Iowa to Host Georgia Tech in Big Ten/ACC Challenge

Nov. 26, 2007

The Iowa Hawkeyes (4-1) return home after a three-game road trip to host Georgia Tech (4-0) Wednesday in the first-ever women’s Big Ten/ACC Challenge. Tip-off is slated for 8:05 p.m. at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Wednesday’s game is “Buck Night”. Adults will be admitted for only $1, while UI students and children 18-and-under are free.

Wednesday’s Big Ten/ACC Challenge contest in Iowa City will be televised live on the Big Ten Network (HD). Steve Schlanger and Brenda VanLengen will call the action. This will be Iowa women’s basketball’s first of eight regular season appearances on the conference network.

Brent Balbinot and Shelley Till will call Wednesday’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.

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).

Iowa has played 943 games since beginning basketball in 1974. Overall, Iowa’s record is 572-371 (.607). That includes a 283-141 (.667) mark in Big Ten games and a 261-78 (.770) record in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

The Big Ten Conference currently has a 1-0 lead in the first-ever women’s Big Ten/ACC Challenge. Michigan won at Miami (65-50) Nov. 19 in Miami, FL. Below is the schedule of games for the challenge:

This will be the first meeting between Iowa and Georgia Tech.

Georgia Tech has started its season 4-0, notching victories over Davidson, Tulane, Temple and Northwestern. Wednesday will be The Yellow Jackets’ second road contest of the year (Tulane).

In its last contest, the Yellow Jackets topped Northwestern (55-46) in Atlanta. Georgia Tech made seven 3-pointers compared to Northwestern’s two. Chioma Nnamaka paced the Yellow Jackets with a team-high 22 points, while Alex Montgomery added 14 points and nine rebounds.

The Yellow Jackets have two players averaging double figures: Nnamaka (19.0) and Janie Mitchell (14.0). The Yellow Jackets have made 22 triples this season, with 14 coming from Nnamaka. Mitchell is also the team’s leading rebounder (8.5). Jill Ingram is not a starter, but averages over 32 minutes per game, 7. 0 points and a team-best 5.0 assists.

Georgia Tech averages 62.2 points, 37.5 rebounds and 13.0 steals per contest, while allowing its opposition only 51.5 points, 32.5 rebounds and 6.3 steals.

Georgia Tech’s 14-player roster is comprised of student-athletes from eight different states and two different countries.

MaChelle Joseph is in her fifth season as a collegiate head coach, all at Georgia Tech (66-56, .541).

? Iowa is 55-26 (.679) in non-conference contests, including boasting a 33-10 (.767) mark in non-league home games, under Coach Bluder.
? After two games, Iowa was 16-27 (.593) from the foul line. The Hawkeyes converted a blistering 51-61 (.836) from the charity stripe in their last three road games raising their season average to .761 (67-88).
? Junior point guard Kristi Smith is the only Hawkeye to have scored double figures in Iowa’s first five contests.
? Sixth-year senior Johanna Solverson will be playing in her 100th career game Wednesday.
? Georgia Tech Head Coach MaChelle Joseph has Big Ten ties. Joseph was a four-year starter at Purdue (1989-92). She was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year (1989), first team all-league (1990-92) and Conference Player of the Year her senior campaign (1992). Joseph was also an assistant coach at Illinois for one season (1992-93) and Purdue for three (1993-96).
? Iowa’s trip to Cancun last week will be its only road trip outside the state of Iowa until it travels to Ann Arbor, MI, to compete against Michigan on Dec. 30.
? Krista VandeVenter’s rebounding totals from the two games at the Caribbean Challenge vaulted her into the top 10 in Iowa career rebounding. The senior passed Shanda Berry and is alone in 10th place with 656.
? Iowa and Georgia Tech will play one common opponent this season: Northwestern. The Yellow Jackets topped the Wildcats (55-46) last week in Atlanta. Northwestern and the Hawkeyes will meet twice during Big Ten Conference play.
? Iowa is 106-13 when leading at the half in eight years under Coach Bluder. Iowa is 86-16 when holding opponents to 69 points or less, including a 37-1 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 (832) is only 10 points from equaling 26th-place Lynn Kennedy’s total of 851 on the Hawkeyes’ career scoring chart. Wendy Ausdemore is only five treys from reaching 100 for her career. Furthermore, she is 13 triples from tying Jenna Armstrong’s sixth-place mark of 108 career 3-pointers.
? Iowa has won two contests against in-state rivals (Drake and UNI). The Hawkeyes will gun for the mythical state title when it competes at Iowa State, Dec. 5.

Jenee Graham secured double-figure rebounds for the 12th time in her career in Iowa’s win over Mississippi State. The senior grabbed a game and career-high 16 rebounds. It marked the first time a Hawkeye pulled down 15 rebounds or more in a contest since Tiffany Reedy snagged 16 at Missouri on Dec. 30, 2003.

Last season Iowa ranked last in Big Ten scoring defense (71.7) and field goal percentage defense (.447). Through four games this year, Iowa ranks fourth in both scoring defense (54.8) and field goal percentage defense (.357).

Iowa has been very accurate shooting the ball behind the arc this season. The Hawkeyes rank first in the Big Ten, shooting 46.7 percent (25-55) from 3-point range. Three Hawkeyes have combined for 24 of their 25 triples (Wendy Ausdemore, 13; Johanna Solverson, 6; Kristi Smith, 5). Iowa has shot 40 percent or better from 3-point range in four of five games this year, including a season-best 61.5 percent (8-13) against Mississippi State last Thursday. Last season, Iowa ranked third nationally in 3-point shooting percentage (.402).

Junior Wendy Ausdemore doesn’t get to the free throw line very much, only 1.7 attempts in 64 games the last three years, but rarely misses when she toes the line.

Ausdemore has missed only eight free throws in her career (.925, 99-107). The native of Neola, IA, broke the Iowa single-season free throw percentage (.902, 55-61) and Big Ten-season free throw percentage (.975, 39-40) records her sophomore campaign.

Head Coach Lisa Bluder, the dean of Big Ten coaches, is only 13 victories (485) from reaching her 500th career win. Bluder amassed 127 wins at St. Ambrose (1984-1990), 187 victories at Drake (1990-2000) and 131 at Iowa (2000-07).

Iowa spilt its two games at the Caribbean Challenge in Cancun, Mexico last week. The Hawkeyes defeated Mississippi State (60-54), but lost a thriller to 13th-ranked Arizona State (60-58).

A strong rebounding and free throw performance helped propel the Hawkeyes to a six-point victory over Mississippi State on Nov. 22. The Lady Bulldogs entered the game boasting a +9.8 rebounding advantage and averaging 75.5 points its first four game games. The Hawkeyes’ stingy defense held Mississippi State to 54 points and out-rebounded the Lady Bulldogs by a staggering 18 (39-21).

The Hawkeyes made all 10 free throw attempts in the first stanza. Iowa would finish the contest 14-17 (.824) from the foul line.

Leading by one, Iowa made three 3-pointers and a layup on four consecutive trips down the floor to go on an 11-2 run, re-establishing a nine-point lead (56-47) with 4:30 left.

Wendy Ausdemore finished the contest with her second career double-double, 17 points and 10 rebounds. The junior was 6-11 from the field, including 5-8 from behind the arc. Junior Kristi Smith shared game-high scoring honors with Ausdemore, netting 17 points. Smith also dished out a game-best seven assists.

Ausdemore and Smith were the only Hawkeye sharp-shooters to attempt a triple, but the duo combined for 8-13 shooting for a team-season-best 62 percent behind the arc.

A late surge by No. 13 Arizona State lifted the Sun Devils to a 60-58 victory over Iowa on Nov. 23. With the game tied (58-58), Arizona State inbounded the ball with nine seconds left. The Sun Devils found center Kirsten Thompson alone in the low post, who made the go-ahead lay-up with three seconds on the clock.

Smith was the only Hawkeye in double figures, as the junior scored 12 of her team-high 18 points in the first half. Junior Megan Skouby tallied nine points and senior Johanna Solverson added seven.

Iowa led for a majority of the second half and led by as many as seven with nine minutes remaining. The Hawkeyes led by five at the six-minute mark, but the Sun Devils went on a 10-run, bolstered by back-to-back 3-point field goals, to grab a five-point (58-53) margin with two minutes left.

Down by four with one minute remaining, Iowa rallied to even the contest (58-58) on a pair of Krista VandeVenter free throws and a Smith lay-up around a Sun Devil defender with 29 seconds left.

Iowa shot 50 percent (23-46) from the field, but only made 2-5 (.400) from 3-point range.

? Iowa accumulated a season-high 11 steals against the Sun Devils.
? Iowa’s bench produced 19 points against Arizona State: seven from Johanna Solverson and six each from JoAnn Hamlin and Stacy Schlapkohl.
? The Hawkeyes forced a season-high 24 turnovers, including causing two Arizona State shot-clock violations.

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.

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 inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena, the most regular season home contests in school history. Iowa will have a 12-day layoff between games in mid-December (Dec. 9-22).

Four of Iowa’s opponents this season are ranked (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.

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.

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 digits to lead the Hawkeyes. Smith averaged a team-best 13.4 points, followed by Skouby (13.2) and Ausdemore (12.7).

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.

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.

The Hawkeyes remain home to entertain Detroit-Mercy Sunday at 1:05 p.m. inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Sunday’s contest will be televised live in Eastern Iowa on KCRG-TV9.

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