Iowa Returns Home to Host No. 20 Ohio State

Jan. 4, 2008

The Iowa Hawkeyes (9-5, 2-1) return home to host No. 20/21 Ohio State (10-3, 1-1) Sunday. Tip-off is slated for 3:05 p.m. (CST) at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Tickets are $7 for adults, $5 for youths, while UI students are admitted free.

Sunday has been tabbed “Linn County Day” at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Fans may purchase group tickets for only $3 at Future Systems (6045 Rockwell Dr. NE in Cedar Rapids).

Activities include: pre-game recognition for Aegon and Linn-Mar schools, Megan Cox from Mt. Vernon HS will sing the National Anthem and there will be a halftime performance by the Linn-Mar dance squad.

Sunday’s contest will be televised live to a national cable audience on the Big Ten Network (HD). Brent Stover and Brenda VanLengen will call the action. It will be Iowa’s second of eight regular season games televised on the Big Ten Network.

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.

? Players will be available for autographs, after the game, on the concourse.
? Hawkeye fans will be able to obtain the third of four trading card sets Sunday.
? 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 952 games since beginning basketball in 1974. Overall, Iowa’s record is 577-375 (.606). That includes a 285-142 (.667) mark in Big Ten games and a 265-80 (.768) record in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Sunday will be the 48th meeting between Iowa and Ohio State, with the Hawkeyes holding a slim 24-23 advantage in the series. Iowa owns a 15-7 edge in games played at Iowa City.

The Buckeyes have won the last eight in the series and nine of the last 10. Ohio State defeated the Hawkeyes (73-67) in Iowa City and (85-49) in Columbus last season. Iowa’s last victory over Ohio State came on Jan. 20, 2002, in Iowa City, when the Hawkeyes won 70-65.

Ohio State is the only Big Ten team ranked in both major polls. The Buckeyes rank 20th in the ESPN/USA Today poll and 21st by the Associated Press.

The Buckeyes started league play with a road loss at Michigan State (60-53) last Sunday, but rebounded with a 66-42 home win over Michigan Thursday night. Two Buckeyes posted double-doubles en route to victory over the Wolverines: freshman center Jantel Lavender (14 points, 12 rebounds) and senior forward Tamarah Riley (12 points, 11 rebounds).

Star Allen, who ranks fourth in team scoring and second in rebounding (7.1), did not play in Ohio State’s last game and her status for Sunday is unclear.

Ohio State has won 33 of its last 36 Big Ten regular-season games and 97 of its last 112 overall.

Lavender has six double-doubles on the season and has reached double-figures in each game. She averages a team-best 16.6 points and 9.8 rebounds — both of which rank in the top four in the Big Ten.

Senior guard Marscilla Packer leads the Big Ten in 3-pointers (2.85 per game). She averages 14.9 points and has six games with four or more triples. Ohio State is a perfect 6-0 in those games.

Ohio State ranks first in Big Ten scoring offense (72.4), scoring defense (55.9), scoring margin (+17.8) and assist/turnover ratio (0.97) and second in 3-pointers made (5.85), steals (9.23), rebounding (40.5) and turnover margin (+1.77) and third in 3-point field goal percentage (.374).

Jim Foster is in his sixth season (140-35, .800) as Ohio State’s head coach and 30th year (644-260, .712) as a head coach.

? Ohio State is 2-2 in road contests, while Iowa is 6-2 at home this season.
? After three games, every Big Ten team has at least one loss; Iowa, Minnesota, Purdue and Illinois are tied for first place (2-1).
? Iowa has recorded two wins over RPI teams rated in the top 25 (Penn State, 13 and Minnesota, 21).
? Megan Skouby is the only Hawkeye that hails from Ohio (Mentor). In fact, her grandfather played basketball for the Buckeyes. Shante Jones (Dayton) will join the Hawkeye roster next fall.
? Three Hawkeyes average better than 11.3 points in games against Ohio State (Megan Skouby, 16.0, Johanna Solverson, 11.8, Kristi Smith, 11.3).
? Sunday’s game features two of the league’s top 3-point scoring threats. Ohio State’s Marscilla Packer ranks first in the Big Ten with 37 triples, while Iowa’s Wendy Ausdemore is second with 36.
? Iowa is 111-14 when leading at the half in eight years under Coach Bluder. The Hawkeyes have led at half in all three conference games this year. Iowa is 91-19 when holding opponents to 69 points or less, including a 41-3 mark when opponents score 59 points or less.
? Krista VandeVenter, who will play in her 100th career game Sunday, reached 700 rebounds when she snagged nine at Michigan last Sunday. She ranks ninth in Iowa career rebounding (708). Furthermore, she grabbed 24 rebounds in Iowa’s first three Big Ten games, a total that ranks seventh-best in the conference.
? Point guard Kristi Smith has collected seven assists four times this year (Dartmouth, Mississippi State, Western Illinois and Minnesota).
? The Hawkeyes have held nine of its 14 opponents to 58 points or less this season.
? 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 win over Northern Illinois (87-43) tied the program’s 17th-biggest margin of victory, equaling its 93-49 win over Iowa State (Nov. 29, 1987).
? Wendy Ausdemore sank four second-half treys and is tied with Nadine Domond for fourth (118) in Iowa career 3-pointers made. Ausdemore is 20 triples from tying Kristi Faulkner’s third place mark of 138.

Fifth-ranked Ohio State topped Iowa 85-49 at Value City Arena, Feb. 4, 2007.

Iowa was without Megan Skouby, who broke her hand in practice a day before the game.

The win was the Buckeyes’ 26th in a row at home to tie a school record. It was also Ohio State’s 14th straight win since falling 75-51 at No. 9 LSU on Dec. 10, and 27th in a row against Big Ten teams.

Jessica Davenport, the conference’s top scorer and rebounder, also became only the second Big Ten player with 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds.

She hit 6-7 shots from the field, 10-11 free throws and also had five rebounds, four blocked shots and three steals in 29 minutes.

Brandie Hoskins added 16 points, six assists and four rebounds, Star Allen had 11 points and Marscilla Packer 10 for the Buckeyes.

Wendy Ausdemore had 12 points and Lindsey Nyenhuis 11 for the Hawkeyes.

The Hawkeyes scored first but the Buckeyes then ran off the next 16 points — Davenport scoring seven points on the inside.

Iowa recovered from that early drought of nearly six minutes to pull to 25-18 before Stephanie Blanton hit a triple from the right corner and Allen made a short shot off an assist from Maria Moeller.

Up 45-32 at half, Ohio State went on a 14-0 run to start the second stanza.

The Buckeyes converted Iowa’s 23 turnovers into 41 points and held a 38-4 upper hand in paint points.

Prior to Big Ten play, Iowa rated in the low-70s on the RPI listed on After victories over Penn State and Minnesota, the Hawkeyes vaulted up to 44th in rankings (Jan. 4).

Sunday will be Iowa’s third game of the season against a ranked opponent (No. 13 Arizona State and No. 21 Wyoming). Iowa recorded at least one victory over a ranked opponent in each of Coach Bluder’s first six years on the Hawkeye sidelines. These are Iowa’s most recent wins vs. nationally ranked opponents:

At Home:             77-71 (OT) over 8th-ranked Purdue, 2/2/06On the Road:     78-67 over 18th-ranked Michigan State, 2/1/04Neutral Court:       54-47 over 21st-ranked Oklahoma, 11/27/04

It has been a tough start for Big Ten teams winning on the road so far in conference action. The home team has won nine of the first 14 games. Two of the home losses have come from last-place Northwestern. Iowa recorded one of the road victories, at Minnesota, on Thursday.

The start of the Big Ten schedule will be challenging for the Iowa Hawkeyes. Its first five games are against teams that rank in the RPI top 50, including four (Penn State, 13; Michigan, 19; Minnesota, 21 and Ohio State, 30) with RPIs 30 or better. Furthermore, Iowa is in the middle of playing three of four games away from Iowa City.

Minnesota native Krista VandeVenter netted a game-tying lay-up with 27 seconds left to tie the game and ultimately banked the game-winning shot from 14 feet in overtime to lift the Iowa Hawkeyes to a 68-66 win at Minneapolis Thursday night. The game marked the third-straight two-point contest between the teams, with Iowa winning two of the three.

All five Hawkeye starters scored in double figures as Iowa’s starting unit netted 65 of 68 points. Wendy Ausdemore and Johanna Solverson shared team high scoring honors, each netting 16 points. Solverson scored 12 of her 16 in the first half, while Ausdemore contributed 12 of her 16 in the second half. The dup combined for 7-11 (.636) from long distance.

Post players VandeVenter and Stacy Schlapkohl each tallied 10 points, while junior point guard Kristi Smith collected 13 points and seven assists.

? Iowa improves to 38-20 in games against Minnesota, including a 16-11 mark in Minneapolis. The road team has won the last three meetings.
? Senior Krista VandeVenter played in front of her hometown fans for the last time. The Osseo, MN, native made two of the most crucial shots of her career in the game. The senior made a lay-up with 27 seconds left to send the game into overtime and made the game-winning basket on a 14-foot bank shot with the shot clock winding down.
? Only six points were scored in overtime. Thursday was the second straight overtime game between Iowa and Minnesota. The first 4:02 of the extra session was scoreless. Iowa’s Kristi Smith broke the scoreless tie in overtime sinking a pair of free throws with 58 seconds left. On Minnesota’s next possession, Leslie Knight snagged a missed 3-point attempt and tied the game with a lay-up with 43 seconds left. Iowa’s Krista VandeVenter scored the game-winning basket with 12 seconds left on a bank shot.
? Stacy Schlapkohl matched a carrer high with three assists.
? Johanna Solverson scored nine of her 16 points in the first 5:30 of the game. The senior was perfect from the floor in the first 20 minutes, 3-3 from long distance and 1-1 inside the 3-point arc for 12 points.
? Wendy Ausdemore has been red-hot her last two games at Williams Arena (13-17 FG, 8-11 3-pt FG). Last season, she shot a blistering 7-9 from the floor, including 4-5 from long distance, netting a game-high 23 points. Thursday, Ausdemore (6-8 FG, 4-6 3-pt FG) scored 12 of her 16 points in the second stanza. She was a perfect 6-6 from the field (4-4 from behind the arc) during regulation.
? Iowa shot 50.9 percent (27-53) from the field compared to Minnesota’s 41.5 percent (27-65). The Hawkeyes are undefeated (9-0) this year when having a higher field goal percentage than the opposition. Furthermore, Iowa is undefeated (9-0) when scoring 60 or more points.

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

Through 14 games this year, Iowa is tops in the conference in field goal percentage defense (.358) and third in scoring defense (55.9) and 3-point field goal percentage defense (.284).

Reserve guard Lindsey Nyenhuis is out indefinitely 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 third in the Big Ten, shooting 37.7 percent (75-199) from 3-point range. Three Hawkeyes have combined for 66 of their 75 triples (Wendy Ausdemore, 36; Kristi Smith, 15; Johanna Solverson, 15). Iowa has shot 40 percent or better from 3-point range six times 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 eight victories (489) from reaching her 500th career win. Bluder amassed 127 wins at St. Ambrose (1984-1990), 187 victories at Drake (1990-2000) and 136 at Iowa (2000-07).

Junior Wendy Ausdemore doesn’t get to the free throw line very much, only 1.5 attempts in 73 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 field goal percentage defense (.358), second in 3-point field goal percentage (.377), third in 3-point percentage defense (.284), scoring defense (62.3) and 3-pointers made (5.36) in Big Ten all games rankings. Individually, Wendy Ausdemore first second in 3-point field goal percentage (.493), second in 3-pointers made (2.57) and 16th in scoring (11.8). Kristi Smith ranks fourth in free throw percentage (.861), 10th in assists (3.43) and 20th in scoring (11.3).

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.

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, 4.3 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.6 steals in 108 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 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’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.

All-session tickets for the 2008 Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament presented by Xbox 360 Live are $45 through Jan. 14, 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, 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 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 City, 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 east side of Iowa City.

The Hawkeyes conclude a stretch of playing three of four road games Thursday when Iowa travels to East Lansing, MI, to face the Michigan State Spartans. Tip-off is slated for 7:05 p.m. (CST). The game will be televsied live on the Big Ten Network (HD). The Black and Gold return to Carver-Hawkeye Arena in one week when they host Wisconsin (Jan. 13).

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