Iowa to Host KCRG-TV9 Hawkeye Challenge

Nov. 19, 2008

Complete Release in PDF Format

The Iowa Hawkeyes (1-1) will host the 23rd edition of the KCRG-TV9 Hawkeye Challenge Saturday and Sunday in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The four-team field features Iowa, Boston University, Portland and Providence. Ticket prices are #9 for adults, $5 for youths and UI students are free.

Below is the schedule of events for the 2008 KCRG-TV9 Hawkeye Challenge. All times are central.

Saturday, Nov. 22
Boston University at Iowa, 12:05 p.m.
Portland vs. Providence, 2:35 p.m.

Sunday, Nov. 23
Portland/Providence vs. Boston University, 12:05 p.m.
Portland/Providence at Iowa, 2:35 p.m.

Saturday is the “Take a Kid to the Game” promotion where each youth will be admitted free with a paying adult. Also, fans who purchased a women’s ticket for Sunday’s game are invited to stay and attend the men’s basketball game vs. Oakland immediately following at approximately 5 p.m.

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

Brent Balbinot and Shelley Till will call Saturday afternoon’s game for the Hawkeye Radio Network. Hawkeye fans can listen to the contest on WMT in Cedar Rapids and WHO in Des Moines. Balbinot is in his fifth season as Iowa’s play-by-play voice, while Till is in her fourth providing analysis. Hawkeye fans can also follow the game via live stats (gametracker). The `GT’ link can be accessed under the `Calender’ tab on the front page of or on the women’s basketball schedule page.

Iowa has played 971 games since beginning basketball in 1974. Overall, Iowa’s record is 589-382 (.607). That includes a 295-146 (.669) mark in Big Ten contests and 273-81 (.771) in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Boston University and Providence will both be making their second appearance in the Hawkeye Challenge. Both competed in the 1986 Challenge. Iowa is 1-0 all-time against the Terriers, winning 70-48 on Nov. 29, 1986 in the first round of the Hawkeye Challenge. Iowa has never faced Portland or Providence

Last season, 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. Last year marked the first time since the 2004-05 season (Michigan State and Ohio State) that there were co-champions. The Hawkeyes won of 11 of their last 13 regular season contests, including eight straight during conference play. The eight-game winning streak was the longest by any Big Ten team throughout the season. Furthermore, Iowa won a Big Ten-best five league road games.

Boston University will host Siena Thursday night before traveling to Iowa City Friday. The Terriers’ starting lineup features four seniors and a sophomore. Senior Jesyka Burks-Wiley netted a game-high 16 points and grabbed nine rebounds to help the Boston University women’s basketball team open the season with a 50-45 win at Rhode Island last Friday. Senior Christine Kinneary chipped in 11 points and six rebounds and junior Aly Hinton also tallied six boards. The Rams came charging back midway through the second, scoring 15 unanswered points and taking the lead on a layup from Crystal Bellinger as the Rams’ senior guard scored the final six points of the run to stake Rhode Island to a 43-38 edge with seven minutes to play. The Terriers used a 6-0 run to regain the lead with a pair of free throws from Burks-Wiley pushing BU ahead by one. Junior Lindsay Harris put in a layup to put the Rams back up one, but that was the final basket for URI. Senior Amarachi Umez-Eronini gave the Terriers the lead for good, sinking a pair of free throws with 2:57 to go for two of her nine points. Boston University is coached by Kelly Greenberg, who is in her 10th season as a head coach, her fifth with BU. Greenberg’s overall record is 153-109 (.584), while she is 69-55 (.556) on the BU sidelines.

Iowa lost its first game of the season Tuesday afternoon, 76-55, at Kansas. The Jayhawks converted 23 Hawkeye turnovers into 24 points and drained eight triples to Iowa’s one en route to victory. Senior Megan Skouby was Iowa’s lone player in double figures, pouring in a game and career-high 33 points (10-17 FG, 13-14 FT). She also collected seven rebounds and rejected a game-high three shots. Senior Kristi Smith contributed seven points, while junior JoAnn Hamlin added four points and eight rebounds. Sophomore Kachine Alexander corralled a game-high 10 rebounds. Iowa had a season-low seven assists on 17 field goals and made only one of nine (.111) 3-point tries. The Hawkeyes did shoot the ball well from the charity stripe, converting 20-24 (.833). The Jayhawks were led by LaChelda Jacobs (18 points), Sade Morris (17 points) and Danielle McCray (15 points, 9 rebounds).

? Tuesday was Iowa’s first visit to Lawrence since 1995. Kansas now leads the all-time series, 3-2. The Jayhawks will travel to Iowa City next season. Kansas is the first of three Big 12 non-conference opponents for the Hawkeyes (vs. Texas Tech on Nov. 27 and vs. Iowa State on Dec. 7).
? Junior JoAnn Hamlin returned to her home state. The native of Douglass, KS, scored four points, collected eight rebounds and had one block.
? Freshman Kamille Wahlin scored a season-high five points (2-3 FG, 1-2 FT) off the bench.
? Kansas finished the first half on a 12-2 run to take an eight-point advantage (35-27) into the locker room. Megan Skouby and Kristi Smith combined for 23 of Iowa’s 27 first-half points. The duo shot 9-13 (.692) from the field, compared to 2-11 (.182) for the rest of the Hawkeyes in the first stanza.
? Kansas was 4-8 (.500) from 3-point range, while Iowa was 1-5 (.200) in the first half. For the game, the Jayhawks were 8-19 (.421), while the Hawkeyes were 1-9 (.111).
? All 11 of Iowa’s available players competed in the contest.

Megan Skouby shot 17-26 (.654) from the field and 16-17 (.941) from the free throw line the first two games of the season.

Iowa made only 64 percent (8-10) of its free throws in its season opener vs. Texas State last Sunday. The Black and Gold made 83.3 percent (20-24) at Kansas, Tuesday.

Megan Skouby scored 16 of Iowa’s 27 first-half points on 6-8 shooting from the field and 4-4 from the foul line, Tuesday at Kansas. Additionally, the senior scored Iowa’s first nine points in the second half. She finished the contest with a game and career-high 33 points (10-17 FG, 13-14 FT). Her previous career high was 27 points vs. Michigan State her freshman campaign (Jan. 9, 2006). The last time an Iowa player scored over 30 points was Johanna Solverson (31 points at Wisconsin on March 2, 2008). She also posted career highs in free throws made (13) and attempted (14) against the Jayhawks. Her previous free throw bests were 11 made and 13 attempted vs. Indiana State (Nov. 15, 2006). The native of Mentor, OH, tallied 17 points against the Jayhawks her sophomore season in a game played in Kansas City. Skouby also collected seven boards and rejected a game-high three shots, playing 39 of the 40 minutes.

Kachine Alexander equaled a career high with 10 rebounds (five offensive and five defensive) against the Jayhawks. The sophomore is Iowa’s leading rebounder (8.0 rpg) after two contests; the guard stands five-foot-nine. Alexander shared team-high rebounding honors in Iowa’s opener vs. Texas State, collecting six. The Hawkeyes need to replace 15 rebounds per game they lost due to graduation. Jenee Graham, Johanna Solverson and Krista VandeVenter led the Hawkeyes averaging five rebounds per game a year ago.

? Lisa Bluder will be gunning for her 150th win (149-99) as Iowa’s head coach this weekend. Furthermore, Bluder will coach in her 250th game on Sunday.
? Iowa starts the season with seven games in 14 days.
? Sophomore reserve Kelsey Cermak is doubtful for this weekend due to injury. She did not suit up for Iowa’s first two games.
? Iowa’s 87 points vs. Texas State tied its season high scoring total from last year (87 points in wins over Northern Illinois and Wisconsin).
? Iowa’s 23 assists vs. Texas State equaled its season-high of a year ago in victories over Western Illinois and Northern Illinois.
? Iowa’s 47-second half points topped last year’s most points scored in a half (46 points, twice).

Senior Wendy Ausdemore has scored 957 career points, just 43 shy of 1,000. Teammates Megan Skouby and Kristi Smith accomplished the feat last season as juniors.

Iowa’s women’s basketball program has 589 overall wins and 296 Big Ten Conference victories. Additionally, Coach Bluder, who won her 500th a year ago, has 149 Iowa victories.

The Big Ten Conference and Iowa Hawkeye women’s basketball fans will enjoy unprecedented coverage in 2008-09. A minimum of seven games will be televised to a national cable audience, six on the Big Ten Network and another on ESPN. Iowa will also have some games broadcast locally in Eastern Iowa on KCRG. Also, a minimum of 10 Iowa Big Ten games will be streamed, free of charge, on Plus, Iowa’s three games at the Paradise Jam (Nov. 27-29) will be streamed on for a small fee.

Iowa has been picked to finish fourth in the Big Ten by the league coaches and fifth by a selected media panel. The coaches picked Purdue to win the conference, while the media selected Ohio State. The Buckeyes have won outright, or shared, the last four regular season conference titles. Ohio State sophomore Jantel Lavender was selected as the pre-season Player of the Year by both voting groups.

Iowa returns eight letterwinners, including two starters from a team that finished 21-11 overall, tied for first in the Big Ten with a 13-5 mark and earned a berth in the NCAA tournament. Returning starters include point guard Kristi Smith and small forward Wendy Ausdemore. Iowa also returns part-time starter Megan Skouby.

Kristi Smith was a 2008 first team all-Big Ten performer, Wendy Ausdemore earned honorable mention accolades, while Megan Skouby was named the league’s first “Sixth Player of the Year” award winner. Furthermore, Smith was an honorable mention all-American.

Coach Bluder sees similarities between this season’s senior and freshman classes. This year’s senior class was asked, in 2005-06, to step-up and make an immediate impact when they were freshmen. Iowa’s freshman class this year will, again, be asked to provide depth and will likely play a pivotal role in the team’s success.

Iowa made 116 three-pointers a year ago, which is the most-ever by a Big Ten team during conference play. For the season, the Hawkeyes made 194-506 (.389), which ranks third in school history for percentage. The 197 triples were only two from equaling the school single-season record of 199 set in 2001-02.

The Hawkeyes were a perfect 5-0 during conference play in games decided by five points or less in 2007-08. 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.

The defending Big Ten co-champion Hawkeyes will play 20 of 29 regular season games against teams that competed in 2008 post-season tournaments, including six teams (eight games) that participated in the NCAA Tournament. Iowa will play 16 home regular season contests (two exhibitions) and will also host one of 16 sites for the 2009 NCAA Tournament in Carver-Hawkeye Arena, March 22 and 24, 2009. Four Iowa opponents are ranked in the USA Today/Coaches poll this week (No. 5 Duke, No. 6 California, No. 18 Ohio State and No. 24 Iowa State).

Wendy Ausdemore enters her senior season with her name all over the Hawkeye record books for 3-point shooting. The native of Neola, IA, is 161-383 (.420) from long distance. Her career shooting accuracy from beyond the arc currently ranks first in the Big Ten and Hawkeye record books. Former Ohio State Buckeye Caity Matter (270-657, .411) ranks second, while former Hawkeye Lindsey Meder (261-644, .405) is third. Ausdemore’s 161 treys ranks second in Iowa annals behind Meder’s 261. Last season, Ausdemore was 78-171 (.456), with her percentage ranking third in the nation, and first among players with over 150 attempts. Also, Ausdemore made a school-best 62 triples as a sophomore and 78 as a junior.

Iowa broke two school records in 2007-08: field goal percentage in a half (73.9 percent at Wisconsin) and consecutive 3-pointers made in a game (seven vs. Minnesota). Additionally, Wendy Ausdemore tied her own Carver-Hawkeye Arena record, making six triples vs. Purdue.

Iowa’s 2008-09 roster features four players from the state of Iowa (Wendy Ausdemore, Kelsey Cermak, Kelly Krei and Nicole VanderPol). The Hawkeyes also have three players from Minnesota (Kachine Alexander, Hannah Draxten and Kamille Wahlin). Iowa’s 13-person roster also features players from Ohio (Shante Jones and Megan Skouby), Colorado (Kristi Smith), Kansas (JoAnn Hamlin) and Michigan (Lindsey Nyenhuis).

Iowa had three players eclispe the 1,000-point plateau a year ago: Johanna Solverson, Megan Skouby and junior Kristi Smith. Last season marked 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, 2008). The native of Lake Zurich, IL, reached 1,000 points in 117 games. Skouby scored six points at No. 20 Ohio State (Feb. 21, 2008) 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 netted 19 points vs. Purdue (March 8, 2008) to become the 25th Iowa player to tally 1,000 points. The Thornton, CO, native accomplished the feat in 90 contests.

? Iowa boasted a 13-3 record in home games, including 8-1 in Big Ten play a year ago.
? The Hawkeyes defeated every Big Ten team at least once in 2008-09, except Ohio State (0-2).
? Kristi Smith netted 15 points, or more, a team-best 15 times last season. She topped the 20-point plateau five times.
? Iowa is 122-17 when leading at the half in nine years under Coach Bluder. The Hawkeyes are 102-22 when holding opponents to 69 points or less, including a 47-4 mark when opponents score 59 points or less.
? Iowa is slated to play six non-conference games against teams from a major conference: Big East (South Florida), Pac-10 (California), ACC (Duke), Big XII (Kansas, Texas Tech and Iowa State).

Iowa Hawkeye fans will be treated once again to behind-the-scenes information this season as senior Wendy Ausdemore, and sophomore Kelsey Cermak and freshman Hannah Draxten will have their own blogs, which will be posted on The trio will share their thoughts on practices, games, road trips, and everything else surrounding the program. Additionally, fans will be able to watch behind-the-scenes clips of the team with Lindsey Nyenhuis’ video blog.

The Big Ten Conference announced its latest public service effort for women’s basketball. The Get to Know Her campaign is a fully integrated effort that will allow fans to see the non-basketball sides of their favorite student-athletes via multimedia tools and on-campus promotions. Elements of the Get to Know Her campaign include a fan club, theme nights, a weekly newsletter, Big Ten Network-produced PSAs, video and print feature stories, a Facebook page and fan rewards. Fans can sign up to be members of the Get to Know Her Club at all Big Ten women’s basketball home games. Fans will receive special rewards for joining the club, while membership privileges include special access, giveaways and insider information on Big Ten women’s basketball. Fans will also enjoy increased chances to learn about their favorite women’s basketball players through multimedia outlets. Written feature stories will appear on the Big Ten website throughout the conference season, while the Big Ten Network will air features and Get to Know Her PSAs through the duration of the 2008-09 campaign.

Iowa leads the fifth annual Hy-Vee Cy-Hawk Series, 7-4, after five events. The Cyclones beat the Hawkeyes 3-0 in volleyball (Sept. 12) to earn two points and finished ahead of Iowa at the men’s cross country regional meet. Iowa beat Iowa State 17-5 in football to earn the only three-point event. The Hawkeyes also downed the Cyclones in women’s soccer, 3-2, and finished ahead of Iowa State at the women’s cross country regional meet. There are seven events remaining, with the next competition slated for Dec. 6 in wrestling (Iowa City).

Iowa will hop on a plane next Tuesday and head for St. Thomas of the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Paradise Jam. While there, the Hawkeyes will play three games in three days against elite competition. Iowa will face Texas Tech on Thursday, South Florida on Friday and California on Saturday. This will be the women’s basketball team’s first visit to the Virgin Islands. The Iowa men’s team competed in the Paradise Jam in 2006.