Hawkeyes Host Northwestern Sunday

Jan. 16, 2009

The Iowa Hawkeyes (10-7, 3-3) return home Sunday to entertain the Northwestern Wildcats (5-12, 1-5). Tip-off is scheduled for 2:05 p.m. in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Tickets are $9 for adults, $5 for youths, while UI students are admitted free.

Sunday is Iowa’s annual “Girl Scout Day”. Sunday is also “Autism Speaks Awareness Day” and “Letterwinners Day” at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. There will be a pre-game Kids Fun Zone on the north concourse and post-game player autographs.

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

Hawkeye fans can watch Sunday afternoon’s game for free online at bigtennetwork.com.

Brent Balbinot and Shelley Till will call Sunday afternoon’s game for the Hawkeye Radio Network. Hawkeye fans can listen to the game on WMT AM-600 in Cedar Rapids and WHO AM-1040 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.

The Iowa’s women’s basketball program has 598 overall wins and 298 victories in Big Ten Conference play.

Iowa has played 986 games since beginning basketball in 1974. Overall, Iowa’s record is 598-388 (.606). That includes a 298-149 (.667) mark in Big Ten contests and 278-82 (.772) in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Iowa has maintained a solid home court advantage the last couple years. Dating back to last season, Iowa has won 13 of its last 14 games in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Purdue snapped Iowa’s 12-game winning streak with a 69-60 win Dec. 28 in Iowa City.

Fans will be treated to a women’s basketball reunion as some former Hawkeyes return to Carver-Hawkeye Arena Sunday. There will be a reception for the former Hawkeyes Saturday night at the Kinnick Stadium Press Box. They will also be honored during halftime of Sunday’s contest. Below is a list of names of former Hawkeyes expected to be present: Amy Herrig Tanny, Sue Beckwith, Rebecca Moessner Roark, Jody Ratigan, Stacy Schlapkohl, Vicki Cook-Buckrop, Melinda Wolter Pyde, Shirley Vargason Fasbender, Kim Peters Wilson, Gail Hudash Wadley, Joni Rensvold Dotseth, Therese Lusignan Bobek, Diane Wilson, Jolynn Schneider, Abby Emmert, Randi Peterson, Lindsay Geoffroy, Jamie Cavey, Lark Birdsong-Coach and Dr. Christine H.B. Grant-Former Women’s AD.

Northwestern is playing its first game in a week after receiving its first “bye” Thursday night. The Wildcats enter Sunday’s game 5-12 overall and 1-5 in league play. Northwestern is winless (0-7) on the road this season. Four of Northwestern’s 12 setbacks have come by six points or less and the Wildcats have lost two games in overtime, including their last outing vs. Purdue last Sunday. In the overtime loss to Purdue, three Wildcats netted double figures: Jenny Eckhart (12), Amy Jaeschke (11) and Maggie Mocchi (10). Jaeschke also blocked a game-high seven shots. The Boilermakers scored 19 points off 19 Northwestern turnovers and tallied 17 second-chance points. Jaeschke averages a team-best 16.0 points, 9.1 rebounds and 3.2 blocks per contest. Kristin Cartwright, the daughter of former Chicago Bulls star Bill Cartwright, averages 9.5 points. Eckhart averages a team-best 3.5 assists. Joe McKeown is the newest Big Ten head coach. McKeown, who coached in his 700th career game last Sunday vs. Purdue, is in his first season on the Wildcat sidelines after coaching at George Washington. He is in his 23rd season as a head coach (514-186, .734).

Sunday will be the 53rd meeting between Iowa and Northwestern, with the Hawkeyes leading the series 40-12. Iowa boasts a 19-4 advantage in games played at Iowa City. Northwestern’s last victory in Iowa City came on Jan. 22, 1995 (58-57). The Hawkeyes have won 14 straight in the series (all during Bluder’s tenure), including nine consecutive at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Iowa boasts a 19.2 margin of victory average during the winning streak and an 18-point margin of victory in the last nine contests played in Iowa City. The Wildcats’ last win over Iowa came at the 2000 Big Ten Tournament (53-52) in Indianapolis.

? Ten of Iowa’s 17 games have been decided by 17 points or more (6-4).
? Iowa boasts a perfect 8-0 record when allowing 59 points or less, are 10-1 when shooting a higher field goal percentage than its opponents and 10-0 when leading at halftime this season.
? Megan Skouby and Wendy Ausdemore have had terrific outings in games against Northwestern during their careers. Skouby averages 19.2 points, including sinking 22-24 (.917) from the foul line, and 5.8 rebounds in five contests against the Wildcats. Ausdemore averages 11.8 points and 5.0 rebounds in five games against Northwestern.
? Both Joe McKeown and Lisa Bluder reached the 500-win milestone last season.
? Bluder coached against McKeown twice before when he was at George Washington. Bluder’s 2000-01 Iowa team lost at George Washington (78-64) and her 1994-95 Drake team fell at George Washington (96-93) in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
? Billy Fennelly, son of Iowa State Head Women’s Basketball Coach Bill Fennelly, is in his first season as Northwestern Director of Women’s Basketball Operations.
? Megan Skouby cracked Iowa’s all-time scoring top ten list with her 21 points at Illinois Thursday. The senior surpassed Necole Tunsil for 10th on Iowa’s career scoring chart. Skouby now has 1,289 points.
? Iowa is the only school with three players ranked in the top 15 in Big Ten assists: Kachine Alexander (ninth), Kristi Smith (10th) and Wendy Ausdemore (15th).
? Eight Big Ten teams already have at least two losses. Furthermore, six squads already have three defeats or more.
? Kristi Smith collected her 350th career assist at Indiana (Jan. 4). She dished out four assists vs. Minnesota to surpass Nadine Domond for sixth on Iowa’s all-time assists chart. The senior is only five from passing Steph Schuler and cracking the top five.
? Iowa players have corralled double-digit rebounds 14 times this season. JoAnn Hamlin and Kachine Alexander have accomplished the feat a team-best six times and Wendy Ausdemore has done it twice.
? Iowa has held eight of the 10 teams it has beat to 58 points or less.
? Kachine Alexander and JoAnn Hamlin lead the team in rebounding, averaging 7.4 and 7.3, respectively. Alexander ranks ninth in league rebounding, while Hamlin ranks 11th.
? Iowa has had six different players lead the team in scoring through 17 games. Megan Skouby has shared or led the squad in scoring a team-best seven times.
? Last season, Megan Skouby blocked 23 shots in 32 games; she already has amassed 34 through 17 games this season. She currently sits third on Iowa’s career rejections list with 141. She is only five blocks from surpassing Toni Foster for second. Skouby has blocked at least one shot in eight-consecutive games.
? Kristi Smith has reached double figures a team-best 11 times.
? Iowa has an RPI rating of 29th in the country and strength of schedule that ranks seventh. The Hawkeyes’ strength of schedule ranks second in the Big Ten. Northwestern is rated 174th in the RPI and 41st in strength of schedule. The numbers are based on the report published Jan. 16.

Kachine Alexander has been unselfish with the basketball the last two games. The sophomore dished out eight assists vs. Minnesota last Sunday and followed up that performance with a career-high nine at Illinois. Alexander’s 17 assists the last two games mark the first time a Hawkeye collected a combined 17 assists in two games since Kristi Smith had 17 helpers her sophomore year in 2006-07. Smith had 10 assists at Minnesota and seven vs. Ohio State.

Kristi Smith, Kachine Alexander and Megan Skouby have had strong outings in Iowa’s last three contests (at Purdue, vs. Minnesota and at Illinois). Smith averaged 17.0 points, shooting 18-34 (.529) from the field, including 13-20 (.650) from behind the 3-point arc. Smith also averaged 4.3 assists and 3.0 rebounds. Alexander averaged 8.5 assists, 7.7 points and 6.0 rebounds the last three games. Skouby averaged 13.7 points, bolstered by 12-13 (.923) from the foul line, 3.0 blocks and 6.0 rebounds the last three games.

Senior Megan Skouby leads the conference and ranks 27th nationally in free throw accuracy, shooting .870 (67-77). Wendy Ausdemore has missed only three free throw attempts this season (27-30, .900). As a team, Iowa shoots .783 (256-327) from the charity stripe, ranking sixth in the nation. The Hawkeyes have made (256) nearly as many free throws as their opponents have attempted (271).

For the second-straight game, Iowa led start-to-finish. This time it was a 72-62 triumph at Illinois Thursday night in Assembly Hall. The win was Iowa’s fifth-straight at Champaign. Megan Skouby, Kristi Smith and Kamille Wahlin combined for 50 of Iowa’s 72 points. Skouby scored a game-high 21 points, Smith contributed 17, while Wahlin added a season-high 12. Smith also had five assists and no turnovers. Iowa shot lights-out from long distance, shooting a season-best 62.5 percent, making 10 of 16 attempts. Illinois was only 1-7 (.143) from 3-point range. Smith made her first five 3-point field goal attempts, marking the second-straight contest she sank five triples. Alexander dished out a career-high nine assists and also was credited with only one turnover and a team-high 10 rebounds. The Hawkeye defense limited Illinois to just 33.8 percent (22-65) shooting, but did allow 46 rebounds, including 20 offensive boards. Illinois’ Jenna Smith finished with a game-high 18 rebounds and a team-high 18 points. Lacey Simpson grabbed 15 boards and added 12 points. Iowa turned the ball over a season-low eight times. The Hawkeyes also assisted on 21 of their 26 field goals.

? Thursday was the 59th meeting between the two schools. Iowa now leads the all-time series, 43-16. The Hawkeyes improved to 18-10 against Illinois at Champaign, including winning the last five. The Black and Gold have won eight of the last nine meetings. The 43 wins are the most Iowa has against any Big Ten team.
? Iowa led by as many as 17 points (53-37) in the second half.
? Kristi Smith was 6-11 from the field, including 5-6 from 3-point range. Skouby was 8-15 from the floor, including 1-1 from 3-point range and 4-5 from the foul line. Wahlin was 4-5 from both the field and the foul line.
? Kristi Smith has been on fire from long distance the last three games; she has made 13 triples (13-20, .650).
? Iowa made seven of its nine (.778) first-half 3-point attempts. Kristi Smith made four (4-4), while Wendy Ausdemore (1-2), Hannah Draxten (1-2) and Megan Skouby (1-1) each drained one.
? Kachine Alexander pulled down eight of her team-high 10 rebounds in the first 20 minutes. She has now reached double-digit rebounds six times this season.
? Iowa led by as many as 14 points in the first half. Illinois closed the half on a 10-3 run. The Hawkeyes scored only one basket the last 7:42 of the first half.
? Iowa assisted on all 11 first-half field goals, seven of which were 3-pointers.
? Iowa improves to 3-0 in bus trips this season.

Wendy Ausdemore has made more 3-pointers than two-point field goals this season. Ausdemore, who ranked third in the country in 3-point percentage a year ago, has made 31 triples and 25 two-pointers through 17 games. Last season, Ausdemore made 78 treys and 54 two-pointers in 32 contests.

Last season, Iowa had only three players record one double-double in 32 games (Wendy Ausdemore, Johanna Solverson and Megan Skouby). So far this season, Iowa has had three players post double-doubles a total of seven times through 17 games. JoAnn Hamlin has posted four double-doubles (Boston, Iowa State, Minnesota and Wisconsin) this year. The last Iowa player to record four or more double-doubles in a season was Jennie Lillis in 2002-03. Lillis had nine double-doubles that season. Kachine Alexander tallied her first double-double vs. Providence, while Ausdemore had back-to-back double-doubles vs. Texas Tech and South Florida in the Paradise Jam.

Wendy Ausdemore, a senior, has her name all over the Hawkeye record books for 3-point shooting. The native of Neola, IA, is 191-463 (.413) from long distance. Ausdemore’s 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 191 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.

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 averages 12.4 more points at home than on the road. The Black and Gold have a higher free throw percentage at home (.813) than on the road (.750). Iowa averages 4.0 more rebounds per game, 3.0 more assists and 2.2 fewer turnovers at home than on the road.

There are big differences in the statistics in Iowa’s wins to Iowa’s losses. The Hawkeyes average 16.5 more points in their wins to losses. Also, Iowa averages 5.7 fewer turnovers in its victories. Finally, Iowa averages .409 from behind the 3-point arc in its wins, compared to only .291 in its defeats.

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 is 131-17 when leading at the half in nine years under Coach Bluder, including a perfect 10-0 this season. The Hawkeyes are 110-24 when holding opponents to 69 points or less, including a 54-4 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 12 (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 blocked a career-high six shots at Purdue (1/8/09).
? 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.
? Iowa’s loss to South Florida was its first overtime loss since falling 80-78 to Minnesota (Jan. 25, 2007) in Iowa City.
? Through 17 games, Iowa averages only 4.7 steals per game, which is the lowest average in school history. The Hawkeyes averaged 5.1 thefts during the 1984-85 and 1985-86 seasons.

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 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 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. All-session tickets are on sale for $65. 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 be idle next Thursday, receiving its second of two “byes”. The Hawkeyes return to action Monday, Jan. 26 when they entertain the Michigan Wolverines. That game will be Iowa’s annual “Buck Night”.

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