Iowa Travels to Northern Iowa Sunday

Nov. 14, 2007

Complete Release in PDF Format

The Iowa Hawkeyes (1-0) travel to Cedar Falls Sunday to face in-state rival Northern Iowa (1-1). Tip-off is slated for 3:05 p.m. at the McLeod Center. Sunday will be Iowa’s first visit to the McLeod Center. The Hawkeyes will be looking to avenge last season’s 83-62 loss to the Panthers in Iowa City.

Brent Balbinot and Shelley Till will call Sunday afternoon’s game for the Hawkeye Radio Network. The contest will be joined in progress after the Iowa men’s game on WHO 1040-AM in Des Moines, WMT 600-AM in Cedar Rapids and KXIC 800-AM in Iowa City. Fans can listen to the entire game live on (All-Access). Balbinot is in his fourth season as Iowa’s play-by-play voice, while Till is in her third providing analysis.

Sunday’s game against the Hawkeyes concludes a four-game homestand to open the season for the Panthers. Northern Iowa opened the season with a 72-58 triumph over Colorado State, but lost, 68-57, to Minnesota Tuesday. The Panthers will only have one day to prepare for the Hawkeyes as they host Weber State Friday night.

The Panthers’ top two scorers, through two games, came off the bench: Nicole Clausen (11.5) and Kristin Iehl (10.5). Freshman starting guard Erin Brocka is Northern Iowa’s top rebounder (7.0). Brocka also averages 8.0 points and 2.0 blocks.

Northern Iowa has been picked to finish eighth in the Missouri Valley Conference by a league voting panel. The Panthers lost seven letterwinners, including three starters, from a team that went 17-13 and tied for fourth in the conference a year ago. Northern Iowa is an extremely young team, with six freshmen and five sophomores. The Panthers have only two seniors and one junior on their roster.

Tanya Warren is in her first season as Northern Iowa’s head coach after Tony DiCecco retired following 11 seasons on the Panther sidelines. The native of Des Moines, served as the associate head coach at Creighton the last three seasons before taking over at Northern Iowa.

Sunday will be just the 13th meeting between Iowa and Northern Iowa, with the Hawkeyes leading the series, 10-2. Iowa won 10 straight before the Panthers snapped the losing skid with an 83-62 victory in Iowa City last season. The Hawkeyes hold a commanding 5-1 advantage in contests played in Cedar Falls. Iowa won the last game played in Cedar Falls (65-54) in 2005.

Iowa is 48-35 (.578) against teams from the Missouri Valley Conference, winning 13 of the last 15 contests.

Iowa Head Coach Lisa Bluder graduated from Northern Iowa in 1983 with a bachelor’s degree in marketing. She was a three-year starter for the Panthers.

? Iowa is 53-25 (.679) in non-conference contests under Coach Bluder.
? Iowa post players Krista VandeVenter and Megan Skouby have had success against Northern Iowa. VandeVenter averages 6.0 points and 7.7 rebounds in three games, while Skouby has averaged 9.0 points and 4.0 rebounds. Active Iowa players combined for only 3-12 (.250) from 3-point range against the Panthers.
? Iowa and Northern Iowa play six common opponents: Minnesota, Drake, Western Illinois, Northern Illinois, Detroit and Iowa State.
? Northern Iowa has amassed 40 turnovers in its first two games. ? Iowa shot exactly 43.4 percent from the field in each of its first two victories.
? Iowa is 104-12 when leading at the half in eight years under Coach Bluder. Iowa is 84-15 when holding opponents to 69 points or less, including a 36-1 mark when opponents score 59 points or less.
? Megan Skouby (91) is only three blocks from matching fourth-place Jaime Cavey’s total of 94 on Iowa’s career blocks list. Johanna Solverson (815) is only four points from equaling 27th-place Leah Magner’s total of 819 on the Hawkeyes’ career scoring chart. Wendy Ausdemore is only four triples from tying Tiffany Reedy’s seventh-place mark of 93 career 3-pointers.
? After Sunday, Northern Iowa will play eight of its next 10 games on the road, including a stretch of five consecutive contests (Dec. 7-29).
? Sunday will be Iowa’s second straight game against an in-state rival.

Northern Iowa sank a Carver-Hawkeye Arena record 14 triples en route to an 83-62 victory over Iowa.

The victory was only the second in 12 games all-time in the series for UNI and the first in Iowa City.

The Panthers were in command from start-to-finish as a result of their hot shooting. The visitors drained 28-51 from the field, including a school-record 14-25 (.560) from behind the arc. UNI’s previous record for triples in a game was 11. The previous record for treys by a team in Carver-Hawkeye Arena was 11. Iowa nailed 11 against Colorado during the 2000-01 season.

The Hawkeyes committed 20 turnovers in the game, but 12 came in the first half alone when the visitors were racing to leads that often reached the mid-20s. Iowa managed to trim the margin to 42-27 at intermission.

However, the Panthers went right back to the well in the second stanza, taking a 47-27 lead at the 18:22 mark of the second half. The Panthers’ lead surpassed 30 five minutes later.

Megan Keefe paced a group of four Panthers who scored double figures with 19 points. Sarah Larsen added 15, Jessie Biggs 12 and Traci Ollendieck 12.

Ollendieck, who was a perfect 4-4 from behind the arc, was one of seven Panthers who made 3-point baskets: King, Larsen, Biggs and Nicole Clausen each had two.

Iowa was led in scoring by Jenee Graham’s career-high 14 points. The small forward also grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds to register her second double-double as a Hawkeye. Megan Skouby, Kristi Smith, Krista VandeVenter and Nicole VanderPol each scored 10 points for the Hawkeyes.

Iowa won its sixth straight game over Drake with a 62-50 victory over the Bulldogs Tuesday night at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Three juniors netted double figures for the second straight game to spark the Hawkeyes. Megan Skouby poured in a game-high 19 points and rejected four shots, which is one shy of matching a career high. Kristi Smith scored 10 of her 12 points in the second half, while Wendy Ausdemore tallied nine of her 11 points from 3-point range.

Drake was plagued by poor shooting, making only 16-61 (.262) from the field, including 3-17 (.176) from behind the arc.

The Black and Gold outrebounded Drake by two (42-40) and dished out six more assists (12-6). Iowa shot 43.4 percent (23-53) from the floor.

? Iowa has held its first two opponents to 50 points or less (Dartmouth 43 and Drake 50). The last time the Hawkeyes held back-to-back opponents to 50 points or less was in 2001 (Creighton 43 and Northwestern 47).
? Drake’s 50 points is its fifth-lowest scoring output in the 40-game series history.
? Junior Megan Skouby has owned the Bulldogs the last three years, scoring 54 points (18.0 scoring average).
? Wendy Ausdemore and Kristi Smith reached double figures for the second straight game. Smith netted 10 of her 12 points in the second half, while Ausdemore scored nine of her 11 points from 3-point range. Ausdemore is 7-11 (.636) from behind the arc in her first two contests.
? Iowa’s first two opponents made only 10-30 (.256) from 3-point range.
? Iowa has outblocked its first two foes by nine (12-3) and collected 20 more assists (34-14).

Iowa has played 940 games since beginning basketball in 1974. Overall, Iowa’s record is 570-370 (.606). That includes a 283-141 (.667) mark in Big Ten games and a 261-78 (.770) record in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Head Coach Lisa Bluder, the dean of the Big Ten coaches, is only 15 victories (485) from reaching her 500th career win. Bluder amassed 127 wins at St. Ambrose (1984-1990), 187 victories at Drake (1990-2000) and 129 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 to lead the Hawkeyes. Smith averaged a team-best 13.4 points, followed by Skouby (13.2) and Ausdemore (12.7).

Hannah Draxten, Shante Jones, Kelly Krei, Tia Mays and Kamille Wahlin have signed National Letters of Intent to attend the University of Iowa.

“This is a large balanced class that covers every position,” said Bluder. “We are proud to sign two Iowa student-athletes, two of Minnesota’s top recruits and an outstanding player from Ohio.”

Draxten, a 6-0 wing player, has been a varsity starter since eighth grade, starting in 104 consecutive games for Fergus Falls High School in Minnesota. She has been the team’s leading scorer all four years. A two-year team captain, Draxten holds the all-time Fergus Falls High School records (boys and girls) for scoring (1,830) and rebounding (755). She has averaged 17.6 points and 7.3 rebounds over her career. Draxten is a two-time Class 3A first team all-state and all-conference honoree.

Wahlin, a native of Crookston, MN, is a 5-8 left-handed point guard who averaged 19.9 points for her Crookston High School basketball team that went 24-3 a year ago. A third-year captain, she boasts career averages of 16.5 ppg, 4.8 apg and 3.0 spg. Wahlin established school records in scoring, assists, steals and field goals. Her team finished second in the Minnesota state tournament her sophomore campaign, where she was recognized on the all-tournament squad. She was tabbed Minnesota Coaches Association All-State and was her team’s MVP the last two seasons. Wahlin sank 47 consecutive free throws last year. Wahlin played on the same AAU team (North Tartan Larson) as Draxten last summer.

Krei, a native of Iowa City, has averaged 17.9 points, 8.5 rebounds, 2.5 steals and 2.1 assists the last three years for City High. A two-time captain, she was a first team all-state honoree her freshman and junior years and was a second team selection as a sophomore. Krei is a three-time first team all-conference, all-district and all-area honoree. The 6-2 forward was named the 2007 Mississippi Valley Conference Player of the Year in basketball and track.

Mays, a native of Des Moines, is a four-year starter for Des Moines East High School. She was a pre-season Street & Smith’s honorable mention all-American in 2006. Last season as a junior, she was an all-state, all-conference and all-district performer. A second-year captain, she helped lead her team to a school-best 19-5 record and a berth to the Girls State Tournament. A 6-1 forward, she led the Lady Scarlets in points (15 ppg), rebounds (10 rpg), blocks (4 bpg) and field goal percentage (63%).

Jones is a 5-9 guard/forward from Dayton, OH. Jones played her first two years at Stivers School for the Arts and competed for Carroll High School last season. She averaged 17.8 points her junior year and was tabbed first team all-league and second team all-conference, all-district and all-southwest. Jones was named MVP of Carroll High School her junior season. She was selected first team all-league, all-conference and all-district her sophomore campaign. Jones was the highest scorer in the area her sophomore year (28.0 ppg) and named Stivers High School MVP.

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.

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 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 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.

Iowa will leave early Monday morning for Cancun. The Hawkeyes will play two games in Mexico (Mississippi State on Nov. 22 and nationally-ranked Arizona State on Nov. 23). The Hawkeyes return home to host Georgia Tech Nov. 28 in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.

Click HERE for the Big Ten Network home page.