Hawkeyes Open Big Ten Schedule at Wisconsin Monday Night

Dec. 21, 2008

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After playing on the road Saturday in Des Moines, the Hawkeyes hop back on the bus for their conference opener Monday night. The Iowa Hawkeyes (7-4, 0-0) will face the Wisconsin Badgers (10-1, 0-0) at 7:05 p.m. inside the Kohl Center. Iowa is in the middle of a stretch of playing four of five games on the road.

Hawkeye fans can watch Monday night’s Big Ten opener online at bigtennetwork.com. The streaming video is free for fans.

Brent Balbinot and Shelley Till will call Monday night’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 980 games since beginning basketball in 1974. Overall, Iowa’s record is 595-385 (.607). That includes a 295-146 (.669) mark in Big Ten contests and 277-81 (.774) in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Monday will be the 54th meeting between Iowa and Wisconsin, with the Hawkeyes boasting a 33-20 advantage. Iowa owns a 13-11 edge in games played at Madison. The Black and Gold have won five of the last six contests at the Kohl Center. Iowa recorded an 87-78 victory in front of 13,320 fans at the Kohl Center in last year’s regular season finale on March 2 to claim a share of the 2007-08 Big Ten title. The Hawkeyes have won nine of the last 11 in the series.

Wisconsin will have had eight days to prepare for the Hawkeyes. After losing the season-opener, 64-44, at South Dakota State, Wisconsin has won 10 games in a row, including capturing the Island Division title at the Paradise Jam with wins over Villanova, Central Florida and nationally-ranked Baylor. The Badgers are 6-0 in home contests this season. Wisconsin has played four of its last five games at the Kohl Center. Wisconsin has a balanced offensive attack, with only one players averaging double figures and six players averaging 5.6 points or better. Sophomore guard Alyssa Karel averages a team-best 13.9 points, bolstered by 19-52 (.365) shooting behind the 3-point arc. She also ranks second in team rebounding (4.6) and assists (21). Junior point guard Rae Lin D’Alie averages 8.5 points and has dished out a career-high 37 assists. Sophomore forward Lin Zastrow averages a team-best 5.2 rebounds, has blocked a team-best 15 shots and averages 5.6 points per game. Wisconsin has five players who have drained at least eight 3-pointers this season. The Badgers rank 38th in the country in 3-point field goal percentage (.365). Lisa Stone is in her fifth season (72-75, .490) as Wisconsin’s head coach and 23rd year (447-193, .698) as a head coach.

? Iowa is 6-2 in conference openers under Coach Bluder. Last year, the Hawkeyes opened Big Ten play with a 67-58 win over Penn State at home.
? Both Iowa and Wisconsin competed at the 2008 Paradise Jam at the U.S. Virgin Islands. The two teams did not face each other, as the two schools were in different brackets.
? Wisconsin and Iowa have faced one common opponent: Drake. The Badgers dropped the Bulldogs (55-39) on Nov. 20 in Madison. The Hawkeyes won at Drake (71-53) this past weekend.
? The Hawkeyes shot a school-record 73.9-percent (17-23) from the field in the first half in its last game at Wisconsin (March 2, 2008). Iowa nearly matched that record by shooting 72.7 percent (16-22) in the first 20 minutes vs. Boston University early this season in the first round of the KCRG-TV9 Hawkeye Challenge on Nov. 22, 2008.
? Wisconsin averages 4,830 fans through six homes dates this season.
? Iowa mounted one of its most exciting and improbable comebacks on Feb. 12, 2004, at the Kohl Center. The Hawkeyes overcame an eight-point deficit with 39 seconds left in regulation to defeat Wisconsin 87-82 in overtime. Iowa guard Kristi Faulkner scored an astonishing 15 points (four 3-pointers, one lay-up and one free throw) in the final 1:50 of regulation to help send the game into the extra session.
? Iowa defeated Wisconsin in the first-ever game played in the Kohl Center (Jan. 20, 1998). The Hawkeyes downed the Badgers (66-63) in front of 16,296 fans.
? Wisconsin Head Coach Lisa Anderson Stone (1980-84) and Assistant Coach Donna Freitag (1981-83) both played basketball for the Hawkeyes. Stone currently ranks 18th in Iowa career scoring (1,129), eighth in assists (322) and eighth in steals (177).
? Wisconsin Director of Basketball Operations Stephanie Schmitz was recruited and played two seasons for Lisa Bluder when she coached at Drake. Lisa Stone followed Lisa Bluder as head coach at Drake after Bluder left to become the Hawkeyes’ head coach.
? Eight of Iowa’s 11 games have been decided by 18 points or more (5-3).
? Kristi Smith and Megan Skouby have shared or led the team in scoring a team-best seven times. JoAnn Hamlin and Kachine Alexander have shared or led the team lead in rebounding a team-best five times.
? In all seven Iowa wins, Iowa has held its opponents to 58 points or less.
? Iowa has won 12-straight home games, dating back to a loss against No. 20 Ohio State on Jan. 6, 2008.
? Iowa boasted a +21.3 scoring margin in its three wins over in-state competition. The Hawkeyes dropped Iowa State by 20, Northern Iowa by 26 and Drake by 18.
? JoAnn Hamlin, who has led the Hawkeyes in rebounding four of the last six contests, ranks ninth in league rebounding (7.5).
? 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 Monday’s game due to injury. She has not played in the last nine games.
? Iowa has five different players lead the team in scoring through 10 games. Megan Skouby and Wendy Ausdemore have led the squad in scoring a team-best four times.
? Iowa is tied with Furman for seventh in the country in free throw percentage (.800). Iowa has nearly made (168) as many free throws as its opponents have attempted (178).
? Kristi Smith has reached double figures a team-best seven times.
? Iowa has an RPI rating of 24th in the country and strength of schedule that ranks eighth. The RPI ranking is fourth-best in the Big Ten. The Hawkeyes’ strength of schedule ranks second-best in the Big Ten. Wisconsin has an RPI ranking of six and strength of schedule of 13. The numbers are based on the report published on Dec. 21.

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.

Four Hawkeyes netted double figures and Iowa turned 20 Drake turnovers into 20 points en route to a 71-53 convincing road win at Drake Saturday morning. Wendy Ausdemore scored a game-high 20 points, bolstered by 4-6 shooting from long distance. She also collected a season-high four steals. JoAnn Hamlin contributed 14 points (7-10 FG) and a career-high five blocks. Megan Skouby chipped in 12 points and matched a a career high with five blocks. Kachine Alexander added 11 points. Trailing 9-2, Iowa went on a 21-2 run in 10:35 to claim a 23-11 advantage. Drake missed 12-straight field goals and had six turnovers during the scoring drought. The Bulldogs went 10:35 without making a field goal as their two points came via a pair of free throws. Iowa outscored Drake 53-16 during a 22-minute span — the last 16 minutes of the first half and the first six minutes of the second. Additionally, Iowa blocked a season-high 12 shots.

? Iowa has won the last seven games against Drake, including four consecutive in Des Moines. Iowa has now won 16 of its last 18 games against Missouri Valley Conference teams; Iowa defeated Northern Iowa and Drake this year.
? Lisa Bluder improves to 7-2 against her former team. Bluder coached at Drake for 10 seasons (1990-2000).
? The win at Drake was Iowa’s first road victory in three tries (lost at Kansas and at Duke).
? After blocking 10 shots in their last game vs. Northern Iowa, the Hawkeyes rejected a season-high 12 at Drake. JoAnn Hamlin blocked a career-high five shots, while Megan Skouby matched a career high with five rejections. Skouby has blocked five shots in back-to-back games (Northern Iowa and Drake).
? Kachine Alexander has led Iowa in rebounding five times, including the last two outings.
? Iowa led by as many as 30 points in the second half.
? Iowa, who average 80 percent from the free throw line, shot its average (8-10, .800).
? After missing her first shot attempt, Wendy Ausdemore made five-straight field goals, including three 3-pointers, and two free- throws attempts. Ausdemore netted 15 points the first 14 minutes of the game. She finished the contest with a game-high 20 points and a season-high four steals. It marked the first time in four games she reached double figures. Ausdemore has posted double digits six times this season. The senior finished the game 4-6 from behind the arc.

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 595 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.

Wendy Ausdemore, a senior, has her name all over the Hawkeye record books for 3-point shooting. The native of Neola, IA, is 179-433 (.412) from long distance. After being shutout behind the arc in two-straight games, the senior was 4-6 from 3-point range in Iowa’s last game at Drake (Dec. 20). 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 128-17 when leading at the half in nine years under Coach Bluder. The Hawkeyes are 108-22 when holding opponents to 69 points or less, including a 53-4 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). Additionally, she equaled a career high blocking five shots in back-to-back games (Northern Iowa and Drake).
? 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.

Iowa will have a couple days off for Christmas break and then return to its home floor to host Purdue on Sunday, Dec. 28. Tip-off is scheduled for 2:05 p.m. in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.