Hawkeyes Host UNI Thursday

Dec. 8, 2008

Complete Release in PDF Format

The Iowa Hawkeyes (5-4) remain home Thursday, hosting the Northern Iowa Panthers (2-5). Tip-off is scheduled for 7:06 p.m. in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Tickets are $9 for adults, while youths and UI students are admitted free. Wendy Ausdemore will be honored before the game for reaching the 1,000-point plateau in Iowa’s game vs. South Florida on Nov. 28.

Thursday is Camper Reunion Day. Also, there will be a pre-game Kids Fun Zone on the north concourse and post-game player autographs.

Thursday night’s game will be televised to a national cable audience on the Big Ten Network (HD). Jenean Ford and Stephanie White will call the action.

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 978 games since beginning basketball in 1974. Overall, Iowa’s record is 593-385 (.606). That includes a 295-146 (.669) mark in Big Ten contests and 276-81 (.773) in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Thursday will be just the 14th meeting between Iowa and Northern Iowa, with the Hawkeyes leading the series, 11-2. Iowa won 10 straight before the Panthers snapped the losing skid with an 83-62 victory in Iowa City in 2006. The Hawkeyes hold a commanding 5-1 advantage in contests played at Iowa City. Iowa won last year’s meeting, 77-67, in Cedar Falls on Nov. 18, 2007. Iowa is 49-35 (.583) against teams from the Missouri Valley Conference, winning 14 of the last 16 contests.

Northern Iowa (2-5) enters Thursday’s game on a four-game losing skid. The Panthers lost their last two games at home to Northern Illinois (58-46) and Green Bay (76-49). In its last contest, Green Bay forced 33 UNI turnovers and scored 33 of its 76 points off miscues. Junior Nicole Clausen scored a team-high 15 points, bolstered by 5-7 shooting from 3-point range. Junior Kim Wypiszynski added 10 points off the bench. Clausen leads the team in scoring (12.9), 3-pointers made (23), attempted (47) and steals (12). Freshman K.K. Armstrong averages 9.9 ppg and a team-best 23 assists. The Panthers average 21 turnovers per contest and have a -6.1 rebounding margin and a 0.6 assist/turnover ratio. Tanya Warren is in her second year as a head coach, all with at UNI. She owns a 15-23 (.395) record on the Panther sidelines.

Iowa Head Coach Lisa Bluder graduated from Northern Iowa in 1983 with a bachelor’s degree in marketing. She was a three-year starter for the Panthers.

? Six of Iowa’s nine games have been decided by 20 points or more.
? Iowa concludes its non-conference schedule with three-consecutive contests against in-state rivals. The Hawkeyes beat No. 22 Iowa State (66-46) last Sunday, will host UNI Thursday and play at Drake on Dec. 20.
? Iowa is 63-33 (.656) in non-conference contests under Coach Bluder.
? UNI played at Nevada’s holiday tournament over Thanksgiving weekend (Nov. 28-29). The Hawkeyes are slated to play in that tournament next season.
? Megan Skouby averages 10.3 points and Kristi Smith averages 9.0 points in three games in their career against Northern Iowa.
? Iowa ranks second in Big Ten rebounding margin (+7.0), third in field goal percentage defense (.355), and 3-point field goal percentage defense (.313) and rebounds allowed (34.1).
? JoAnn Hamlin, who has led the Hawkeyes in rebounding the last four contests, ranks seventh in league rebounding (7.0).
? Iowa’s last three games were against ranked opponents (No. 3 California, No. 12 Duke and No. 22 Iowa State).
? Iowa’s Wendy Ausdemore and Kristi Smith played in their 100th career game last Sunday vs. Iowa State.
? Iowa has played at two historic college basketball arenas this season: Kansas’ Allen Fieldhouse on Nov. 18 and Duke’s Cameron Indoor Stadium on Dec. 4.
? Iowa started the season by 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 seven games.
? Junior JoAnn Hamlin recorded her 500th career point at No. 12 Duke last week.
? Senior Wendy Ausdemore has led the team in scoring three of the last five contests. Furthermore, Ausdemore has led the team in assists in six of the nine contests.
? Iowa ranks 17th in the country in free throw percentage (.782).
? Kristi Smith has reached double figures a team-best six times this season. Wendy Ausdemore and Megan Skouby netted double digits five times this season.

Iowa has maintained a solid home court advantage the last couple years. Dating back to last season, Iowa has won 11 games in a row at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Iowa’s last home loss was a 73-65 decision to No. 20 Ohio State on Jan. 6, 2008.

Iowa’s strength of schedule ranks sixth-best in the country. The Hawkeyes own the second-toughest schedule among Big Ten teams; Ohio State ranks third. Despite a 5-4 record, Iowa’s RPI ranking, as of Monday, is 27th. The rating is the third-best among Big Ten teams. Ohio State ranks fifth, while Wisconsin is 13th.

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.

The Iowa Hawkeyes snapped a three-game losing skid with a 66-46 triumph over in-state rival Iowa State Sunday in front of a season-high 5,560 fans inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The win also snapped Iowa’s three-game losing streak to the Cyclones. Iowa took advantage of 21 Iowa State turnovers and outscored the Cyclones 25-1 off turnovers. Additionally, the Hawkeyes were 20-24 (.833) from the foul line, while the Cyclones were only 4-8 (.500). Junior JoAnn Hamlin recorded her second double-double of the season, netting 18 points and pulling down a game-high 10 rebounds. Sophomore Kachine Alexander contributed a career-high 18 points, while senior Kristi Smith added 15.

? The home team has won seven of the last eight meetings.
? Iowa State shot only 17.4 percent (4-23) from behind the 3-point arc.
? Iowa only turned the ball over a season-low 12 times.
? Iowa has made 83.3 percent from the free throw line in four separate games this season.
? The Hawkeyes went on a 10-0 run, with six points by Kachine Alexander, midway through the first half and never looked back.
? Two of Iowa’s leading scorers, Megan Skouby and Wendy Ausdemore, combined for only two points and the Hawkeyes still won by 20.
? The 20-point victory is Iowa’s largest margin of victory over the Cyclones since a 25-point win (64-39) in 2002 at Iowa City.

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 +7.0 through nine 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.

Iowa has three seniors who have reached the 1,000-point plateau. Wendy Ausdemore, Megan Skouby and Kristi Smith became the first senior trio at Iowa to eclipse 1,000 points. The 1998 senior duo of Tangela Smith and Tiffany Gooden reached the milestone, the 1990 tandem of Franthea Price and Jolette Law accomplished the feat, and the 1987 duo of Lisa Becker and Lisa Long both tallied 1,000 points. Skouby and Smith accomplished the feat last season as juniors, while Ausdemore topped 1,000 points early this season. 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 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.

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.

The Iowa’s women’s basketball program has 593 overall wins and 296 victories in Big Ten Conference play.

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.

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. Six Iowa opponents are ranked in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll poll this week (No. 3 California, No. 14 Duke, No. 18 Ohio State, No. 20 Purdue, and No. 22 Iowa State and No. 24 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 175-424 (.413) 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 is 126-17 when leading at the half in nine years under Coach Bluder. The Hawkeyes are 106-22 when holding opponents to 69 points or less, including a 51-4 mark when opponents score 59 points or less.
? Iowa played 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.

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 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, 11-4, after seven events. The Cyclones beat the Hawkeyes (3-0) in volleyball 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 basketball (66-46), wrestling (20-15), women’s soccer (3-2) and finished ahead of Iowa State at the women’s cross country regional meet. There are six events remaining, with the next competition slated for Dec. 9 in men’s basketball (Iowa City).

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’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 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.

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.

“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 7:30-8:30 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 will have eight days to prepare for its final non-conference game. The Hawkeyes will travel to Des Moines, IA, to face the Drake Bulldogs, Saturday, Dec. 20 at 11:05 a.m. in the Knapp Center.