Hawkeyes Host Dartmouth in Season Opener

Nov. 9, 2007

Complete Release in PDF Format

The Iowa women’s basketball team will host Dartmouth in its season opener Sunday. Tip-off is slated for 2:05 p.m. at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for youths, while UI students will be admitted free. Fans who bring their Minnesota football game ticket stub will also be admitted for free.

Season ticket prices remain the same for the 2007-08 women’s basketball season. A reserved general public seat is $70. Season tickets for UI faculty and fans 55 and over are $56.

Brent Balbinot and Shelley Till will call Sunday afternoon’s game for the Hawkeye Radio Network. Hawkeye fans can listen to the contest on WHO 1040-AM in Des Moines, WMT 600-AM in Cedar Rapids and KXIC 800-AM in Iowa City. Balbinot is in his fourth season as Iowa’s play-by-play voice, while Till is in her third providing analysis.

? Hawkeye fans will be able to obtain the first of four trading card sets Sunday.
? Players will be available for autographs, after the game, on the concourse.
? During the second half of every home game, one lucky Hawkeye fan will win an iPod Shuffle, while another will win an iTunes gift card during “Big Ten SuperFan T-Shirt Toss”. Each winner will be included in a final drawing at Iowa’s home finale vs. Northwestern (Feb. 28) for an all-expenses-paid trip for two to the Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament in Indianapolis (March 6-10).

There are three game time changes for Iowa home games due to the contests being televised on KCRG in eastern Iowa. Hawkeye games vs. Detroit (Dec. 2) and Wisconsin (Jan. 13) have moved to 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., respectively. On Dec. 9, the game (KCRG Hawkeye Challenge championship or consolation) involving Iowa will be played at noon.

Iowa has played 938 games since beginning basketball in 1974. Overall, Iowa’s record is 568-370 (.605). That includes a 283-141 (.667) mark in Big Ten games and a 259-78 (.769) record in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Dartmouth finished second in the Ivy League standings a year ago after capturing the conference title in 2005 and 2006. The Big Green were 9-5 in league play, with four of their five defeats coming by fewer than seven points. Dartmouth finished the 2006-07 campaign with an RPI of 188.

Dartmouth returns seven players and welcomes six newcomers. The Big Green will have to replace last year’s Ivy League Player of the Year, Ashley Taylor. Taylor averaged 17.3 points and 5.2 rebounds per contest. Junior guard Koren Schram is Dartmouth’s top returning scorer (10.6 ppg), while senior forward Sydney Scott is their top returning rebounder (8.2 rpg). Scott was a second team all-Ivy honoree last season.

Dartmouth is coached by Chris Wielgus, who enters her 25th season as a collegiate head coach (367-254, .590). She has guided the Big Green the past 22 seasons (330-233, .586).

Iowa is a perfect 7-0 in season openers under Head Coach Lisa Bluder. Sunday will mark the sixth time the Hawkeyes will open the season at home.

Juniors Megan Skouby and Wendy Ausdemore paced the Hawkeyes in their final tune-up before Sunday’s opener vs. Dartmouth. Iowa downed Missouri Western by 23 points (79-56). Skouby posted team highs in points (14) and rebounds (8), while Ausdemore netted 10 points and grabbed six rebounds. Leading Iowa off the bench was redshirt sophomore JoAnn Hamlin who registered eight points and five rebounds.

Iowa outscored the Griffons 23-12 at the foul line, attempting 15 more free throws. Additionally, the Hawkeyes outrebounded Missouri Western by 18 (47-29).

The Hawkeyes cruised to a 73-51 victory over Nebraska-Omaha last Friday night in Iowa City. All 13 Hawkeyes netted at least two points and grabbed two rebounds or more.

Iowa built a 20-point cushion (24-4) 10:30 into the contest and never looked back. The Hawkeyes, who ranked third in the country in 3-pointers a year ago, drained their first five attempts from behind the arc. For the game, Iowa finished shooting 50 percent (8-16) from 3-point distance.

Leading the Hawkeyes were junior starters Wendy Ausdemore and Kristi Smith. Ausdemore netted 10 points in only 19 minutes of action, while Smith contributed nine points in 22 minutes. Junior Lindsey Nyenhuis added eight points in 13 minutes off the bench.

Iowa has been picked to finish fifth in the Big Ten by a selected media panel and seventh by the league coaches. Ohio State, a team that has won outright or shared the last three regular season conference titles, is picked to win its fourth straight. Wisconsin senior Jolene Anderson was selected as the pre-season Player of the Year by both voting groups.

? Sunday will be the first meeting between Iowa and Dartmouth. Sunday marks Iowa’s second contest ever against an Ivy League opponent. The Hawkeyes defeated Princeton (59-44) in 1998 at Iowa City.
? Dartmouth’s 13-player roster consists of student-athletes from 10 different states, including Iowa. Senior co-captain Kristen Craft hails from Marshalltown. Additionally, eight of the Big Green’s players are underclassmen, including five freshmen.
? Dartmouth’s Margaret and Brittney Smith are sisters from Fort Worth, TX. Margaret is a sophomore, while Brittney is a freshman. Both stand six-feet-one.
? Megan Skouby (84) is only two blocks from matching fifth-place Cathy Marx’s total of 86 on Iowa’s career blocks list. Also, Johanna Solverson (802) is only seven points from equaling 28th-place Laurie Aaron’s total of 809 on the Hawkeyes’ career scoring chart.
? Dartmouth opens its season playing seven of its first nine games on the road. After opening the season in Iowa City Sunday, the Big Green visit Maine Nov. 15. Dartmouth also plays at Denver (Dec. 19) and Colorado (Dec. 21).

Head Coach Lisa Bluder, the dean of the Big Ten coaches, begins the 2007-08 season only 17 victories from reaching her 500th career win. Bluder amassed 127 wins at St. Ambrose (1984-1990), 187 victories at Drake (1990-2000) and 127 triumphs at Iowa (2000-07).

The Hawkeyes could play 22 of 29 regular season games against teams that competed in 2007 post-season tournaments, including seven that participated in the NCAA Tournament. Iowa will play 18 games (two exhibitions) inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena, the most regular season home contests in school history. Iowa will only leave the state twice the first two months of the season (at the Caribbean Challenge in Cancun, Mexico, November 22-23 and at Michigan, December 30). Additionally, Iowa will have a 12-day layoff between games in mid-December (Dec. 9-22).

Four of Iowa’s opponents this season are ranked in pre-season publications (Arizona State, Michigan State, Ohio State and Wisconsin). Arizona State (12), Ohio State (16), Michigan State (18) and Purdue (20) are ranked in the USA Today/ESPN Pre-season poll.

Iowa will honor and celebrate the 1992-93 team that posted a 27-4 overall record, captured first place in the Big Ten with a 16-2 mark and advanced to the Final Four in Atlanta. The team will be recognized at halftime of the February 17th game vs. Minnesota.

Iowa returns third team all-Big Ten performers Wendy Ausdemore and Kristi Smith and honorable mention honoree Megan Skouby from a year ago. All three juniors averaged double figures last season to lead the Black and Gold. Smith averaged a team-best 13.4 points, followed by Skouby (13.2) and Ausdemore (12.7).

Johanna Solverson has been granted a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA after missing the last two seasons due to consecutive ACL tears in her right knee. The 6-2 small forward played in all but one game her first three seasons. One of Iowa’s most versatile players, she boasts a career average of 8.5 points, 4.3 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.67 steals in 94 games.

Solverson becomes only the second Iowa women’s basketball player to receive a sixth year from the NCAA. Simone Edwards (1993-97) received a sixth year after suffering two season-ending knee injuries. Edwards played two full seasons and a partial third with the Hawkeyes after transferring to Iowa from Seminole Junior College.

Last season, Iowa ranked second in the country in 3-point field goal percentage (.402), fifth in free throw percentage (.788) and 23rd in assists (16.0). Individually, Wendy Ausdemore ranked 14th in the nation in 3-point field goal percentage (.416) and Kristi Smith ranked 21st in free throw percentage (.858).

Iowa adds two freshmen and one sophomore transfer to its roster this season. After transferring to Iowa from Kansas State and not competing in games last season, JoAnn Hamlin (Douglass, KS) is a welcome addition. Also added to the mix are freshmen Kachine Alexander (Minneapolis, MN) and Kelsey Cermak (Norwalk, IA).

After sitting out last season due to transfer rules, sophomore JoAnn Hamlin is ready to hit the hardwood.

As a freshman at Kansas State in 2005-06, Hamlin started 31-of-33 games, averaging 10.0 points and 4.6 rebounds.

In three exhibiton contests against the Greek National Team this past May, Hamlin averaged 10.3 points and 5.0 rebounds.

Iowa’s roster features five players from the state of Iowa (Wendy Ausdemore, Kelsey Cermak, Abby Emmert, Stacy Schlapkohl and Nicole VanderPol). The Hawkeyes also have two players from Illinois (Jenee Graham and Johanna Solverson) and Minnesota (Kachine Alexander and Krista VandeVenter). Iowa’s 13-person roster also features players from Colorado (Kristi Smith), Kansas (JoAnn Hamlin), Michigan (Lindsey Nyenhuis) and Ohio (Megan Skouby).

Iowa Hawkeye fans will again be treated to behind-the-scenes information this season as seniors Jenee Graham and Johanna Solverson and junior Lindsey Nyenhuis will blog during the season, which will be posted on hawkeyesports.com. The trio will share their thoughts on practices, games, road trips, and everything else concerning the program.

Statistics and play-by-play accounts of all 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 6-7 p.m. The first show is set for November 12.

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.

Iowa will have only one day to prepare for Drake as the Hawkeyes host the Bulldogs Tuesday night at 7:05 p.m. Drake, who won the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament last March, has been picked as the preseason favorite to win its Conference this season.