawkeyes have converted 82.0 percent (187-228) of its road foul shots, compared to 74.9 percent (170-227) at home. Iowa averages 6.4 more points per game, 4.2 more assists and 1.4 more rebounds at home than on the road. Here are the home and away comparisons:

    FG%  3-PT%   FT% REB AST TO  PTSHome    .437    .381    .749    37.2    17.8    16.8    70.9Away    .417    .371    .820    35.8    13.6    17.5    64.5

Wins, Losses Comparisons ? There are big differentials in the stats between Iowa’s wins and losses. The Hawkeyes score an average of 10.9 more points and shoot 7.3 percent better from the field in their victories. Iowa averages 5.0 more rebounds and 2.9 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  .391    .359    .776    34.0    14.3    18.2    62.3

Behind the Arc ? Iowa has three players who have drained over 23 triples this season, Wendy Ausdemore (45), Kristi Smith (31) and Lindsey Nyenhuis (23) — all of whom are sophomores.

As a team, Iowa ranks fourth in Big Ten 3-pointers made (4.77).

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 has grabbed double-digit rebounds 11 times 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 5.4 points, 8.7 rebounds and 3.09 assists. The native of Bolingbrook, IL, ranks fourth in Big Ten rebounding (8.7). Graham has dished out four dimes or more 11 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 (.785), second in 3-point field goal percentage (.376), third in assist/turnover ratio (0.92) and fourth in 3-pointers made (4.77) and rebounds allowed (34.3). Individually, Jenee Graham ranks fourth in rebounding (8.7) and sixth in assist/turnover ratio (1.36). Wendy Ausdemore ranks third in 3-point field goal percentage (.402) and fourth in 3-pointers made (2.05). Megan Skouby ranks fourth in free throw percentage (.858), eighth in blocks (1.45) and scoring (14.4). Kristi Smith ranks second in free throw percentage (.871), fourth in assists (3.95), ninth in assist/turnover ratio (1.19), 10th in 3-pointers made (1.41), 12th in scoring (13.2) and 15th in field goal percentage (.449).

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.

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.

Attendance Rankings ? Iowa ranks 34th nationally in attendance, averaging 3,487 fans. Iowa has ranked in the top-25 fifteen of the last 17 seasons.

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 45-112 (.402) from 3-point range.

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.

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.

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.

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 Hits 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 704 career games (480-224, .682) and 206 contests (124-82, .602) 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).

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.

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

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 360 are $65. Tickets can be purchased at the Conseco Fieldhouse box office, Ticketmaster outlets, or by calling Ticketmaster at (317) 239-5151.

More than 21,000 hotel rooms exist throughout the entire Indianapolis metropolitan area. Contact the Big Ten Housing Bureau at for hotel pricing information.

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 returns home to host Michigan on Feb. 8. The Hawkeyes then travel to Wisconsin on Feb. 11.