Hawkeyes Travel to No. 12 Duke Thursday

Dec. 2, 2008

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The Iowa Hawkeyes (4-3) will play their fourth-straight game away from home Thursday traveling to Durham, NC, to face No. 12 Duke in the second annual ACC/Big Ten Challenge. Tip-off is slated for 6:05 p.m. (CST) in Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Brent Balbinot and Shelley Till will call Thursday night’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 hawkeyesports.com or on the women’s basketball schedule page.

Iowa has played 976 games since beginning basketball in 1974. Overall, Iowa’s record is 592-384 (.607). That includes a 295-146 (.669) mark in Big Ten contests and 275-81 (.772) in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Thursday will be the first-ever meeting between Iowa and Duke in women’s basketball. The Hawkeyes are 9-3 against current teams from the ACC Conference.

Both Iowa and Duke lost their ACC/Big Ten Challenge games a year ago. The Hawkeyes fell to Georgia Tech (76-57) at home, while the Blue Devils lost at Penn State (86-84).

There will be three games Wednesday, six on Thursday and two Friday in this year’s ACC/Big Ten Challenge.

December 3
#21 Michigan State at Georgia Tech, 6 p.m.
Penn State at Florida State, 6 p.m.
#2 North Carolina at #18 Ohio State, 7 p.m.

December 4
#8 Maryland at #17 Purdue, 6 p.m.
Iowa at #12 Duke, 6 p.m.
Northwestern at Clemson, 6 p.m.
Virginia Tech at Wisconsin, 7 p.m.
Boston College at Minnesota, 7 p.m.
#20 Virginia at Illinois, 7:30 p.m.

December 5
NC State at Michigan, 5:30 p.m.
Indiana at Miami, 6 p.m.

The No. 12 Duke Blue Devils are 4-1, recording victories over No. 14 Oklahoma State (77-68), Maine (98-31), Southern (93-52) and Western Kentucky (59-56). Their lone setback came vs. Hartford (53-51) at the DePaul Invitational. In their last contest at Western Kentucky (Nov. 28), senior center Shante Black posted a double-double (11 points, 10 rebounds). Junior forward Joy Cheek netted a team-best 12 points. The Blue Devils collected 15 steals, scoring 21 points off the turnovers. Thursday is the start of a three-game home stand for the Blue Devils. After Thursday’s clash against the Hawkeyes, Duke hosts Michigan (Dec. 7) and Stanford (Dec. 16). The Blue Devils boast a +23.6 scoring and +14.2 rebounding margin. Like the Hawkeyes, Duke is a balanced offensive attack with five players averaging better than seven points per contest. Black averages a team-best 16.4 points, 8.6 rebounds and 2.8 blocks. Senior guard Abby Waner averages 11.8 points and 5.2 rebounds. Duke’s two main perimeter threats are Waner and Jasmine Thomas. Waner is 9-32 (.281), while Thomas is 5-13 (.385) from behind the 3-point arc. Duke is coached by former Michigan State Head Coach Joanne P. McCallie. McCallie is in her 17th season as a head coach, her second with Duke. McCallie’s overall record is 345-159 (.685), while she is 29-11 (.715) on the Blue Devil sidelines.

? Thursday will be Iowa’s fourth-straight game away from Iowa City. The Hawkeyes are in a middle of a stretch of playing two-consecutive ranked opponents (No. 3 California on Nov. 29 and No. 12 Duke). ? Iowa already played at historic Allen Fieldhouse at Kansas on Nov. 18. The Hawkeyes will visit another historic college basketball arena Thursday at Duke’s Cameron Indoor Stadium. ? Lisa Bluder and Joanne P. McCallie faced each other 13 times, while McCallie coached Michigan State. McCallie and the Spartans won eight of the 13 meetings. ? Iowa just concluded a stretch of playing seven games in 14 days. ? Junior Nicole VanderPol is doubtful for Thursday’s game due to injury. She has not played in the last five games. ? Junior JoAnn Hamlin is only two points from scoring career point No. 500. ? Senior Wendy Ausdemore has led the team in scoring the last three contests, while JoAnn Hamlin has paced the team in rebounding the last two. Furthermore, Ausdemore has led the team in assists in five of the seven contests. ? Iowa ranks 17th nationally in free throw percentage (.769). ? Megan Skouby, Wendy Ausdemore and Kristi Smith have each scored in double figures in five of Iowa’s seven contests.

Iowa went 1-2 in three games in three days at the Paradise Jam last weekend on the island of St. Thomas of the U.S. Virgin Islands. The Hawkeyes opened with a 56-48 triumph over Texas Tech on Thanksgiving night. Iowa then dropped an overtime heartbreaker, 82-79, to South Florida on Friday. The Hawkeyes concluded the tournament with a 76-43 loss to third-ranked California. Wendy Ausdemore, who was named to the Paradise Jam All-Tournament team, sparked the Hawkeyes offensively leading the team in scoring all three contests. She scored a season-high 21 points vs. South Florida, bolstered by 5-13 shooting from 3-point range. The senior netted 17 points vs. Texas Tech and 10 vs. No. 3 California.

Wendy Ausdemore’s second 3-point basket in the first half of the South Florida game on Nov. 28, put her over the 1,000-point plateau. She became the 26th Hawkeye to accomplish the feat. Classmates Megan Skouby and Kristi Smith reached the milestone last season.

Iowa picked up wins over Boston University (83-58) and Providence (64-46) two weeks ago to claim its 18th Hawkeye Challenge title. Megan Skouby was named tournament MVP, while senior teammates Wendy Ausdemore and Kristi Smith were recognized on the all-tournament team. Skouby netted a game-high 21 points vs. Boston, and scored another 13 points against Providence. Ausdemore averaged 11 points and 5.5 rebounds, while Smith averaged 12.0 points and 4.0 assists. For the tournament, Iowa shot 42-51 (.824) from the charity stripe. The Hawkeyes also outrebounded both opponents and had a better shooting percentage.

Despite losing 15 rebounds per game to graduation, Iowa’s rebounding margin numbers are better this season, than last. A year ago, Iowa had a +4.3 rebounding margin, while the Hawkeyes are +8.1 through seven contests this season.

Wendy Ausdemore notched back-to-back double-doubles for the first time in her career at the Paradise Jam. She posted 17 points and 10 rebounds vs. Texas Tech and 21 points and 11 rebounds vs. South Florida. The 11 rebounds matched a career high. In Ausdemore’ previous 95 games, she had only grabbed double-digit rebounds twice, before accomplishing the feat in consecutive games last weekend.

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.

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, at Kansas. Additionally, the senior scored Iowa’s first nine points in the second half. She finished 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 year (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.

Iowa’s women’s basketball program has 592 overall wins and 296 victories in Big Ten Conference play.

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.

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. Five Iowa opponents are ranked in the Associated Press poll this week (No. 3 California, No. 12 Duke, No. 17 Purdue, No. 18 Ohio State and No. 21 Michigan State).

Wendy Ausdemore, a senior, has her name all over the Hawkeye record books for 3-point shooting. The native of Neola, IA, is 174-417 (.417) 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 174 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’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 has three players who have reached the 1,000-point plateau. Megan Skouby and Kristi Smith accomplished the feat last season as juniors, while Wendy Ausdemore topped 1,000 points last week. Ausdemore netted a game-high 21 points in an overtime loss to South Florida (Nov. 28, 2008). The native of Neola, IA, reached 1,000 points in 97 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 is 125-17 when leading at the half in nine years under Coach Bluder. The Hawkeyes are 105-22 when holding opponents to 69 points or less, including a 50-4 mark when opponents score 59 points or less. ? Iowa is slated to play seven non-conference games against teams from a major conference: Big East (Providence and South Florida), Pac-10 (California), ACC (Duke), Big XII (Kansas, Texas Tech and Iowa State). ? Megan Skouby tied a Paradise Jam tournament game record with four blocked shots against Texas Tech (11/27/08). ? Iowa’s loss to South Florida was its first overtime loss since falling 80-78 to Minnesota (Jan. 25, 2007) in Iowa City.

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.

The University of Iowa and Carver-Hawkeye Arena will serve as one of 16 first and second round hosts for the 2009 NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship. Games will take place Sunday, March 22 (6 p.m./8:30 p.m.) and Tuesday, March 24, 2009 (8:30 p.m.). Adult tickets prices are $28 for the three tournament games and $18 for students and senior citizens if they purchase their tickets over the phone or at the UI Ticket Office. The two ticket prices are $31 and $21, respectively, if purchased on the Internet. The UI Department of Athletics first hosted an NCAA Championship site in 1986 when it served as one of four regional final sites. Carver-Hawkeye Arena has hosted NCAA Women’s Championship games 11 years (1986-90, 92-94, 96-98). The UI and Carver-Hawkeye Arena have entertained the regional finals four times and first and/or second rounds nine times. The NCAA Tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1994. The last time Iowa City hosted a first and second round site was in 1998. Iowa defeated Massachusetts in the first round, but lost to Kansas in the second round. The Hawkeyes boast a 9-4 record in NCAA Championship games at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

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 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 hawkeyesports.com. 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.

Statistics and play-by-play accounts of all Iowa Hawkeye games will be available live on the internet. The statistical program allows viewers to read the play-by-play action just moments after it takes place, and to view all individual and team statistics while the game is in progress. The program can be accessed through hawkeyesports.com and then clicking on the `GT’ 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.

Make sure you have the best seats to cheer on the Hawkeyes at the 2009 Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament in Indianapolis at Conseco Fieldhouse March 5-8. Secure the best seats available by contacting the UI Athletic Ticket Office at (800) IA-HAWKS. To reward fans for their support of the tournament over the years, all-session tickets are on sale for $45 for the first 45 days of public sale. That is a $20 discount from the regular price of $65. The ticket promotion ends Jan. 19, 2009. The Big Ten Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournaments will call Indianapolis and Conseco Fieldhouse home through 2012. Indianapolis has staged 13 of the 14 previous women’s tournaments. The 2009 tournament features all 11 Big Ten teams in action, competing in 10 games over four days to crown the 2009 champion and earn the conference’s automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament. Six different conference representatives have won the tournament championship. Reigning Big Ten Tournament Champion Purdue leads all teams with seven titles, followed by two championships for both Iowa and Penn State and one title each for Indiana, Michigan State and Ohio State. The 2009 Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament bracket, along with information on tickets, travel, lodging, tournament history and more, can be found at bigten.org and indianasportscorp.com.

After a four-game road trip, the Hawkeyes return home to host in-state rival Iowa State Sunday at 1:05 p.m. inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena. That game will be televised live on the Big Ten Network (HD).