Hawkeyes Entertain Drake Tuesday Night

Nov. 12, 2007

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The Iowa Hawkeyes (1-0) will host its second game in three days Tuesday when it welcomes the Drake Bulldogs (0-1) to Iowa City. Tip-off is slated for 7:05 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 Tuesday night’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.

? 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 939 games since beginning basketball in 1974. Overall, Iowa’s record is 569-370 (.606). That includes a 283-141 (.667) mark in Big Ten games and a 260-78 (.769) record in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Drake opened its season with a 78-66 setback to UW-Green Bay last Friday at the Knapp Center in Des Moines. The Phoenix shot 66.7 percent (10-15) from 3-point range en route to victory. Leading the way for the Bulldogs was Jordann Plummer, Lindsey Whorton and Jill Martin. Plummer netted a game-high 20 points, Whorton tallied 16 points, while Martin contributed 15 points and a game-high seven rebounds.

Despite finishing the 2006-07 campaign with an RPI of 185, the Bulldogs competed in the NCAA Tournament by virtue of winning the Missouri Valley Tournament title. Drake has been picked to win the Missouri Valley regular season title this year. Additionally, senior Brandy Dahir was named to the preseason all-league squad.

Martin and Plummer return to the Bulldogs after receiving medical redshirts last season. Martin played in only five games, while Plummer competed in only six. Martin was Drake’s leading scorer (20.0) and rebounder (6.8) last season before suffering a season-ending back injury. Plummer averaged 9.0 points and 4.5 rebounds before sustaining a season-ending broken foot. Neither played in last year’s game against the Hawkeyes.

Drake is coached by Amy Stephens, who is in her 14th season as a collegiate head coach (258-105, .711). She has guided the Bulldogs the past five seasons (61-62, .496).

Drake leads the all-time series, 24-15, but recently the series has been dominated by the Hawkeyes. Iowa has won the last five meetings, including last year’s 77-70 win at Des Moines. The Bulldogs hold a slim 10-8 advantage in contests played in Iowa City, but the Hawkeyes have won the last two games at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Iowa is 47-35 (.573) against teams from the Missouri Valley Conference, including winning 12 of the last 14 contests.

Iowa Head Coach Lisa Bluder coached 10 successful seasons at Drake before joining the Hawkeyes. Associate Head Coach Jan Jensen and Assistant Coach Jenni Fitzgerald both played and coached at Drake. Jensen is one of only two Drake women’s basketball players to have her uniform number retired. Last February, Jensen was one of four former Drake student-athletes to receive the Drake Double D Award. The award is the highest honor Drake bestows on its student-athletes.

? Iowa Head Coach Lisa Bluder is 5-2 against her former team.
? Iowa is 53-25 (.679) in non-conference contests under Coach Bluder.
? Iowa post players Krista VandeVenter and Megan Skouby have had success against Drake. VandeVenter averages 15.0 points and 7.7 rebounds in three games, while Skouby averages 17.5 points in two contests. In her first start after returning from an injury last year, VandeVenter poured in a game and career-high 23 points (8-8 FG, 7-9 FT) and corralled seven rebounds to spark the Hawkeyes to victory at the Knapp Center.
? Drake’s Lindsay Whorton has sank 199 career 3-pointers, which ranks fourth in school history. The senior was 4-10 (.400) from behind the arc in the Bulldogs’ season opener.
? Iowa is 103-12 when leading at the half in eight years under Coach Bluder. Iowa is 83-15 when holding opponents to 69 points or less, including a 35-1 mark when opponents score 59 points or less.
? Iowa’s next two contests are against in-state competition. The Hawkeyes host Drake Tuesday and then play at Northern Iowa Sunday.
? Megan Skouby (87) is only seven blocks from matching fourth-place Jaime Cavey’s total of 94 on Iowa’s career blocks list. Also, Johanna Solverson (810) is only nine points from equaling 27th-place Leah Magner’s total of 819 on the Hawkeyes’ career scoring chart.
? Drake opens the season with three of four games at home, with Tuesday’s game in Iowa City being the lone road contest. The Bulldogs entertain Sacramento State Friday and Weber State Sunday.

Krista VandeVenter sparked the Iowa Hawkeyes scoring a game and career-high 23 points en route to a 77-70 win at Drake, Dec. 22, 2006.

VandeVenter, who returned to the starting lineup for the first time of the season, made all eight of her field goal attempts and was 7-9 from the foul line in leading the Hawkeyes to their fifth consecutive win over the Bulldogs. In addition to her offensive production, VandeVenter grabbed seven rebounds and collected a steal.

Iowa, who led start-to-finish, started the game on an 18-9 run in the first nine minutes to gain control of the contest. Iowa had good balanced scoring as eight Hawkeyes scored four points or more in its non-conference finale.

Iowa led by as much as 15 (31-16) in the first half, but Drake rallied with a 12-3 run to trim the deficit to six (34-28) with just over a minute remaining. However, the Hawkeyes scored the last five points of the half and reestablished an 11-point advantage (39-28) at intermission.

Drake opened the second stanza on a 10-4 run in the first three minutes to cut Iowa’s lead to five (43-38). Iowa withstood the Bulldog early push and rebuilt a 10-point lead (60-50) midway through the half.

Drake was plagued by horrendous free throw shooting, making only 39 percent (9-23) from the charity stripe. Iowa made 71 percent (20-28) of its attempts.

Megan Skouby contributed 16 points, eight of which came in the first even minutes of the game. Abby Emmert netted nine points and Lindsey Nyenhuis added eight. Jenee Graham continued her dominance on the glass, pulling down a game-high 11 rebounds.

The Bulldogs were led by its two leading scorers, Brandy Dahir and Lindsay Whorton. Dahir scored 22 points and grabbed eight rebounds, while Whorton netted 17 points.

Iowa shot 51 percent (27-53) from the field and had only 10 turnovers.

Iowa used a 12-0 run that spanned both halves to help pull away from Dartmouth in the Hawkeyes’ 61-43 season-opening victory Sunday afternoon at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The 43 points is the fewest an Iowa team has yielded since holding UW-Milwaukee to 42 in an 82-42 triumph in the season opener two years ago (Nov. 20, 2005).

Three Hawkeyes scored double figures to lead the team to victory. Juniors Wendy Ausdemore and Kristi Smith had 12 points each, while senior Krista VandeVenter added 11. Smith also dished out seven assists, while VandeVenter pulled down five rebounds. All 12 Ausdemore points came via the long ball, draining 4-7 (.571) from behind the arc.

Iowa held the Big Green to 27.8 percent (15-54) shooting and forced 18 turnovers. The Hawkeyes shot 60 percent (12-20) from the field in the second half and 42.1 percent (8-19) from 3-point range for the game. Twenty-two of Iowa’s 25 field goals were assisted.

? Kristi Smith played the most minutes (27) for the Hawkeyes.
? Iowa improved to 8-0 in season openers, under Coach Bluder, with the 18-point victory over Dartmouth. The Hawkeyes also improve to 2-0 against Ivy League teams.
? The Hawkeyes’ leading rebounder was freshman guard Kachine Alexander, who pulled down six rebounds.
? Junior Megan Skouby blocked three shots, all in the first half, raising her career total to 87. Her totals against Dartmouth move her past Cathy Marx and into fifth place in career rejections at Iowa.
? Senior Johanna Solverson played in her first regular season game in two years (sat out last two seasons with ACL injuries). The native of Lake Zurich, IL, scored eight points in 17 minutes off the bench. She now has 810 career points and moved past Laurie Aaron and into 28th place in all-time scoring at Iowa.
? Iowa went on a 12-0 run spanning the first and second halves to build a comfortable 14-point margin. The Hawkeyes led by as many as 19 in the contest.
? Iowa’s bench outscored Dartmouth’s bench, 22-9.

Head Coach Lisa Bluder, the dean of the Big Ten coaches, is only 16 victories from reaching her 500th career win. Bluder amassed 127 wins at St. Ambrose (1984-1990), 187 victories at Drake (1990-2000) and 128 triumphs at Iowa (2000-07).

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.

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).

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

The Hawkeyes will be looking to avenge last year’s loss to Northern Iowa as Iowa travels to Cedar Falls Sunday. Tip-off is slated for 3:05 p.m. at the McLeod Center.

Click HERE for the Big Ten Network home page.