Iowa and Indiana Clash Sunday at Carver-Hawkeye Arena

Feb. 2, 2008

Two of the hottest teams in the Big Ten clash Sunday at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Iowa (14-7, 7-3) riding a season-best five-game winning streak, hosts Indiana (13-8, 6-3), who has won four of its last five at 1:05 p.m. (CST). Sunday will be the only regular season meeting between the two teams.

The Hawkeyes are in a three-way tie with Minnesota and Ohio State for first place in the conference standings, while the Hoosiers are only a half game behind. Iowa’s five-game winning streak is the longest active winning streak in the league.

Iowa will honor and celebrate the completion of playing 25 seasons in Carver-Hawkeye Arena Sunday. 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.

Sunday’s game will be televised live in Eastern Iowa on KCRG-TV9. John Campbell, Amy Herrig and Scott Saville will call the action. This will be Iowa’s last game on KCRG-TV9 this season.

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 959 games since beginning basketball in 1974. Overall, Iowa’s record is 582-377 (.607). That includes a 290-144 (.668) mark in Big Ten contests and 268-81 (.768) in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

? Sunday is National Women in Sports Day at the arena. All girls who attend in team uniform receive free admission.
? First 2,000 fans receive a gold rally towel. ? Players will be available for autographs, after the game, on the concourse.
? All Fans in attendance will receive a commemorative program celebrating 25 years in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
? 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).

Sunday will be the 52nd meeting between Iowa and Indiana, with the Hawkeyes leading the series 37-14. Iowa boasts a 20-3 record against the Hoosiers in Iowa City.

The Hawkeyes have won six of the last eight in the series, including 10-straight inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Iowa defeated Indiana (71-67) on Jan. 11, at Bloomington, IN, but fell (67-53) on March 1, at Indianapolis in the Big Ten Tournament, in last year’s two meetings.

The Hoosiers cruised to an 86-62 triumph over Wisconsin Thursday night at Bloomington, IN. The 86 points are the most the Hoosiers have scored this season. Five players netted double digits, led by junior Whitney Thomas (16). Indiana collected 12 steals and forced 23 turnovers, scoring 28 points off the Badgers’ miscues. The Hoosiers also shot 50.8 percent (31-61) from the field in victory.

Sunday concludes a stretch of playing five of seven contests away from Assembly Hall. Indiana is 5-4 in true road games and 6-6 in all games away from Bloomington.

Four Indiana starters average double figures: Jamie Braun (14.8), Whitney Thomas (12.2), Amber Jackson (12.0) and Kim Roberson (11.1). Thomas nearly averages a double-double, averaging 9.5 rebounds per contest.

Indiana ranks first in Big Ten steals (9.3). The Hoosiers also rank second in turnover margin (+2.38) and third in rebounding (38.4).

Felisha Legette-Jack is in her second season (32-22, .593) as Indiana’s head coach and seventh (89-85, .511) as a head coach.

Iowa is in a three-way tie for first place with Ohio State and Purdue with 7-3 conference records. This is the latest, in a single-season, the Hawkeyes have been in first place under Coach Bluder. The last time Iowa was in first place this late in the season was 1998, when the Black and Gold last won a regular season title.

The Iowa Hawkeyes fell (67-53) to the Indiana Hoosiers in the first round of the 2007 Big Ten Tournament.

Iowa was plagued by cold shooting, as it shot just 35 percent from the field and made only 4-19 from long distance in its season-ending loss to the Hoosiers. The Hawkeyes, who missed their first 11 3-point attempts, entered the game as the second-best 3-point shooting team in the nation.

After scoring 103 points in its regular season finale vs. Wisconsin, Iowa stumbled out of the gate, failing to score in the first six minutes. The Hawkeyes fell behind 18-6 midway through the first half and 40-25 early in the second. Indiana’s biggest advantage was 16 (48-32) with eight minutes to play.

Nicole VanderPol was the only Hawkeye to reach double digits. The sophomore netted 12 points to go along with a game and career-high nine rebounds. Kristi Smith added nine points and Abby Emmert and Krista VandeVenter tallied eight each. Wendy Ausdemore, Iowa’s second-leading scorer, was held scoreless, going 0-9 from the floor.

Seven of Smith’s nine points came in the first half. Her seventh point was her 400th of the season, becoming only the 22nd Hawkeye to accomplish the feat.

The Hoosiers were led by Kim Roberson and Sarah McKay. Roberson came off the bench to lead all scorers with 21 points, while McKay contributed 19 points and six rebounds.

The Hawkeyes did out-rebound the Hoosiers by three (39-36).

? Juniors Kristi Smith and Megan Skouby started their first career game at Indiana (Dec. 29, 2005). Skouby averages 12.5 points and 6.8 rebounds, while Smith averages 12 points and 4.3 assists in four games vs. the Hoosiers.
? Iowa is 14-2 when scoring 60 points or more and 12-1 when having a higher field goal percentage than the opposition.
? Iowa has held 12 opponents to 58 points or less this season (10-2).
? Kristi Smith has netted 15 points, or more, a team-best eight times this year.
? Iowa is in the middle of a stretch of playing four-of-five games at home, with the road contest being at Northwestern.
? Iowa has begun playing its final 10 regular season games, a statistic that the NCAA Committee looks at when determining at-large berths for the NCAA Tournament. The Hawkeyes have started this final stretch 2-0.
? Iowa has three wins over top-40 RPI rated teams (Minnesota, 27; Penn State, 38; Purdue, 39). The Hawkeyes are 50th in the latest RPI rankings, while Indiana is 60th.
? Iowa is 114-15 when leading at the half in eight years under Coach Bluder. The Hawkeyes have led at half in seven of their 10 conference games this year. Iowa is 95-19 when holding opponents to 69 points or less, including a 44-3 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).

Sixth-year senior Johanna Solverson has played well the last three weeks. In Iowa’s last eight games, the native of Lake Zurich, IL, averaged 11.9 points, 4.8 rebounds and 3.5 assists.

Solverson helped lead Iowa to four victories the last 11 days (Illinois, Purdue, Michigan and Northwestern). The senior had five assists in each of Iowa’s wins over Illinois and Purdue, seven assists, seven rebounds and nine points in a road win at Northwestern and led all scorers with a career-high 28 points in the Hawkeyes’ five-point triumph over Michigan last Sunday. Solverson shot at a 42 percent (8-19) clip from 3-point territory in the four victories.

Iowa led by as many as 23 points en route to a 70-55 victory at Northwestern Thursday night. The Hawkeyes outrebounded the Wildcats by 15 (49-34) and Iowa’s bench outscored Northwestern’s reserves 29-0.

Megan Skouby, who entered the game averaging 19.7 points in three previous games against the Wildcats, poured in a season-high 23 points (7-13 FG, 9-10 FT). She also hauled in seven rebounds. Also cleaning up the glass was Jenee Graham with a game-high 11 rebounds, while Johanna Solverson and Wendy Ausdemore secured seven boards each.

Northwestern cut Iowa’s double-digit lead to only seven with 10:35 remaining, but Hawkeye point guard Kristi Smith took over. Smith netted 12 of her 15 points in the final 10 minutes to help re-establish a double-digit cushion.

Iowa was victorious despite allowing Northwestern to shoot 63 percent (17-27) from the field in the second stanza. The Wildcats started the contest shooting 12.5 percent (3-24).

? Iowa improved to 5-4 in games away from Iowa City.
? The Hawkeyes have won 13 consecutive contests over the Wildcats. Iowa improved to 39-12 all-time against Northwestern. Iowa also improved to 19-5 in games played at Evanston.
? Megan Skouby scored 12 of her season-high 23 points in the first half. She has netted double figures in five of Iowa’s last six games.
? Jenee Graham pulled down 11 rebounds, marking the second time this season she has secured double digit boards (16 vs. Mississippi State). Graham is Iowa’s second leading rebounder, averaging 5.3 rebounds per contest.
? Jenee Graham matched a career high with seven assists. It was the third time in her career she assisted on seven field goals in a single game.
? Iowa only had 11 turnovers against the Wildcats. The Hawkeyes had a season-low nine turnovers in their last game vs. Michigan last Sunday.
? Iowa assisted on 11 of its 13 first-half field goals and 19 of its 25 for the game. Iowa recorded all 19 assists despite Iowa’s assist leader, Kristi Smith, not collecting a single assist.
? Northwestern trailed 40-21, but went on a 13-1 run to cut the Hawkeye lead to seven (41-34) with 10 minutes left in the game. Iowa went on a 6:41 field goal scoring drought during the Wildcat surge.
? Both teams started the game ice-cold from the floor; Iowa missed its first seven field goal attempts, while Northwestern missed its first four. Iowa held Northwestern to only two points (1-12 FG) the first 9:30 of the game. Furthermore, five different Hawkeyes scored Iowa’s first five field goals of the contest.

Head Coach Lisa Bluder, the dean of Big Ten coaches, is only three victories (497) from reaching her 500th career win. Bluder amassed 169 wins at St. Ambrose (1984-1990), 187 victories at Drake (1990-2000) and 141 at Iowa (2000-07).

Point guard Kristi Smith and small forward Johanna Solverson’s numbers have improved since conference play.

Smith averaged 11 points and 3.2 assists in Iowa’s 11 non-conference games. In Iowa’s 10 Big Ten games, she is averaging 15.4 points and 3.2 assists. Furthermore, she is averaging 16.7 points and 2.7 assists the last seven games.

Solverson, a team co-captain, averaged 5.8 points and 1.8 assists during non-league play and 11.4 points and 3.4 assists during conference action. She is Iowa’s assists leader during conference play.

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

Through 21 games this year, Iowa ranks first in conference field goal percentage defense (.376), third in 3-point field goal percentage defense (.296) and scoring defense (58.6).

Iowa has been very accurate shooting the ball behind the arc this season. The Hawkeyes rank third in the Big Ten, shooting 36.4 percent (116-319) from 3-point range. Three Hawkeyes have combined for 103 of their 116 triples (Wendy Ausdemore, 48; Kristi Smith, 31; Johanna Solverson, 26). 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 fourth in 3-pointers made for an Iowa junior (48).

Junior Wendy Ausdemore doesn’t get to the free throw line very much, only 1.6 attempts in 80 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.

Ausdemore has missed only 13 free throws in her career (.887, 110-123). 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 third in nine Big Ten statistical categories: 3-point field goal percentage defense (.296), field goal percentage (.430), 3-pointers made (5.52), assists (14.81), 3-point field goal percentage (.364), scoring margin (+5.5), rebounds allowed (33.8), scoring defense (58.6) and assist/turnover ratio (0.89). The Hawkeyes also rank first in field goal percentage defense (.376). Individually, Wendy Ausdemore ranks second in 3-pointers made (2.29), 3-point field goal percentage (.421) and 23rd in scoring (10.8). Kristi Smith ranks ninth in assist/turnover ratio (1.29), 10th in 3-pointers made (1.48), 11th in assists (3.19) and scoring (13.1) and 12th in free throw percentage (.789).

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. Solverson has played with 27 different players during her six years at Iowa.

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, 4.4 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.6 steals in 115 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.

Iowa concludes its stretch of playing four of five games at home Thursday when it hosts Michigan State. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The Hawkeyes then hit the road for a contest at Penn State next Sunday. Tip-off is slated for 11:05 a.m. (CST). The game will be telveised on the Big Ten Network (HD).

Complete Game Notes in PDF Format