Second Place Battle Sunday at Carver-Hawkeye Arena

Jan. 26, 2008

The Iowa Hawkeyes (12-7, 5-3) will look to match its longest winning streak of the season when it hosts the Michigan Wolverines (12-7, 5-3) Sunday afternoon. Tip-off is slated for 2:05 p.m. (CST) at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Sunday will be the second meeting of the year between Iowa and Michigan. Both teams are in a five-way tie for second place in the Big Ten standings. Sunday will be Iowa’s third game in seven days. Tickets are $7 for adults, $5 for youths while UI students are free.

Sunday’s game will be televised live to a national cable audience on the Big Ten Network (HD). Jim Kelly and Vera Jones will call the action. It will be Iowa’s fifth of eight regular season games to be 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.

Iowa has played 957 games since beginning basketball in 1974. Overall, Iowa’s record is 580-377 (.606). That includes a 288-144 (.667) mark in Big Ten games and 267-81 (.767) in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Sunday will be the 49th meeting between Iowa and Michigan, with the Hawkeyes boasting a 37-11 advantage in the series. Iowa owns a commanding 19-4 edge in games played in Iowa City.

The Hawkeyes have won eight of the last nine, including four consecutive at Iowa City. Michigan snapped an eight-game losing skid to the Black and Gold with a 63-46 win Dec. 30 in Ann Arbor.

? Players will be available for autographs, after the game, on the concourse.
? “Go Red for Women Night” — The Hawkeyes are partnering with the American Heart Association for healthy heart awareness. Tables will be at each entrance for people to sign-up for a free online heart check-up; in return they receive a cook book from the AHA.
? 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).

Michigan is in the middle of playing four-of-five games away from home. The Wolverines started the stretch 2-1, picking up wins at Wisconsin (79-73, ot) and vs. Indiana (65-54), while falling at Penn State (68-57). Michigan concludes the five-game span at Iowa Sunday and at Michigan State Thursday.

A trio paced the Wolverines to a 65-54 win over Indiana Thursday at Crisler Arena. Carly Benson poured in a game-high 22 points. Krista Phillips recorded her second straight double-double, third of her career, totaling 16 points and 10 rebounds. Janelle Cooper collected 11 points and eight boards. Michigan shot 51.1 percent (24-47) from the field, while Indiana shot 34.4 percent (21-61) from the floor.

The Wolverines are 8-0 in home games, but 4-6 in away contests, including 1-3 in Big Ten road games.

Michigan is a well-balanced scoring team. Phillips averages a team-best 10.9 points, followed by Jessica Minnfield (10.0), Janelle Cooper (9.3) and Carly Benson (9.2).

Four Wolverines have sank 23 triples or more this year. In fact, Michigan ranks first in Big Ten 3-pointers (6.6). The Wolverines also rank sixth in the country in fewest fouls per game (13.2).

Kevin Borseth is in his first season as Michigan’s head coach and 26th year as a head coach.

A two-point Iowa halftime lead disappeared and Michigan heated up from the field during the final 20 minutes as the Wolverines posted a 63-46 victory inside Crisler Arena, Dec. 30.

Wendy Ausdemore gave Iowa a 2-0 lead off an assist from Kristi Smith just 12 seconds into the game. The Hawkeyes were then forced into come-back mode and overcame two five-point deficits. Iowa drew even at 11-11 with 11:09 left in the half when Krista VandeVenter sank a field goal.

With 7:40 left in the half, Ausdemore made a 3-pointer, pulling the Black and Gold within one point (15-14). Prior to that field goal, Ausdemore had uncharacteristically misfired on her previous eight attempts from long distance.

Stacy Schlapkohl gave the Hawkeyes their first lead since the early-going with a traditional 3-point play at the 7:01 mark, making it 17-16. Another field goal by Schlapkohl tied the game (19-19) before Iowa went on its most consistent run of the game. A jumper by VandeVenter and a triple by Solverson gave the Hawkeyes a five-point edge (24-19) with 3:50 left before halftime.

Iowa took a two-point advantage (26-24) into halftime. The Hawkeye interior defense was strong, forcing the Wolverines to take 15 of their 27 shots from 3-point range. Iowa shot 47.8 percent from the field (11-23), led by Schlapkohl with seven points (3-5 FG, 1-1 FT).

The Black and Gold were haunted by a 6:23 scoring drought in the second half. Ausdemore drained a trey with 11:01 remaining, which cut Michigan’s lead to four. The Hawkeyes would not score again until VandeVenter made a field goal with 4:38 left, but by that time Iowa was in a 14-point hole (56-42).

It was a solid performance by Hawkeye posts VandeVenter (14 points, nine rebounds) and Schlapkohl (11 points, four rebounds). Michigan shot 58.3 percent from the field in the second half (14-24), while Iowa made just 8-38 field goal attempts (21.1 percent) over the final 20 minutes.

? Iowa is in a five-way tie for second place in the Big Ten with Michigan, Minnesota, Purdue and Indiana with 5-2 records. First-place Ohio State (6-2) is only one game ahead of the five teams in second place.
? Sunday’s game features two of the Big Ten’s top 3-point shooting teams. Michigan ranks first in the league with 6.6 triples, followed by Iowa (5.42).
? Both Michigan and Iowa played one common non-conference opponent: Iowa State. Both the Wolverines and Hawkeyes fell to the Cyclones.
? Megan Skouby averages 11.7 points in three games vs. Michigan. Kristi Smith averages 10.0 points and 3.0 assists in four contests vs. Michigan, while Johanna Solverson averages 8.4 points, 5.6 rebounds and 4.2 assists in five games.
? Iowa Assistant Coach Shannon Gage 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.
? Iowa is 12-2 when scoring 60 points or more and 12-1 when having a higher field goal percentage than the opposition.
? Iowa has held 11 opponents to 58 points or less this season (9-2).
? Kristi Smith has netted 15 points or more a team-best seven times this year.
? Iowa is in a middle of a stretch of playing four-of-five games at home, with the road contest being at Northwestern.
? Iowa has two wins over top-32 RPI rated teams (Minnesota, 25 and Penn State, 32). The Hawkeyes are 48th in the latest RPI rankings, while Michigan is rated 43rd.
? Iowa is 113-15 when leading at the half in eight years under Coach Bluder. The Hawkeyes have led at half in six of their eight conference games this year. Iowa is 93-19 when holding opponents to 69 points or less, including a 43-3 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 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 N. Illinois (87-43) tied the program’s 17th-largest margin of victory, equaling its 93-49 win over Iowa State (Nov. 29, 1987).

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Junior Megan Skouby has provided a spark off the bench the last four games. The 6-6 center averaged 12.0 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.5 blocks in helping Iowa post a 3-1 record. Skouby shot 17-30 (.567) from the field and 14-17 (.824) from the free throw line during that stretch. In Iowa’s last game vs. Purdue, the native of Mentor, OH, scored 17 points on 5-7 shooting from the field and a season-best 7-7 from the foul line and also blocked three shots.

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 eight Big Ten games, she is averaging 15.9 points and 3.88 assists. Furthermore, she is averaging 18.0 points, bolstered by 13-33 (.394) shooting from 3-point range, and 3.6 assists the last five games.

Solverson averaged 5.8 points and 1.8 assists during non-league play and 19.6 points and 3.25 assists during conference action.

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 the last nine contests since being injured.

Three juniors scored double figures to lead Iowa to a 69-53 win over Purdue Thursday night in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The win snapped a three-game losing skid to the Boilermakers and was Iowa’s largest margin of victory over Purdue since a 17-point win (80-63) March 8, 1986, at West Lafayette.

Kristi Smith led all scorers with 19 points and also dished out a team-high six assists. Megan Skouby netted 17 points off the bench, while Wendy Ausdemore contributed 11 points.

Ausdemore drained a 3-pointer 12 seconds into the game and Iowa never looked back. Iowa sprinted out to a 23-9 lead in the first 10 minutes of the contest.

Iowa shot a season-best 90.5 percent (19-21) from the charity stripe. The last time the Hawkeyes shot 90 percent or better was vs. Illinois (14-15) on Feb. 15, 2007. Iowa was a perfect 10-10 the last 2:28 of the game to help preserve the victory.

Danielle Campbell and Kalika France each scored 14 points to pace the Boilermakers. Purdue shot only 35.3 percent (18-51) from the field and 25 percent (5-20) from long distance.

? Iowa has won two of the last three contests against the Boilermakers in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
? Iowa held Purdue to only 53 points. The 53 points are the fewest the Boilermakers have scored against an Iowa team since a 53-47 win over Iowa in 1997.
? Hawkeye freshman Kachine Alexander did not dress for Thursday night’s game as her second semester certification was still being reviewed.
? Megan Skouby had 17 points, bolstered by a perfect 7-7 shooting from the foul line. The junior has netted double figures in four straight games. The 17 points is the most she has scored since netting 19 vs. Drake (Nov. 13).
? Iowa had two players pull down eight rebounds: Krista VandeVenter and Jenee Graham.

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

Through 19 games this year, Iowa ranks first in conference field goal percentage defense (.371), second in 3-point field goal percentage defense (.282) and fourth in scoring defense (58.6).

Iowa has been very accurate shooting the ball behind the arc this season. The Hawkeyes rank second in the Big Ten, shooting 37.5 percent (103-275) from 3-point range. Three Hawkeyes have combined for 92 of their 103 triples (Wendy Ausdemore, 43; Kristi Smith, 28; Johanna Solverson, 21). Iowa has shot 40 percent or better from 3-point range nine 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 (43).

Head Coach Lisa Bluder, the dean of Big Ten coaches, is only five victories (493) from reaching her 500th career win. Bluder amassed 169 wins at St. Ambrose (1984-1990), 187 victories at Drake (1990-2000) and 139 at Iowa (2000-07).

Junior Wendy Ausdemore doesn’t get to the free throw line very much, only 1.6 attempts in 78 games the last three years, but rarely misses when she toes the line. She equaled her season high with six free throw attempts (making five) in Iowa’s win over Purdue Thursday night.

Ausdemore has missed only 12 free throws in her career (.893, 109-122). 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 (.371), second in 3-point field goal percentage defense (.282) and field goal percentage (.437), third in 3-pointers made (5.42), assists (14.74) and scoring margin (+5.0), fourth in rebounds allowed (33.7) and scoring defense (58.6) and assist/turnover ratio (0.85) in Big Ten all games rankings. Individually, Wendy Ausdemore first in 3-point field goal percentage (.434), second in 3-pointers made (2.26) and 23rd in scoring (10.6). Kristi Smith ranks eighth in 3-pointers made (1.47), ninth in assist/turnover ratio (1.32), 10th in assists (3.47) and 12th in scoring (13.1).

Iowa will honor and celebrate the completion of playing 25 seasons in Carver-Hawkeye Arena Sunday, Feb. 3 in the Hawkeyes’ game vs. Indiana. There will be a special ceremony at halftime.

Coincidentally, Feb. 3 is the 23rd anniversary of the Iowa-Ohio State game where 22,157 fans packed the arena and shattered an NCAA women’s basketball attendance record.

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 113 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’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 $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 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.

The Hawkeyes hit the road for a contest at Northwestern (Jan. 31) before returning home to host another pair of games against Indiana (Feb. 3) and Michigan State (Feb. 7).

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