Hawkeyes Have Many Positives to Build On

March 5, 2007

The 2006-07 Iowa women’s basketball’s season had its ups-and-downs. Entering the season, the Hawkeyes knew that a challenging schedule confronted a youthful group with no seniors. Couple Iowa’s demanding schedule with untimely injuries to frontcourt starters Megan Skouby and Krista VandeVenter, and the decision of Johanna Solverson to not return this season, Iowa was never able to get on a positive roll.

“This was definitely a learning year for us,” said junior co-captain VandeVenter. “It didn’t go as well as we thought it would. We’re in a unique position that we get everyone back. So, I think that will be good for next year. But we’re just going to evaluate ourselves and work harder this summer and we’ll have a better year next year.”

In addition to everyone returning, in 2007-08, Iowa will also add freshmen Kelsey Cermak and Kachine Alexander and Kansas State transfer JoAnn Hamlin. The Hawkeyes also hope to regain the services of sophomore guard Zoraa Quoie and redshirt senior forward Johanna Solverson. Quoie was not able to play during the second semester due to academics, while Solverson will be applying for a sixth-year of eligibility.

Iowa will return to the court in international competition in May when the squad travels to Greece. The Hawkeyes are scheduled to play three exhibition games. Iowa’s 2007-08 schedule will be released in August.

Although the 2006-07 season did not yield post season play, there were a number of team and individual highlights the Hawkeyes can build on. Below is a list of bright spots from this past season…

  • Iowa captured the WBCA Classic and KCRG-TV9 Hawkeye Challenge tournament titles.
  • Iowa was the only Big Ten team with two underclassmen recognized on all-conference teams. Wendy Ausdemore and Kristi Smith were honored on the third team. Additionally, Megan Skouby earned honorable mention laurels.
  • The Hawkeyes played the 25th-most difficult schedule in the country, including one of the toughest conference schedules having to play the top three teams in the league each twice. Iowa finished only one game from fifth place in the Big Ten standings. Iowa’s 25th-rated strength of schedule is its highest since playing the 12th toughest in 2003-04.
  • Iowa recorded seven road victories in 2006-07; the Hawkeyes tallied six in 2005-06.
  • Iowa rallied from a 17-point second-half deficit and ultimately won at Minnesota (58-56) on Dec. 28. The 17-point rally is the second-largest in school history. The win was Iowa’s first at Williams Arena under Coach Lisa Bluder.
  • Iowa broke the school record for free throw and 3-point field goal accuracy. The Hawkeyes’ 78.8 percent free throw percentage and 40.2 percent 3-point field goal percentage ranks first and third in Big Ten single-season history, respectively.
  • Iowa finished the season ranked second in the country in 3-point accuracy and fourth in free throw percentage. Individually, Wendy Ausdemore ranked 16th nationally in 3-point field goal percentage, while Kristi Smith and Megan Skouby ranked 19th and 28th, respectively, in free throw percentage.
  • Iowa broke the school record and Carver-Hawkeye Arena record for free throws made in a single-game when it sank 33 vs. Indiana State on Nov. 15. The Hawkeyes’ 43 attempts against the Sycamores is an arena record for foul shot attempts. Iowa also converted 31-38 from the charity stripe against Wisconsin at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Feb. 25. The 31 free throws made and 38 attempts are new arena records for a Big Ten game. Not to be outdone, Iowa converted 14-15 (.933) from the free throw line against Illinois on Feb. 18, which matches the Iowa arena and school conference single-game record for accuracy.
  • Kristi Smith finished the season converting (45-91, .495) from behind the 3-point arc, a percentage that ranks second-best in Iowa single-season annals. Wendy Ausdemore’s 41.6 percentage (62-149) ranks seventh-best.
  • Iowa poured in 56 second-half points against the Badgers on Feb. 25 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena, which is an arena record for second half points.
  • Iowa was 7-8 (.875) from 3-point territory in its 79-72 triumph over Penn State on Feb. 18. The 87.5 percent shooting behind the arc broke the Carver-Hawkeye Arena record and tied the Big Ten single-game mark for percentage.
  • Iowa converted 14-15 (.933) from the foul line against Illinois on Feb. 15. The 93.3 percent free throw percentage tied a Carver-Hawkeye Arena record by an Iowa team. The Hawkeyes also made 14-15 (.933) against the Fighting Illini on Dec. 28, 1998.
  • Wendy Ausdemore tied the Carver-Hawkeye Arena record for 3-pointers made by an Iowa player when she drained five vs. Quinnipiac on Nov. 17. She bested that performance by sinking six vs. Wisconsin on Feb. 25 to establish a new arena record. The six triples was one shy of Lindsey Meder’s school-record of seven treys set on Dec. 31, 2000, also against the Badgers.
  • Wendy Ausdemore was named to the Academic All-District second team. The pre-business major, who boasts a 3.83 GPA, was the only sophomore named to either the first or second District team.
  • Kristi Smith finished the season with 402 points and 124 assists. The sophomore became the first Iowa underclassman to amass over 400 points and 100 assists in a single-season. In fact, the feat has been accomplished only four other times by two other players (Jolette Law and Michelle Edwards) in Hawkeye history.
  • In her first start since recovering from a dislocated right shoulder, Krista VandeVenter netted a career-high 23 points on 8-8 shooting from the field and 7-9 from the free throw line at Drake on Dec. 22. The perfect shooting was one field goal made and attempt from equaling Jamie Cavey’s (9-9, 1.000) school record, which was set on March 23, 2003 against Marquette.
  • Iowa’s 103-point outburst vs. Wisconsin was a season high by a Big Ten team in 2006-07 and marked only the fifth time in school history the Hawkeyes netted over 100 points. The 103 points is the second-highest scoring output in school annals and is a Carver-Hawkeye Arena record.
  • Wendy Ausdemore missed only one free throw attempt (39-40, .975) during the 16-game conference season; her 97.5 percent shooting from the charity stripe is a school record and ranks second in Big Ten history during league play. Additionally, she converted 55-61 (.902) from the foul line, a school record for single-season free throw accuracy.
  • Iowa was the only Big Ten team with two players, both sophomores, ranked in the top-seven in scoring during conference play. Wendy Ausdemore, who averaged 10.6 points in non-conference action, improved to 15.2 per contest in Big Ten play and finished ranked fifth. Kristi Smith was only three points behind Ausdemore and was seventh, averaging 15 points per Big Ten game.
  • Iowa was the only league team with three players who made 39 triples or more in 2006-07. Wendy Ausdemore led the Hawkeyes with 62, followed by Kristi Smith (45) and Lindsey Nyehuis (39). Ausdemore’s 62 triples broke Lindsey Meder’s (60) mark for 3-pointers in a single-season by a sophomore. Smith’s 45 treys rank third by an Iowa sophomore, while Nyenhuis’ 39 rank fourth.
  • Last year, after starting center Stacy Schlapkohl suffered a season-ending knee injury, Megan Skouby filled the role successfully. This year, after Megan Skouby was sidelined with an injury, Nicole VanderPol stepped in and made the most of her increased role. VanderPol averaged 3.5 points, in a limited role, in the first 24 games, but averaged 11.5 points the last six. She also posted team highs in rebounding twice and scoring once.
  • With Iowa’s leading rebounder (Krista VandeVenter) sidelined for the first seven games of the season, Jenee Graham stepped up and filled the rebounding void. Graham pulled down double-digit rebounds 11 times and was the Hawkeyes leading rebounder 15 times. Graham finished the season ranked fourth in Big Ten rebounding (7.8).
  • Iowa’s five-member sophomore class was responsible for 69 percent of its offense (1,408 of 2,034 points).

Listed below are records broken in 2006-07
Free Throw Percentage (Season) — 461-585 (.788)*
3-Point Field Goal Percentage (Season) — 157-391 (.402)
Free Throws Made (Game) — 33, vs. Indiana State, 11/15/06
Free Throws Attempted (CHA) — 43, vs. Indiana State, 11/15/06
Free Throw Percentage (CHA Game) — .933 (14-15) vs. Illinois, 2/15/07^
Free Throws Made (CHA Big Ten Game) — 31, vs. Wisconsin, 2/25/07
Free Throws Attempted (CHA Big Ten Game) — 38, vs. Wisconsin, 2/25/07
Second Half Points (CHA Record) — 56, vs. Wisconsin, 2/25/07
3-Pointers Made (CHA Record by Iowa Player) — 6, Wendy Ausdemore vs. Wisconsin, 2/25/07
Free Throw Percentage (Season) — .902 (55-61), Wendy Ausdemore
Free Throw Percentage (Big Ten Season) — .975 (39-40), Wendy Ausdemore
3-Pointers Made (Sophomore Season) — 62, Wendy Ausdemore

* also a Big Ten single-season record
^ tied Carver-Hawkeye Arena record