Hawkeyes Prepare For Georgia

March 19, 2008

Iowa Post-Season Media Guide in PDF Format

The Iowa Hawkeyes (21-10, 13-5) will meet the 24th-ranked Georgia Bulldogs (22-9, 8-6) in Norfolk, VA, Sunday, in the first round of the 2008 NCAA Women’s Basketball Championships. The two teams are in the New Orleans Region. Tip-off is slated for 1:30 p.m. (CDT) in the Ted Constant Convocation Center on the campus of Old Dominion.

Georgia is the eighth seed, while Iowa is seeded ninth. The Georgia-Iowa winner will play the winner of top-seeded North Carolina (30-2) and 16th-seeded Bucknell (16-15) Tuesday, March 25.

Iowa’s first round contest vs. Georgia will be televised to a regional cable audience on ESPN. If the Hawkeyes should advance to the second round, Tuesday’s game will be broadcast regionally on ESPN2. All tournament games are available online at ESPN360.com and via the ESPN Full Court pay-per-view package ($69). Marc Kestecher, Brenda VanLengen and Todd Harris will call the action.

Brent Balbinot and Shelley Till will call all Iowa games at the NCAA Championships 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.

Tickets are $40 for an adult all-session pass, $35 for a youth (17 and under) all-session pass. Single-session passes are $25 for adults and $20 for youths. Tickets can be purchased by calling (757) 683-4444, visiting the Ted Constant Convocation Center Ticket Office located on the Southwest side of the building on the corner of 43rd Street and Hampton Blvd. or online: www.coxtix.com.

Iowa has played 968 games since beginning basketball in 1974. Overall, Iowa’s record is 588-380 (.607). That includes a 295-146 (.669) mark in Big Ten contests and 272-81 (.771) in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

This marks Iowa’s second trip to the state of Virginia in its last three NCAA Championships appearances. The Hawkeyes competed at Virginia Tech in the 2004 NCAA Championships.

Iowa won a share of the Big Ten regular season conference championship with Ohio State. The title is the program’s ninth, the second-most behind Ohio State (11). Iowa lost to eventual champion Purdue (80-73) in the semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament. This year marked the first time since the 2004-05 season (Michigan State and Ohio State) there are co-champions.

The Hawkeyes enter the NCAA Championships winners of 12 of their last 15, including a winning streak of eight straight during conference play. The eight-game winning streak is the longest by any Big Ten team this season. Furthermore, Iowa won a Big Ten-best five league road games this season.

Lisa Bluder was named Big Ten Coach of the Year, voted on by the league’s head coaches and media panel. The honor is her second in eight years at Iowa and fifth at a Division I school (three at Drake).

Junior Kristi Smith was named first team all-conference by the coaches and second team by the media. Senior Johanna Solverson was recognized on the second team by the coaches and third team by the media. Junior Wendy Ausdemore earned honorable mention accolades by the media.

Megan Skouby, who was named the 2006 Big Ten Freshman of the Year, was honored as the Big Ten’s “Sixth Player of the Year” by the conference coaches.

The Hawkeyes will depart for the NCAA Championships and Norfolk, VA, via charter Friday afternoon following a morning practice in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Iowa will be housed at the Sheraton Oceanside, located at 36th Street & Atlantic Ave. in Virginia Beach (757) 425-9000. On Saturday, the Hawkeyes will practice from 2-2:50 p.m. in the Ted Constant Convocation Center. This is the only practice open to the media and public. Iowa will not have a shoot-around Sunday morning at the arena. Should Iowa advance, its Monday closed practice would be from 1:40-3:10 p.m. and its press conference would be from 3:20-3:50 p.m. All times listed are eastern.

The Iowa-Georgia match-up is the only 2008 NCAA First Round game that pits two active coaches with over 500 wins against each other. Georgia’s Andy Landers has 706 career wins from four-year colleges, while Iowa’s Lisa Bluder has 504.

The first round match-up between Iowa and Georgia will be the fifth meeting between the two schools, including the second at the NCAAs. The series is tied, 2-2. Iowa bounced the Bulldogs from the NCAA Championships on March 19, 1987 (62-60) with the game played in Monroe, LA. The Hawkeyes also defeated Georgia on Nov. 28, 1987 (66-56) in Iowa City. The Bulldogs topped Iowa on Jan. 5, 1991 (62-51) in Iowa City and on Dec. 20, 1995 (79-52) in Myrtle Beach, SC. Additionally, Iowa is 9-17 (.346) against current teams from the Southeastern Conference.

The Hawkeyes are 2-0 all-time against North Carolina (1989 and 1995) and 1-0 vs. Bucknell (1993).

Iowa is 3-8 this season against teams competing in the 2008 Division I Women’s Basketball Championships. Iowa defeated Minnesota in both meetings (68-66 in overtime and 72-69). The Hawkeyes also defeated Purdue at home (69-53). The Boilermakers downed Iowa in West Lafayette (59-46) and in Indianapolis (80-73). Ohio State defeated Iowa twice (73-65 and 69-56). The Black and Gold suffered non-league losses to Wyoming (54-50), Iowa State (58-44), Arizona State (60-58) and Georgia Tech (76-57).

This is the third time in Iowa’s last four NCAA tournaments it has earned a No. 9 seed (2002, 2004 and 2008). The Hawkeyes were a No. 10 seed in their last NCAA Championships appearance (2006). Iowa was also a No. 9 seed in 1997.

Iowa was 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, was 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 has seven players with NCAA Championships game experience: seniors Johanna Solverson, Krista VandeVenter, Abby Emmert and Jenee Graham and juniors Wendy Ausdemore, Megan Skouby and Kristi Smith.

Solverson collected four assists and one block in Iowa’s 89-76 loss to Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA, in 2004. Iowa’s other six players saw action in the Hawkeyes’ 67-62 loss to BYU in Denver, CO, in 2006. VandeVenter had 10 points and eight rebounds; Skouby collected 19 points and six rebounds; Smith recorded two points and three rebounds; Ausdemore registered five points and three rebounds; Emmert scored seven points and grabbed two rebounds; Graham controlled six rebounds and netted two points.

This marks Iowa Head Coach Lisa Bluder’s ninth trip to the NCAA Championships. Before mentoring the Hawkeyes, Bluder coached the Drake Bulldogs to four tournaments in her 10 seasons. Bluder is 3-8 all-time in NCAA Championships games, 2-4 with Iowa and 1-4 with Drake. Two of Bluder’s victories came in overtime. In 2001, Iowa bounced Oregon (89-82) in Salt Lake City and in 1995, Drake defeated Mississippi (87-81) in Washington, D.C.

Iowa is 16-16 all-time in the NCAA Championships, including a 7-2 record in first round games and a 5-9 mark in second round contests. The last time the Hawkeyes advanced past the first round was 2002, in which they were a No. 9 seed.

The Hawkeyes have advanced to one Final Four (1993), three Elite Eights (1987, 1988, 1993) and five Sweet 16s (1987, 1988, 1989, 1993, 1996).

Iowa had an eight-game winning streak snapped at Purdue Feb. 14. The streak is the longest by any Big Ten team this year, besting six-game winning streaks by Ohio State and Minnesota. The eight-game winning streak is the longest under Coach Lisa Bluder, during Big Ten play. Iowa’s 2000-01 squad strung together six-straight in Bluder’s first season on the sidelines.

Lisa Bluder, the dean of Big Ten coaches and 2008 Big Ten Coach of the Year, captured her 500th career win at Penn State (Feb. 10). Bluder became the 35th Division I head coach to amass 500 career victories. There are currently 36 coaches with 500 career wins, as Texas A&M’s Gary Blair reached the milestone following Bluder.

No. 24 Georgia finished the season 22-9 overall and fourth in the Southeastern Conference with an 8-6 mark. The Lady Bulldogs finished with an RPI of 34 and a strength of schedule rating of 45, according to collegerpi.com/women.

Georgia started the season 13-0, before finishing 9-9. As a team, the Lady Bulldogs average 69.3 points per contest and boast a +10.8 scoring margin. Georgia has made (452) almost as many free throws as its opponents have attempted (497) this season.

Like Iowa, Georgia loves shooting the long ball, averaging 6.2 triples per contest. Four Lady Bulldogs have drained 31 or more treys. Angela Puleo leads the team with 50, followed by Megan Darrah (44), Tasha Humphrey (32) and Ashley Houts (31).

Humphrey leads the team and ranks 69th nationally in scoring (16.8). She also ranks 43rd in the country in rebounds per contest (9.0). Houts ranks 34th in the nation in steals (2.7) and 58th in assists (4.6). She also ranks second on the team in scoring (11.8). Angel Robinson ranks 72nd in the country in blocks (1.5) and third on the team in scoring (9.7).

Georgia has only four upperclassmen on its 14-player roster. Of the 14 players, three are seniors, two of which are starters (Humphrey and Darrah).

Iowa and Georgia have played two common opponents this season: Georgia Tech and Mississippi State. The Bulldogs downed the Yellow Jackets (71-64), Dec. 2 in Athens and Mississippi State (60-56) on the road on Feb. 17, while the Hawkeyes fell to Georgia Tech (76-57), Nov. 28 in Iowa City, but downed Mississippi State (60-54) in Cancun on Nov. 22.

This is Georgia’s 25th appearance in the tournament. Georgia, an at-large selection with a 22-9 overall record this season, last appeared in the NCAA Championships a year ago. The Lady Bulldogs have played in the tournament 24 times and post a 47-24 tournament record. Georgia has made appearances in the tournament every year since 1982, except for 1992 and 1994, which is the third most in the nation. The Lady Bulldogs have advanced to 17 “Sweet 16s,” 10 “Elite Eights,” five Final Fours and two NCAA championship games.

Georgia is coached by Andy Landers who is in his 28th season as head coach of the Lady Bulldogs and was inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007. He posts a 706-224 (.759) record at Georgia and an overall record of 788-248 (.761) in 33 seasons of coaching.

Landers joined the Lady Bulldogs as the team’s first full-time head coach after starting his career as head coach of Roane State College in Tennessee. Under Landers, Georgia is one of only four schools in the nation to record a winning season during every campaign. Additionally, Landers’ average of 24.4 wins a season ranks fourth among all Division I women’s basketball coaches with 20 or more years of coaching tenure.

Landers is a four-time National Coach of the Year and three-time SEC Coach of the Year. He’s coached the Lady Bulldogs to seven SEC titles and four SEC Tournament Championships. He has coached 12 Kodak All-Americans and two Olympians who have won a combined six Gold Medals. Eighteen of his former players went on to careers in the WNBA.

Both Iowa and Georgia have had long layoffs since their last game. Iowa will be playing its first game in 15 days, falling to Purdue in its last contest, March 8, at the Big Ten Tournament semifinals in Indianapolis. Georgia will be playing in its first contest in 16 days, losing to Kentucky, March 7, in the SEC quarterfinals in Nashville, TN.

North Carolina is the top seed in the New Orleans Region and is ranked second in the country behind Connecticut. The Tar Heels are 30-2 overall and won all 14 ACC games.

The Tar Heels rank first in the country in scoring offense (87.9) and blocked shots (7.1), second in scoring margin (23.6) and fourth in field goal percentage (.475), assists (18.1) and steals (13.1).

North Carolina has five players average double figures in scoring: junior Rashanda McCants (15.9), senior LaToya Pringle (14.0), senior Erlana Larkins (13.8), freshman Cetera DeGraffenreid (11.8) and sophomore Jessica Vreland (10.7). Pringle also ranks 11th in the country in blocks (2.7) and Larkins ranks 15th nationally in field goal percentage (.567).

Iowa and North Carolina have played three common opponents: Arizona State, Purdue and Georgia Tech. The Tar Heels defeated all three while the Hawkeyes went 1-4, topping the Boilernakers once.

Sylvia Hatchell is in her 22nd season as the Tar Heels’ head coach. She was inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 2004. Hatchell is one of only six head coaches in Division I history to reach the 700-win plateau. She is the third-winningest active coach in the nation (781-274, .740). Both Hatchell and Georgia’s Andy Landers have over 700 career victories.

Bucknell earned an the Patriot League’s automatic berth, upsetting Holy Cross on its home floor to collect its second NCAA Championships berth. The Bison are 16-15 and have the second-lowest RPI among the teams in the tournament field with a rating of 182.

Bucknell won six of its last seven games and won three overtime contests this season. The Bison rank 20th in the country in field goal percentage defense (.363) and 38th in blocked shots (4.5). Bucknell averages 60.1 points per contest and has a -3.8 rebounding margin. The Bison have made only 112 triples (3.6 per game) and shoot 67.3 percent from the foul line.

The Bison are led by three upperclassmen: senior Hope Foster (11.4 ppg, 7.2 rpg), junior Amanda Brown (11.2 ppg, 2.0 apg) and senior Kesha Champion (10.5 ppg, 4.0 apg).

Kathy Fedorjaka is the longest-tenured head coach in the 35-year history of the Bucknell women’s basketball program. She is in her 11th season on the Bison sidelines. Fedorjaka is the all-time winningest coach in Bucknell history (173-145, .544).

Iowa has sank 188 triples this season, the second-most in school single-season history. The record of 199 was established during the 1999-00 season.

Iowa broke two school records this season: field goal percentage in a half (73.9 percent at Wisconsin) and consecutive 3-pointers made in a single-game (seven vs. Minnesota).

Additionally, Wendy Ausdemore tied her own Carver-Hawkeye Arena record, making six triples vs. Purdue.

Johanna Solverson nearly broke Crystal Smith’s (28 points) school record for points in a half when she scored 23 first-half points at Wisconsin.

Iowa Head Coach Lisa Bluder, who was named 2008 Big Ten Coach of the Year, was one of 25 finalists for the 2008 Naismith Coach of the Year. Bluder, who is in her eighth season on the Iowa sidelines, was the only Big Ten candidate listed.

The Hawkeyes were a perfect 5-0 during conference play in games decided by five points or less.

Iowa won two overtime contests: at Minnesota (68-66) and at home vs. Wisconsin (78-74). Iowa edged out Minnesota (72-69) and Michigan (66-61) in Iowa City and Illinois (60-58) at Champaign.

? Iowa will be competing in its 17th NCAA Championships. The Hawkeyes have the eighth highest number of NCAA appearances among the teams competing this year. Georgia will be appearing for the 25th time, the second-most, next to Tennessee (27).
? Iowa won a total of six league games last season (6-10). The Hawkeyes posted a 13-5 league mark during this season’s 18-game schedule.
? Iowa has had seven players lead the team in scoring at least once during the season (Kristi Smith, Wendy Ausdemore, Megan Skouby, Johanna Solverson, Krista VandeVenter, Stacy Schlapkohl and Lindsey Nyenhuis).
? The Hawkeyes won 13 Big Ten games this season. Iowa has won 13 conference games or more in a single-season 13 times. Eleven of the 13 times have come during 18-game league schedules.
? Iowa boasted a 13-3 record in home games, including 8-1 in Big Ten play.
? Johanna Solverson averaged five assists per game the last 11 contests. She ranks fourth in Iowa career assists (386) and is only one dime from tying Franthea Price for third (387).
? Iowa recorded a Big Ten-best five conference road wins this season (Illinois, Minnesota, Penn State, Northwestern, Wisconsin).
? The Hawkeyes defeated every Big Ten team at least once this season, except Ohio State (0-2).
? Iowa has held 14 opponents to 58 points, or less (12-2).
? Iowa is 20-3 when scoring 60 points or more and 18-2 when having a higher field goal percentage than the opposition.
? Kristi Smith has netted 15 points, or more, a team-best 14 times this year. She has topped the 20-point plateau four times this season.
? Wendy Ausdemore has made and attempted more 3-pointers (74-164, .467) than two-point field goals (52-106, .491) this season.
? Iowa concluded its last 12 regular season games, a stat the NCAA Committee looks at when determining at-large berths for the NCAA Championships. The Hawkeyes were 10-2 in that stretch.
? Iowa posted three wins over top-50 RPI rated teams (Minnesota – twice, 37 and Purdue, 35). Iowa ranks 47th in the latest ratings and has played the 55th toughest schedule in the country.
? Iowa is 121-16 when leading at the half in eight years under Coach Bluder. The Hawkeyes have led at half in 16 of their last 20 games. Iowa is 101-21 when holding opponents to 69 points or less, including a 46-4 mark when opponents score 59 points or less.
? Kristi Smith collected seven assists five times this year (Dartmouth, Mississippi State, Western Illinois, Minnesota and Purdue). Johanna Solverson has led the team in assists a team-best 14 times, including 11 of the last 14 games.
? Stacy Schlapkohl netted a season-high 15 points in Iowa’s last contest vs. Purdue (March 8). In the two league tournament games in Indianapolis, she averaged 12 points (9-14 FG) and 4.5 rebounds.
? 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).

? Iowa won eight-straight games was during the start of the 2004-05 season. The Hawkeyes started the year 13-0 and were the last Division I team to lose.
? Iowa won eight-consecutive conference games was during the start of the 1995-96 Big Ten season. The Black and Gold started league play 12-0, before falling at Purdue. Iowa finished the 1995-96 season as Big Ten champions with a 15-1 record.
? Iowa won 20 games in a season was during the 2004-05 season. The Hawkeyes have topped the 20-win plateau 14 times in 34 seasons, including three times under Coach Bluder.

Iowa has three players who eclisped the 1,000-point plateau this year: senior Johanna Solverson (1,124), junior Megan Skouby (1,042) and junior Kristi Smith (1,016). Solverson ranks 20th in Iowa scoring, followed by Skouby (23rd) and Smith (25th). This year marks the first time in the program’s 34-year history three players reached the 1,000-point plateau in the same season.

Solverson scored 18 points in a home win over Michigan State (Feb. 7). The native of Lake Zurich, IL, reached 1,000 points in 117 games.

Skouby, who was voted the league’s “Sixth Player of the Year”, scored six points at No. 20 Ohio State (Feb. 21) to become the 24th Hawkeye to amass 1,000 career points. Skouby, who is a native of Mentor, OH, accomplished the feat in only 82 games and she did so in front of family and friends.

Smith, who was tabbed first team all-Big Ten, netted 19 points vs. Purdue (March 8) to become the 25th Iowa player to tally 1,000 points. The Thornton, CO, native accomplished the feat in 90 contests.

Johanna Solverson put her teammates on her shoulder in Iowa’s regular season finale at Wisconsin. She led all scorers with 31 points, including netting 23 first-half points on 10-12 shooting from the field, and 3-4 from long distance. The 23 points are the second-most by a Hawkeye in a half (28 by Crystal Smith at Louisiana Tech in 2005). She also posted 13 points and six assists in Iowa’s win over Northwestern in her final home game. Her efforts garnered Solverson her second co-Big Ten Player of the Week honor of the season and her career, sharing the award with Ohio State’s Jantel Lavender March 3.

Solverson took home the first weekly honor of her career after helping the Hawkeyes record wins over Michigan State and Penn State. The sixth-year senior netted her 1,000th career point with 18 against the Spartans, also adding a season-high eight assists. Against the Lady Lions, the forward scored 16 points, including Iowa’s first seven, and also pulled down a game-high seven rebounds in just 24 minutes. For the week, Solverson averaged 17 points, 6.5 rebounds and six assists per game while shooting .609 from the floor and .500 from 3-point territory.

The native of Lake Zurich, IL, is one of only two Hawkeyes to ever amass over 1,000 points, 500 rebounds, 350 assists and 175 steals (Franthea Price).

Sunday will be Iowa’s fifth game against a ranked opponent this season. The Hawkeyes lost their previous four contests to ranked foes (No. 13 Arizona State, No. 20 Ohio State – twice 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

Iowa was a No. 2 seed at the Big Ten Tournament, March 6-9, in Indianapolis. The Hawkeyes earned a first round bye and then played No. 7 Michigan in the quarterfinals. Iowa cruised to a 58-37 triumph over the Wolverines. The 37 points are the fewest points scored by any team in Big Ten Tournament history. Also, the 37 points are the fewest points an Iowa team has allowed since the Wolverines were limited to 36 points (Dec. 30, 1994).

Iowa out-rebounded Michigan by a season-high 22 (46-24) and held the Wolverines to 27 perent (13-48) shooting. Senior Johanna Solverson paced the Hawkeyes, scoring 10 points and pulling down nine rebounds. Junior Megan Skouby netted 10 points and had six rebounds. Iowa’s bench out-scored Michigan’s reserves, 24-10.

The Hawkeyes faced third-seeded Purdue in the semifinals and lost 80-73. The 80 points are the most Iowa has yielded in a game this season. Iowa led by as many as 17 points in the first half, but the Boilermakers mounted a comeback and ultimately won their seventh tournament crown.

Four Hawkeyes scored in double figures in the loss to Purdue: Kristi Smith (19), Johanna Solverson (16), Stacy Schlapkohl (15) and Wendy Ausdemore (10). Solverson injured her knee at the 4:25 mark of the second half and did not return to the game. Solverson has recovered and will play in Iowa’s post-season.

? Iowa is now 13-12 in Big Ten Tournament contests.
? Iowa is now 4-1 all-time as a No. 2 seed at the Big Ten Tournament.
? Iowa held Michigan to 37 points, which is the fewest scored in Big Ten Tournament history (39 by Northwestern in 2000 and 39 by Wisconsin in 2004). The low point total also accounts for the Hawkeyes’ best of the season, besting 42 points yielded to Detroit (Dec. 2) and Northwestern (Feb. 28).
? The 95 total points scored in the Iowa-Michigan game marked the lowest combined scoring total in a Big Ten Tournament contest.
? Abby Emmert added a season-high eight points off the bench vs. Michigan. The last time Emmert netted eight points was against Indiana in last year’s Big Ten Tournament first round game.
? Iowa limited Michigan to only 13 field goals, an Iowa-opponent season-low (15 by Dartmouth and Detroit).
? Iowa’s win over Michigan, marked its first victory of the season when scoring under 60 points (1-7).
? Iowa fell to 2-4 in semifinal games, competing against Purdue four of the six contests (0-4).
? Iowa played Purdue in the Big Ten Tournament for the fifth time (1-4). The fifth meeting is the most vs. any other Big Ten opponent in a conference tournament contest (Indiana and Northwestern four times).
? Iowa fell to 2-4 when allowing 70 points or more. The Hawkeyes let a 17-point first-half lead slip away — its biggest lead in a loss this season (16 points at Michigan State).
Iowa made eight 3-pointers, upping its season total to 188, which is the second-most by an Iowa team in history (199 during the 1999-00 season). Iowa shot 44.4 percent (8-18) from long distance, which marks the 16th time this season Iowa shot better than 40%.
? The Hawkeyes began the game vs. Purdue on a 26-9 run, including scoring 11 straight points in a stretch, in the first 11:00 of the game. Purdue went on a 16-3 run to close the score within two (31-29).
? The Boilermakers finished the contest with 12 steals to Iowa’s zero and forced 19 Hawkeye turnovers. Purdue scored 25 points off Iowa’s miscues.
? After Iowa led the entire game, Purdue took its first lead at the 13:13 mark in the second half (52-51).
? Iowa led by three (62-59) with 8:21 left against the Boilermakers. The Hawkeyes didn’t score another field goal until the 46 second mark (Wendy Ausdemore 3-pointer).
? Jenee Graham tied a season high with eight points (Wisconsin) vs. Purdue. Graham was 3-7 from the field, including 1-1 from the 3-point range. The triple was the first of her career in 12 tries.
? Stacy Schlapkohl scored a season-high 15 points on an efficient 7-9 shooting from the field and 1-1 from the foul line vs. the Boilermakers. Her previous best was 14 against Wisconsin.

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

Through 31 games this year, Iowa ranks second in conference field goal percentage defense (.378), first in 3-point field goal percentage defense (.291) and fourth in scoring defense (59.9).

Wendy Ausdemore and Krista VandeVenter were named to the 2008 ESPN The Magazine Academic all-District third team, Feb. 7.

Ausdemore boasts a 3.67 cumulative GPA and is majoring in business. The junior ranks second in team scoring (11.4), second in Big Ten 3-point field goal percentage (.432) and second in 3-pointers made (2.28). Ausdemore, who was recognized on the all-district second team a year ago, ranks third in Iowa career 3-pointers (139). The native of Neola, IA, has netted double figures in 22 of Iowa’s 31 games this season, including 15 of the last 19.

VandeVenter has a 3.52 cumulative GPA and is majoring in integrative physiology. The senior has started 110 of 116 career games, averaging 7.1 points and 6.8 rebounds. She ranks seventh in Iowa career rebounding (788). She is only one rebounding from tying Amy Herrig for sixth (789).

Iowa and Minnesota were the only Big Ten teams with at least two student-athletes honored.

Since Big Ten Conference play began, Iowa ranks first in rebounding margin (+4.4), second in second in rebounds allowed (33.3), rebounding (37.7) and defensive rebounding (25.11).

Iowa boasted a +11.1 rebounding margin in its last eight victories. Iowa boasted a season-best +22 rebounding edge vs. Michigan (46-24), +18 (44-26) vs. Indiana, +17 (42-25) at Wisconsin, +15 (49-34) at Northwestern, +13 (43-30) vs. Michigan State, +6 (41-35) vs. Northwestern and +5 (29-24) at Penn State. The Hawkeyes out-rebounded seven opponents during their eight-game winning streak.

Iowa’s leading rebounders are Jenee Graham, Johanna Solverson and Krista VandeVenter, all averaging better than five rebounds per contest. In fact, Iowa has four players (Graham, VandeVenter, Wendy Ausdemore and Johanna Solverson) who average 3.8 rebounds or more per contest.

Point guard Kristi Smith and small forward Johanna Solverson’s numbers improved during conference play — both of whom were named to all-Big Ten teams this season.

Smith averaged 11 points and 3.2 assists in Iowa’s 11 non-conference games. In 18 Big Ten games, she averaged 14.4 points and 3.1 assists. Furthermore, she is averaging 14.6 points and 3.2 assists the last 18 games.

Solverson, a team co-captain, averaged 5.8 points and 1.8 assists during non-league play and 12.9 points and 4.3 assists during conference action. In Iowa’s last 18 games, she averaged 13.3 points, 5.6 rebounds and 4.2 assists. She was Iowa’s assists leader during conference play (78).

Johanna Solverson joined elite company when she collected 18 points and eight assists vs. Michigan State (Feb. 7). She became one of only two Hawkeyes to ever amass over 1,000 points, 500 rebounds, 350 assists and 175 steals (Franthea Price). Solverson currently has 1,124 points, 562 rebounds, 386 assists and 192 steals. Price totaled 1,742 points, 726 rebounds, 387 assists and 321 steals.

Iowa averages 6.1 more points at home than on the road. The Black and Gold also average 2.9 more assists and 2.1 more rebounds at home than on the road. Iowa has a higher free throw percentage on the road (.754) than at Carver-Hawkeye Arena (.715). Here are the home and away comparisons:

    FG%  3-PT%   FT% REB AST TO  PTSHome    .451    .399    .715    38.2    17.1    16.5    68.8Away    .432    .376    .754    36.1    14.2    17.5    62.7

The Black and Gold average 14.5 more points in their victories (70.5) than their losses (56.0). Furthermore, Iowa shoots 6.5 percent better from the foul line and pulls down 5.7 more rebounds in wins. Here are the wins and losses comparisons:

    FG%  3-PT%   FT% REB AST TO  PTSWins    .461    .407    .749    39.0    16.5    16.6    70.5Losses  .402    .347    .684    33.3    14.0    17.8    56.0

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 has been very accurate shooting the ball behind the arc. The Hawkeyes rank first in the Big Ten and seventh nationally, shooting 38.8 percent (188-484) from 3-point range. Three Hawkeyes have combined for 165 of their 188 triples (Wendy Ausdemore, 74; Kristi Smith, 50; Johanna Solverson, 41). Iowa has shot 40 percent or better from 3-point range 16 times this year, including a season-best 62.5 percent (10-16) against Northern Illinois. Iowa was 10-20 (.500) vs. Indiana and 10-18 (.556) vs. Minnesota. Last season, Iowa ranked third nationally in 3-point shooting percentage (157-391, .402).

Ausdemore, who is an honorable mention all-Big Ten honoree, ranks first in 3-pointers made by an Iowa junior (74), besting Lindsey Meder’s previous record of 68 established during the 2000-01 season. Ausdemore’s 3-point percentage (.451) ranks fourth in the country. She has attempted the second-most triples amongst the nation’s leaders. Furthermore, the 74 triples are the second-most in a single-season by an Iowa player (84 by Lindsey Meder during the 2001-02 season).

Iowa ranks in the top three in 11 Big Ten statistical categories. The Hawkeyes rank first in 3-point field goal percentage defense (.291) and 3-point field goal percentage (.388), second in scoring margin (+5.9), assists (15.71), 3-pointers made (6.06), defensive rebounding (25.61), rebounds allowed (33.0), field goal percentage defense (.378) and field goal percentage (.442) and third in free throw percentage (.734) and assist/turnover ratio (0.93). Individually, Wendy Ausdemore ranks first in 3-point field goal percentage (.451), second in 3-pointers made (2.39) and 18th in scoring (11.5). Kristi Smith ranks seventh in 3-pointers made (1.61), eighth in assist/turnover ratio (1.38) and 3-point field goal percentage (.347), 12th in free throw percentage (.796) and scoring (13.2) and 13th in assists (3.19).

Johanna Solverson was 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 nine points, 4.5 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.5 steals in 125 games.

Solverson is 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.

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 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.

The UI has been selected by the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Committee to serve as one of 16 first and second round hosts for the 2009 NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship. Games will take place Saturday, March 21, and Monday, March 23 or Sunday, March 22 and Tuesday, March 24, 2009.

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to host the first and second rounds of the NCAA Championships in 2009,” said Iowa Head Coach Lisa Bluder. “It has been a long time since Iowa has hosted the NCAA Championships and we are excited to bring the competition and atmosphere back to Carver Hawkeye Arena!”

The UI first hosted an NCAA Championship round in 1986. Carver-Hawkeye Arena has hosted NCAA Women’s Championship games 11 years (1986-90, 92-94, 96-98). The last time Iowa City hosted a first and second round was in 1998.

Click HERE for the Big Ten Network home page.