Hawkeyes Travel to Michigan Sunday

Dec. 29, 2007

The Iowa Hawkeyes (8-4, 1-0) will have only one day to prepare for its first Big Ten Conference road game as it travels to Ann Arbor, MI, to face the Michigan Wolverines (7-3, 0-0). Tip-off is slated for 1:05 p.m. (CST) at Crisler Arena.

Sunday will be Michigan’s conference opener as it was one fo three teams that were idle Friday. The Wolverines are 4-0 in home games this season, including winning its first three games of a four-game homestand, which concludes Sunday against Iowa.

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.

Iowa has played 950 games since beginning basketball in 1974. Overall, Iowa’s record is 576-374 (.606). That includes a 284-141 (.668) mark in Big Ten games and a 265-80 (.768) record in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Sunday will be the 48th meeting between Iowa and Michigan, with the Hawkeyes boasting a 37-10 advantage in the series. Iowa owns a commanding 16-6 edge in games played in Ann Arbor, MI.

The Hawkeyes have won eight straight against the Wolverines, including three consecutive at Crisler Arena. Sunday will be Iowa’s first visit to Crisler Arena in two seasons; Iowa won its last game at Michigan (77-63) on Jan. 5, 2006. Iowa won last year’s lone meeting (66-49) in Iowa City on Feb. 8, 2007. Michigan’s last victory over Iowa was a 91-80 triumph on Feb. 14, 2002, in Iowa City.

Sunday will be Michigan’s first game in nine days as it defeated Ohio (69-64) in its last contest on Dec. 21. The Wolverines were victorious despite being out-rebounded by 20 (40-20) and trailing by eight at intermission. Michigan did force 27 turnovers and out-scored the Bobcats 14-7 at the free throw line. Jessica Minnfield (19 points) and Carly Benson (16 points, 7 rebounds) sparked the Wolverines.

Before opening a four-game homestand, Michigan played six consecutive games away from home. The Wolverines picked up road victories over Cincinnati, Miami and Belmont, while falling to Iowa State, Texas A&M and Notre Dame.

Sophomore Krista Phillips is the only Wolverine averaging double figures (10.7 ppg). Minnfield ranks second in team scoring (9.7) and assists (2.5). Janelle Cooper ranks third in scoring (8.8) and second in rebounding (4.3).

The Wolverines are coached by Kevin Borseth, who is in his first season (7-3, .700) as Michigan’s head coach and his 26th season overall (513-213, .707). Borseth is one of four new head coaches in the Big Ten this season.

? Iowa’s win over Penn State Friday night was its first signature victory of the season. Penn State was rated 12th in the RPI on www.collegerpi.com. Iowa is now ranked 61st in the RPI, as of Saturday.
? Unlike most Big Ten teams, Michigan played only 10 non-conference games, as opposed to 11 or 12.
? Iowa Assistant Coach Shannon Gage returns to Ann Arbor as began her coaching career at Michigan. Gage served as an assistant for two seasons (2004-06) under former Coach Cheryl Burnett.
? First-year Michigan Coach Kevin Borseth coached against the Hawkeyes the previous two seasons while he was head coach at UW-Green Bay. Iowa topped the Phoenix (81-57) in 2005 in Iowa City, while UW-Green Bay downed the Hawkeyes (67-43) in 2006 in Green Bay.
? Michigan was one of only four Big Ten teams to record a victory in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. The Wolverines topped Miami in Florida (65-50).
? Two Hawkeyes average better than 11.0 points per game in games against Michigan (Megan Skouby, 17.0; Kristi Smith, 11.7). Additionally, Krista VandeVenter averages 8.6 points and 8.6 rebounds, while Johanna Solverson averages 9.8 points and 6.5 rebounds against the Wolverines.
? Iowa posted season highs in offensive rebounds (18) and 3-pointers attempted (22) vs. Penn State.
? Kristi Smith (140) is Iowa’s leading scorer by one point over classmate Wendy Ausdemore (139).
? Krista VandeVenter (696) is only four rebounds from notching career rebound No. 700. She currently ranks ninth in Iowa career rebounding. Additionally, Johanna Solverson (882) is only 18 points from recoding career point No. 900. She ranks 26th in Iowa career scoring.
? Wendy Ausdemore has led the nation in 3-point field goal percentage the last three weeks. Ausdemore has made 30-57 from behind the arc this season for a 52.6 percentage.
? Point guard Kristi Smith has collected seven assists three times this year (Dartmouth, Mississippi State and Western Illinois).
? Iowa ranks third in Big Ten free throw percentage (.739), while Michigan ranks fourth (.738). The Hawkeyes rank fourth in field goal percentage (.439), while the Wolverines rank fifth (.430). Michigan is tops in the league in 3-pointers made (6.6), while Iowa ranks fourth (5.33).
? Sunday’s game at Michigan will be only Iowa’s second trip outside the state of Iowa this season. The Hawkeyes played two games at the Caribbean Challenge in Cancun, Mexico (Nov. 22-23).
? Iowa is 110-13 when leading at the half in eight years under Coach Bluder. Iowa is 90-18 when holding opponents to 69 points or less, including a 41-3 mark when opponents score 59 points or less.
? Iowa has held nine of its 12 opponents to 58 points or less this year.
? Wendy Ausdemore is only four triples from tying Crystal Smith’s fifth-place mark of 116 career triples.
? Megan Skouby is only 16 points behind Johanna Solverson in career scoring. Solverson has accumulated 882 points, while Skouby has 866.
? Iowa played five non-conference games against a team from a major conference: SEC (Mississippi State), Pac-10 (Arizona State), ACC (Georgia Tech), Big XII (Iowa State) and MWC (Wyoming).
? Iowa’s 44-point triumph over Northern Illinois (87-43) tied the program’s 17th-biggest margin of victory, equaling its 93-49 win over Iowa State during the 1987-88 season.

Iowa snapped a five-game losing skid with a 66-49 triumph over Michigan, Feb. 8, 2007, in Iowa City. The win was the Hawkeyes’ eighth consecutive over the Wolverines.

Kristi Smith and Stacy Schlapkohl scored double figures to lead the Hawkeyes. Smith tallied a game-high 16 points, bolstered by a perfect 4-4 shooting performance from behind the arc, while Schlapkohl contributed 11. Smith also dished out five assists, while teammate Jenee Graham matched a career high with seven dimes and had no turnovers.

Iowa led start-to-finish and took an eight-point cushion into intermission. Michigan shaved the Hawkeye advantage to just one (32-31) three minutes into the second half. The Hawkeyes responded with a 17-1 run to take a commanding 49-32 lead with 11 minutes to play. Smith sparked the Hawkeye run, netting eight of the 17 points.

Michigan was led by reserve Ta’Shia Walker, who scored 10 points. Jessica Minnfield and Krista Phillips each added eight for the visitors.

For the first time in six games, Iowa had a better shooting percentage than its opponent. The Hawkeyes made 39 percent (24-61) of their field goal attempts, while the Wolverines sank 36 percent (19-53). Iowa shot 53 percent (8-15) from 3-point range, including 75 percent (6-8) in the second stanza.

Iowa dominated the glass, outrebounding Michigan by 11 (44-33). VandeVenter cleared 10 of her game-high 14 rebounds in the first half. Schlapkohl equaled a career high with eight boards.

Wendy Ausdemore has ranked first in the nation in 3-point field goal percentage the last three weeks. The junior has made 52.6 percent (30-57) of her shots behind the arc.

As a team, Iowa ranks eighth in 3-point field goal percentage (.395).

Last season Iowa ranked last in Big Ten scoring defense (71.7) and field goal percentage defense (.447).

Through 12 games this year, Iowa is tops in the conference in scoring defense (54.5) and field goal percentage defense (.348) and third in 3-point field goal percentage defense (.281).

Iowa improved to 6-2 in Big Ten openers under Coach Bluder with a 67-58 triumph over Penn State Friday night at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City.

The Hawkeyes took advantage of 17 first-half turnovers by the Lady Lions as Iowa built a 10-point (34-24) halftime margin. Senior Johanna Solverson scored 12 of her 16 points in the first 20 minutes.

Penn State got to within three and five points in the second half, but both times Hawkeye point guard Kristi Smith sank crucial jumpshots, including a 3-pointer, to stretch Iowa’s lead. The junior finished with a game-high 19 points.

Senior forward Krista VandeVenter was two points from recording a double-double (8 points, 12 rebounds). She did have the shot of the night. With the shot clock about to expire, she picked up the loose ball about 25 feet from the hoop and heaved a desperation shot, that found the bottom of the net.

Penn State was led by Kamela Gissendanner (17 points, 9 rebounds), Janessa Wolff (15 points, 10 rebounds) and Brianne O’Rourke (14 points).

Reserve guard Lindsey Nyenhuis is expected to miss two weeks with a stress fracture (left foot). The injury was diagnosed Dec. 19 and she will be in a boot for about two weeks.

Iowa has been very accurate shooting the ball behind the arc this season. The Hawkeyes rank first in the Big Ten, shooting 39.5 percent (64-162) from 3-point range. Three Hawkeyes have combined for 55 of their 64 triples (Wendy Ausdemore, 30; Kristi Smith, 14; Johanna Solverson, 11). Iowa has shot 40 percent or better from 3-point range in six of 12 games this year, including a season-best 62.5 percent (10-16) against Northern Illinois. Last season, Iowa ranked third nationally in 3-point shooting percentage (.402).

Head Coach Lisa Bluder, the dean of Big Ten coaches, is only nine victories (489) from reaching her 500th career win. Bluder amassed 127 wins at St. Ambrose (1984-1990), 187 victories at Drake (1990-2000) and 135 at Iowa (2000-07).

Junior Wendy Ausdemore doesn’t get to the free throw line very much, only 1.6 attempts in 71 games the last three years, but rarely misses when she toes the line.

Ausdemore has missed only 11 free throws in her career (.903, 102-113). 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.

Iowa ranks first in three Big Ten statistical caregories: 3-point field goal percentage (.395), field goal percentage defense (.348) and scoring defense (54.5). The Hawkeyes also rank third in free throw percentage (.739), scoring margin (+8.7) and 3-point field goal defense (.281). Individually, Wendy Ausdemore ranks first in 3-point percentage (.526), second in 3-pointers made (2.5) and 18th in scoring (11.6). Kristi Smith ranks sixth in free throw percentage (.848), 13th in assists (3.17) and 17th in scoring (11.7). Megan Skouby ranks eighth in blocks (1.08) and 10th in field goal percentage (.505).

Wendy Ausdemore has a better shooting percentage behind the arc than from two-point range. The junior is shooting at a 53 percent (30-57) clip from 3-point range, while her shots inside the arc fall 48 percent (20-42) of the time.

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 Head Coach Lisa Bluder.

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 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 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 8.3 points, 4.4 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.6 steals in 106 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.

All-session tickets for the 2008 Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament presented by Xbox 360 Live are $45 through Jan. 7, 2008, that’s a $20 discount from the regular price. After Jan. 7, all-session tickets will be $65. Tickets can be purchased at the Conseco Fieldhouse box office, Ticketmaster outlets, ticketmaster.com or by calling Ticketmaster at (319) 363-1888.

The tournament returns to Indianapolis for the 13th time in 14 years and has attracted more than 29,000 fans for each of the last six events. The 2006 tournament attendance of 38,638 and session average of 7,728 were both event records. In the past 13 years of Big Ten Tournament play, the conference has welcomed more than 382,000 fans. Six different league representatives have become tournament champions. Purdue leads all teams with six titles followed by two championships for both Iowa and Penn State and a single title for Indiana, Michigan State and Ohio State.

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.

Iowa remains on the road next Thursday (Jan. 3) at Minnesota. The Hawkeyes return home to host nationally-ranked Ohio State Sunday, Jan. 13. The game against the Buckeyes will be televised live on the Big Ten Network (HD) at 3 p.m.

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