Hawkeyes Travel to Drake Saturday

Dec. 15, 2008

Complete Release in PDF Format

The Iowa Hawkeyes (6-4) travel to Des Moines Saturday to face the Drake Bulldogs (6-3). Tip-off is slated for 11:05 a.m. at the Knapp Center. The Hawkeyes will have had eight days to prepare for the Bulldogs. Iowa’s last game was vs. Northern Iowa on Dec. 11 in Iowa City.

Saturday afternoon’s game will be televised in Eastern Iowa on the Mediacom Connections Channel. Larry Morgan and Laura Leonard will call the action.

Brent Balbinot and Shelley Till will call Saturday morning’s game for the Hawkeye Radio Network. Hawkeye fans can listen to the contest on KXIC in Iowa City, 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.

Iowa has played 979 games since beginning basketball in 1974. Overall, Iowa’s record is 594-385 (.607). That includes a 295-146 (.669) mark in Big Ten contests and 277-81 (.774) in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Drake leads the all-time series, 24-16, but recently the series has been dominated by the Hawkeyes. Iowa has won the last six meetings, including last year’s 62-50 win in Iowa City. The Bulldogs hold an 11-7 advantage in contests played in Des Moines, but the Hawkeyes have won the last three games at the Knapp Center. Iowa is 50-35 (.588) against teams from the Missouri Valley Conference, winning 15 of the last 17 contests.

Drake enters Saturday’s match-up winners of five of its last six. The Bulldogs boast a perfect 4-0 record, this season, at the Knapp Center. Drake won its last game, 67-55, vs. Western Michigan last Sunday at home. The Bulldogs drained five triples, while the Broncos went 0-5 from 3-point range. Three Bulldogs posted double figures: Jordann Plummer (12), Lauren Dybing (11) and Kristin Turk (10). That trio leads the team in scoring through nine games. Turk, a sophomore guard, averages a team-best 14.2 points. Plummer, a redshirt junior guard, averages 11.2 points and ranks third in rebounds with 4.3 per contest. Dybing, their lone senior starter, averages 10.7 points and a team-best 5.3 rebounds. Turk and Plummer are the Bulldogs’ two main 3-point threats. Plummer has made a team-best 20, while Turk has sank nine. Amy Stephens is in her sixth year as Drake’s head coach. She owns a 90-75 (.545) record at Drake and is 287-118 (.709) overall in 15 seasons as a head coach.

Iowa Head Coach Lisa Bluder coached 10 successful seasons at Drake before joining the Hawkeyes. Associate Head Coach Jan Jensen and Assistant Coach Jenni Fitzgerald both played and coached at Drake. Jensen is one of only two Drake women’s basketball players to have her uniform number retired. Two years ago, Jensen was one of four former Drake student-athletes to receive the Drake Double D Award. The award is the highest honor Drake bestows on its student-athletes.

? Iowa Head Coach Lisa Bluder is 6-2 against her former team.
? Saturday will be Iowa’s second game this season with an 11 a.m. start time.
? Seven of Iowa’s 10 games have been decided by 20 points or more.
? Iowa has held five of its 10 opponents to under 50 points. The Hawkeyes held seven opponents under 50 points in 32 games last season.
? Iowa has won 12-straight home games, dating back to a loss against No. 20 Ohio State on Jan. 6, 2008.
? Iowa concludes its non-conference schedule with three-consecutive contests against in-state rivals. The Hawkeyes beat No. 22 Iowa State (66-46) on Dec. 7 and UNI (72-46) on Dec. 11 at home, and play at Drake Saturday.
? Iowa is 64-33 (.660) in non-conference contests under Coach Bluder.
? Iowa ranks first in Big Ten free throw percentage (.800), second in rebounding margin (+6.8) and field goal percentage defense (.344), and fourth in 3-point field goal percentage defense (.303) and rebounds allowed (34.8).
? JoAnn Hamlin, who has led the Hawkeyes in rebounding four of the last five contests, ranks eighth in league rebounding (7.8).
? 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 Saturday’s game due to injury. She has not played in the last eight games.
? Iowa has five different players lead the team in scoring through 10 games. Megan Skouby has lead the squad in scoring a team-best four times, followed by Ausdemore three times.
? Iowa is tied with Furman for seventh in the country in free throw percentage (.800). Iowa has nearly made (160) as many free throws as its opponents have attempted (167).
? Kristi Smith has reached double figures a team-best seven times this season.
? Iowa has an RPI rating of 38th in the country and strength of schedule that ranks 24th. The RPI ranking is fifth-best in the Big Ten. Overall, the Big Ten Conference ranks third-best in the nation. Drake has an RPI ranking of 110 and strength of schedule of 163. The numbers are based on the report published on Dec. 15.

Iowa has maintained a solid home court advantage the last couple years. Dating back to last season, Iowa has won 12 games in a row at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. It is is the longest active streak in the Big Ten. Iowa’s last home loss was a 73-65 setback to No. 20 Ohio State on Jan. 6, 2008.

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 led start-to-finish, posting a convincing 72-46 win over Northern Iowa last Thursday to record its 12th-straight home win in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Megan Skouby, Kachine Alexander and Kristi Smith paced the Black and Gold. Skouby netted a game-high 20 points and matched a career high five five blocked shots — all in the first half. Smith added 16 points and a game-high four assists, while Alexander contributed seven points and a career-high 12 rebounds. Iowa drained a season-high 90 percent (27-90) from the charity stripe. The Hawkeyes held the visitors to only 25 percent shooting from the field, including 17 percent shooting from behind the arc.

? Iowa improved to 12-2 all-time against Northern Iowa.
? Iowa allowed 46 points to back-to-back opponents (Iowa State and Northern Iowa).
? Iowa posted a season-low 12 turnovers in each of the last two games (Iowa State and Northern Iowa).
? The 18 points Northern Iowa scored in the first half, is a season low for an Iowa opponent.
? Iowa shot a season-best 90 percent from the free throw line, while Northern Iowa shot only 56 percent.

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 +6.8 through 10 contests this season.

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.

The Iowa’s women’s basketball program has 594 overall wins and 296 victories in Big Ten Conference play.

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.

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.

Wendy Ausdemore, a senior, has her name all over the Hawkeye record books for 3-point shooting. The native of Neola, IA, is 175-427 (.410) from long distance. She has been shutout from 3-point range in Iowa’s last two games. Her last 3-pointer was made in the early moments of Iowa’s game at No. 12 Duke on Dec. 4. Ausdemore’s career shooting accuracy from beyond the arc currently ranks second in the Big Ten and Hawkeye record books. Former Ohio State Buckeye Caity Matter (270-657, .411) ranks first, 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 127-17 when leading at the half in nine years under Coach Bluder. The Hawkeyes are 107-22 when holding opponents to 69 points or less, including a 52-4 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’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 clinched the 2008-09 Hy-Vee Cy-Hawk Series, leading 15-4 with only three evnts remaining. The Black and Gold have now won the event three times in its five-year history. 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 men’s basketball (73-57), women’s swimming (196-104), 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.

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 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 only one day to prepare and travel to Madison, WI, to face the Wisconsin Badgers in the Big Ten Conference season opener. The Hawkeyes and Badgers meet Monday, Dec. 22 at 7:05 p.m. inside the Kohl Center. Monday’s game will be Iowa’s first contest streamed live on: bigtennetwork.com.