Hawkeyes to Host Wake Forest in Big Ten/ACC Challenge

April 17, 2007

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Iowa’s men’s basketball team will host Wake Forest Monday, Nov. 26 in the initial game of the 2007 Big Ten/ACC Challenge. Game time is 6:05 p.m. CT and the contest will be televised on ESPN2.

Iowa is 2-4 in the Challenge after a 69-65 loss at Virginia Tech a year ago. The Hawkeyes hosted a home game in the 2005 event, recording a 45-42 win over North Carolina State. Iowa lost to Maryland, in Baltimore, in 2000, defeated Georgia Tech in 2001 in Iowa City, lost at Florida State in 2003 and lost to Duke, in Chicago, in 2002. Iowa did not take part in the event in 2003-04 and 2004-05.

“Having a home game in this event adds an exciting challenge to our schedule,” said Iowa Coach Todd Lickliter. “Wake Forest has an excellent basketball tradition. We know we will face a talented, well-coached team from the Atlantic Coast Conference.”

Wake Forest holds a 2-0 series advantage over Iowa, with both games taking place at neutral sites. The Demon Deacons defeated Iowa 92-71 in 1974-75 at the Far West Classic in Pullman, WA. Wake Forest also scored an 84-78 win over Iowa in the second round of the 1993 NCAA Tournament in Nashville, TN.

The Demon Deacons were 15-16 last season, ending a streak of 16 consecutive post-season appearances. Wake Forest posted a 5-11 conference record (T10th) last season. Wake Forest has posted a 6-1 record in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. Coach Skip Prosser holds a six-year record of 126-68 at Wake Forest and his career mark is 291-146 in 13 seasons.

Wake Forest will return four starters, losing only Kyle Visser from the starting line-up. Visser led the team in both scoring and rebounding a year ago. Ishmael Smith, as a freshman last season, led the Atlantic Coast Conference in assists (6.0) and is the leading returning scorer at 8.7 points per game.

Iowa returns four starters from a 2007 squad that posted a 17-14 overall record, its seventh straight winning season. The Hawkeyes were 9-7 in Big Ten action and tied for fourth place.

Forward Tyler Smith averaged 14.9 points per game and led the team with a 4.9 rebounding average. Smith also led the team in steals (45) and was second in assists (111). Guard Tony Freeman led the team in assists (116) and ranked third in scoring (7.5) and steals (33).

Iowa’s 2007 squad featured two seniors. Adam Haluska led the Big Ten Conference in scoring (20.5), earning first team all-Big Ten and honorable mention all-America honors. Mike Henderson averaged 5.8 points after missing the first seven games with a hand injury.

For the third straight year, the Big Ten/ACC Challenge includes 11 games over a three-day period. For the second straight year, there are no neutral site games.

The Tuesday, Nov. 27 schedule includes Georgia Tech at Indiana, Minnesota at Florida State, Northwestern at Virginia, Wisconsin at Duke and Purdue at Clemson. The event concludes Wednesday, Nov. 28 with North Carolina State at Michigan State, Illinois at Maryland, Boston College at Michigan, North Carolina at Ohio State and Virginia Tech at Penn State.

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