Hawkeyes Host Purdue Thursday

Jan. 22, 2008

The Iowa Hawkeyes (11-7, 4-3) return home to entertain the Purdue Boilermakers (9-9, 5-2) Thursday on “UI Community Night”. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Tickets are $7 for adults, while youths and UI students are free. Thursday will be Iowa’s second game in four days.

Brent Balbinot and Shelley Till will call Thursday 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.

Iowa has played 956 games since beginning basketball in 1974. Overall, Iowa’s record is 579-377 (.606). That includes a 287-144 (.666) mark in Big Ten games and 266-81 (.767) in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

? Players will be available for autographs, after the game, on the concourse.
? A variety of door prizes will be announced at halftime. Prizes include game tickets, Hawk Shop gift certificates, an iPod, or books — available to UI Faculty, Staff and students only. Registration for prizes is available near the North entrance.
? There will be a pre-game ball presentation to UI President Sally Mason from the UI Athletics Department
? 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 6-9).

Purdue has won its last two contests and will be gunning for its first three-game winning streak of the season Thursday. The Boilermakers last won consecutive games in mid-November, capturing victories over Valparaiso and Butler in the first two games of the season.

The Boilermakers cruised to a 52-38 victory over Northwestern Sunday in West Lafayette. Purdue collected a season-high 17 steals and forced 32 Wildcat turnovers. Additionally, the Boilermakers dominated the glass, out-rebounding Northwestern by seven (37-30) and limiting the Wildcats to only three offensive boards. Junior Natasha Bogdanova recorded her second double-double of the season, totaling 13 points and 13 rebounds. Classmate Danielle Campbell contributed 12 points and five boards.

Both juniors Lakisha Freeman and Campbell average 12.6 points per contest to pace the Boilermakers. Campbell also pulls down a team-best 7.9 rebounds per game. Sophomore FahKara Malone averages 7.5 points and a team-best 3.4 assists. Malone and Bogdanova have combined for 35 of Purdue’s 49 triples. Also, Purdue’s five starters average over 26 minutes per game, while four see over 31 minutes of court time.

Purdue is 3-6 in games away from Mackey Arena. After Thursday’s contest, Purdue will return to West Lafayette for a pair of home games against Illinois and Minnesota.

Sharon Versyp is in her second season (40-15, .727) on Purdue’s sidelines and her eighth season overall (157-80, .662) as a head coach.

Iowa lost its seventh consecutive game at Mackey Arena with a 76-52 setback against 15th-ranked Purdue.

A pair of seniors led the Boilermakers on their “Senior Night”. Katie Gearlds, who is the co-Big Ten Player of the Week, led all scorers with 28 points. Classmate Erin Lawless posted her second double-double of the season scoring 18 points and grabbing a career-high 13 rebounds. Lawless also collected a career-high five steals.

With Iowa trailing 26-10 midway through the first half, the Hawkeyes went on a 17-6 run in 6:34 to cut the 16-point deficit to five (32-27) at the 3:46 mark. Purdue took a 38-29 lead into halftime.

Iowa sophomore Kristi Smith scored all of her team-high 11 points in the first 12:30 of the contest. She made three of her first four 3-point field goal attempts and both free throw attempts. Smith also finished the contest with a game-high five assists and a team-high three steals.

Gearlds put her team on her back and went on her own 10-2 run to stretch Purdue’s lead to 15 (53-38) midway through the second period.

The Boilermakers were able to work their offense and find high-percentage shots, as 20 of their 30 field goals came in the paint.

Purdue forced 27 Hawkeye turnovers and converted the Hawkeye errors to 36 points. The Boilermakers collected a Big Ten-season-high 20 steals en route to victory.

Iowa junior Krista VandeVenter contributed nine points. Four other Hawkeyes added six points each (Jenee Graham, Nicole VanderPol, Lindsey Nyenhuis and Megan Skouby).

Thursday will be the 52nd meeting between Iowa and Purdue, with the Boilermakers leading the series 28-23. Iowa holds a 13-9 advantage in games played at Iowa City.

Purdue has won nine of the last 10 against the Hawkeyes, with the lone Iowa victory coming on Feb. 2, 2006, in a thrilling 77-71 overtime game. The Boilermakers won both games against the Black and Gold last season.

? Iowa is in a four-way tie for fourth place in the Big Ten with Michigan, Minnesota and Penn State, while Purdue is tied with Indiana for second place.
? Purdue Head Coach Sharon Versyp is coaching at her alma mater. Versyp, a former Boilermaker point guard, graduated in 1989.
? The Boilermakers boast the fifth toughest schedule in the nation, while Iowa’s schedule strength ranks 34th.
? Both Iowa and Purdue will play four of their last six games on the road.
? Purdue freshman Samantha Woods is from the same high school as Hawkeye senior Jenee Graham (Bolingbrook).
? Wendy Ausdemore posted then career highs in points (23), field goals made (7) and attempted (14), free throws made (6) and attempted (6) and minutes (37) in Iowa’s win over eighth-ranked Purdue, Feb. 2, 2006.
? Kristi Smith has netted 15 points or more a team-best six times this year.
? Iowa will play four of its next five games at home, with the road contest being at Northwestern.
? Three Hawkeyes average better than 12.0 points per game against Purdue (Megan Skouby, 11.7; Wendy Ausdemore, 13.3; Kristi Smith, 16.7).
? Iowa has two wins over top-30 RPI rated teams (Penn State, 24 and Minnesota, 30). The Hawkeyes are 52nd in the latest RPI rankings, while Purdue is rated 41st, as of Tuesday.
? Iowa is 112-15 when leading at the half in eight years under Coach Bluder. The Hawkeyes have led at half in five of their seven conference games this year. Iowa is 92-19 when holding opponents to 69 points or less, including a 42-3 mark when opponents score 59 points or less.
? Point guard Kristi Smith has collected seven assists four times this year (Dartmouth, Mississippi State, Western Illinois and Minnesota).
? Iowa has held 10 opponents to 58 points or less this season (8-2).
? Iowa played five non-conference games against teams 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). ? Iowa ranks 34th nationally in attendance, averaging 2,962 fans.

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Down by as many as 11 in the first half at Illinois Monday night, the Iowa Hawkeyes rallied to record their largest come-from-behind victory of the season, 60-58.

Point guard Kristi Smith made the game-winning basket with 6.7 seconds left on an eight-foot bank shot from the left wing. Smith finished with a team-high 16 points.

Iowa trailed 51-44 midway through the second stanza, but went on a 10-0 run to claim a 54-51 cushion. The Hawkeyes took their first lead at the 8:43 mark on a 19-foot Smith jumper. Ilinois was able to tie the game three times in the last 8:00 but were unable to ever reclaim the lead. In fact, the Black and Gold limited the Illini to only four points (four free throws) the last 7:56.

Megan Skouby contributed double figures for the third straight game (10 points), while Wendy Ausdemore netted all of her 10 points in the first stanza. Krista VandeVenter controlled a team-high 10 boards, marking the second time this season and 20th time in her career she reached double digit rebounds.

? Iowa improves to 42-16 against Illinois. Iowa has now won seven of the last eight vs. the Illini, including four consecutive at Champaign. Additionally, Iowa improves to 17-10 in contests at Champaign.
? Monday’s victory moved Iowa into a four-way tie for fourth in the Big Ten. The Hawkeyes are tied with Michigan, Minnesota and Penn State. The Black and Gold host third-place Purdue tonight and Michigan Sunday.
? Iowa finished the game 7-12 (.583) from 3-point range. The Hawkeyes rank third in Big Ten 3-pointers made and percentage. Illinois was 8-24 (.333) from long distance.
? Iowa trailed by 11 (28-17) late in the first half, but went on a 10-0 run to cut the deficit to one (28-27) with 3:30 left. Wendy Ausdemore scored eight points (two 3-pointers and two free throws) during the 10-point surge. Ausdemore scored all of her 10 points in the first half; the junior sat most of the second half with foul trouble.
? Illinois led by four at half (35-31). It marked only the third Big Ten game that Iowa trailed at the half.
? Jenee Graham and Johanna Solverson each dished out a season-high five assists.
? Krista VandeVenter controlled 10 boards. The senior now has 731 career boards, which moves her past Franthea Price and into eighth in Iowa career rebounding.
? Iowa improves to 3-0 in Big Ten games decided by four points or less, with two of those contests coming in overtime.

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 a month. Nyenhuis has missed eight games since being injured.

Point guard Kristi Smith and small forward Johanna Solverson’s numbers have improved since conference play. Smith averaged 11.0 points and 3.2 assists in Iowa’s 11 non-conference games. In Iowa’s seven Big Ten games, she is averaging 15.4 points and 3.6 assists. Solverson averaged 5.8 points and 1.8 assists during non-league play and 10.6 points and 3.0 assists during conference action.

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

Through 18 games this year, Iowa ranks first in the conference in field goal percentage defense (.372), second in 3-point field goal percentage defense (.284) and fourth in scoring defense (58.9).

For the second straight year, Iowa has a higher free throw percentage on the road than at home. The Hawkeyes have converted 72.2 percent (83-115) of its road foul shots, compared to 69.9 percent (114-163) at home. The Black and Gold also have a higher 3-point percentage on the road (.395) than at home (.351). Iowa averages 6.4 more points per game, 3.8 more assists and 4.5 more rebounds at home than on the road. Here are the home and away comparisons:

    FG%  3-PT%   FT% REB AST TO  PTSHome    .443    .351    .699    38.5    16.3    16.7    66.2Away    .431    .395    .722    34.0    12.5    18.3    59.8

The Black and Gold average 13.6 more points in their victories (68.6) than their losses (55.0). Furthermore, Iowa shoots 7.1 percent better from the foul line and pulls down 6.2 more rebounds in wins. Here are the wins and losses comparisons:

    FG%  3-PT%   FT% REB AST TO  PTSWins    .460    .400    .730    38.9    15.9    17.0    68.6Away    .402    .320    .659    32.7    12.6    18.0    55.0

Iowa has been very accurate shooting the ball behind the arc this season. The Hawkeyes rank second in the Big Ten, shooting 37 percent (97-262) from 3-point range. Three Hawkeyes have combined for 86 of their 97 triples (Wendy Ausdemore, 41; Kristi Smith, 24; Johanna Solverson, 20). Iowa has shot 40 percent or better from 3-point range eight 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).

Ausdemore currently ranks fifth in 3-pointers made for an Iowa junior (41).

Head Coach Lisa Bluder, the dean of Big Ten coaches, is only six victories (493) from reaching her 500th career win. Bluder amassed 169 wins at St. Ambrose (1984-1990), 187 victories at Drake (1990-2000) and 138 at Iowa (2000-07).

Junior Wendy Ausdemore doesn’t get to the free throw line very much, only 1.5 attempts in 77 games the last three years, but rarely misses when she toes the line.

Ausdemore has missed only 11 free throws in her career (.897, 104-116). 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.

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Iowa ranks first in field goal percentage defense (.372), second in 3-point field goal percentage defense (.284) and field goal percentage (.438), third in 3-pointers made (5.39), rebounds allowed (33.7) and fourth in scoring defense (58.9), assists (14.61) and assist/turnover ratio (0.84) in Big Ten all games rankings. Individually, Wendy Ausdemore first in 3-point field goal percentage (.432), second in 3-pointers made (2.28) and 23rd in scoring (10.6). Kristi Smith ranks ninth in assist/turnover ratio (1.28), 11th in assists (3.33) and scoring (12.7) and 12th in 3-pointers made (1.39).

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 8.4 points, 4.4 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.6 steals in 112 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.

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 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 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 $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 night 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.

Iowa remains home for its third game in seven days when it hosts the Michigan Wolverines Sunday in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The Hawkeyes then hit the road for a contest at Northwestern (Jan. 31).

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