Hawkeyes Set to Host Illinois on Senior Night

Feb. 24, 2009

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The Iowa Hawkeyes (18-9, 11-5) return home Thursday for their regular-season home finale against the Illinois Fighting Illini (8-19, 4-12). Tip-off is slated for 8:06 p.m. in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Tickets are $9 for adults, while youths and UI students are admitted free. The Iowa Hawkeyes will recognize five outstanding seniors Thursday night on “Senior Night”. Wendy Ausdemore, Lindsey Nyenhuis, Megan Skouby, Kristi Smith and Nicole VanderPol will be honored after the game. Iowa has won four straight, which ties Purdue for the longest active winning streak in the Big Ten. Illinois enters Thursday’s contest on a two-game losing skid.

Gina Glocksen, who was the ninth-place finisher in the 2007 American Idol competition, will be the Hawkeyes’ special guest Thursday night for “Senior Night”. The Tinley Park, IL, native, will sing the national anthem, perform a song at halftime and also sign autographs. Glocksen is friends with Hawkeye senior Lindsey Nyenhuis.

Thursday’s game will be televised live to a national cable audience on the Big Ten Network (HD). Brent Stover and Brenda VanLengen 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 game on WMT AM-600 in Cedar Rapids, KXIC AM-800 in Iowa City 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.

Iowa has played 997 games, three shy of competing in its 1,000th contest, since beginning basketball in 1974. Overall, Iowa’s record is 607-390 (.609). That includes a 307-151 (.670) mark in Big Ten contests and 284-82 (.776) in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Iowa’s win at Michigan Sunday coupled with Indiana’s loss to Ohio State clinched another upper division finish for Lisa Bluder and the Iowa Hawkeyes. Bluder’s Hawkeyes have finished in the first division of the Big Ten Conference six times in her nine years as head coach.

Iowa has maintained a solid home court advantage the last couple years. Dating back to last season, Iowa has won 19 of its last 20 home games. Iowa boasts a 12-1 home record this season.

Only two dates left in the Big Ten regular season and the league race is heating up. Only one game separates second place from fifth. Listed below is each team’s remaining schedule.

Ohio State (13-3): Wisconsin, Penn State
Michigan State (12-4): Minnesota, Purdue
Purdue (12-4): Michigan, at Michigan State
Iowa (11-5): Illinois, at Northwestern
Minnesota (10-6): at Michigan State, Illinois
Indiana (10-7): Idle, Michigan

Illinois second-year Head Coach Jolette Law is a 1990 graduate of the University of Iowa. Law, who was a 1990 all-American, played four years (1986-90) for former Iowa and Hall of Fame Coach C. Vivian Stringer. Law currently ranks 17th in Iowa career scoring (1,137), sixth in steals (205) and seventh in assists (353). The Hawkeyes won or shared four Big Ten championships, reached the Elite Eight twice and helped Iowa win 46-straight home games during her career. Law will be making her first appearance in Carver-Hawkeye Arena as a head coach Thursday night. Law was back in Iowa City in December 2006, when Rutgers visited Iowa City for the 2006 Hawkeye Challenge. Law was an assistant for C. Vivian Stringer and Rutgers.

After starting the season 4-16, Illinois has gone 4-3 its last seven games. The Illini are 4-10 in games away from home, including a 4-5 mark in true road contests. Illinois lost its last two games, 68-50 at Purdue and 67-56 vs. Penn State at home. In the loss to Penn State, the Lady Lions outscored the Illini 19-8 at the free throw line. Also, Penn State’s bench scored 22 points to Illinois’ zero. Jenna Smith paced the Illini, recording her 31st career double-double (22 points, 13 rebounds). The 31 double-doubles, ties Indiana’s Whitney Thomas and Ohio State’s Jantel Lavender for the most among active Big Ten players. Smith has now reached double figures in 35-straight contests. Smith, a pre-season all-Big Ten honoree, averages a team-best 18.1 points, 53 blocks and .471 shooting percentage from the field. She also pulls down 8.6 rebounds per outing. Lacey Simpson averages 11.2 points and a team-best 9.0 rebounds. Like Iowa, Illinois has a thin bench, playing only two bench players in its last game. The Illini average only 52.2 points per game, while allowing 59.4. Illinois has made only 75 triples this season, shooting 25.5 percent from behind the 3-point arc. Jolette Law is in her second season as a head coach, both years at Illinois. Her record is 28-34 (.452) on the Fighting Illini sidelines. Last season, Law guided Illinois to the championship game of the Big Ten Tournament.

Thursday will be the 60th meeting between Iowa and Illinois, with the Hawkeyes boasting a 43-16 advantage. The 43 victories are the most the Hawkeyes have against any other team. Iowa has won 40 of the last 47 meetings, including eight of the last nine. Iowa owns a commanding 22-5 advantage in games played at Iowa City. Thursday will be Illinois’ first visit to Iowa City since a 74-69 triumph on Feb. 15, 2007. Iowa is 20-3 against the Fighting Illini in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The Hawkeyes defeated Illinois earlier this season, 72-62, Jan. 15 in Champaign, IL.

? Last year, Iowa went 13-5 in Big Ten play to win a share of the regular season title with Ohio State. The Hawkeyes are on pace to finish with the same league record this season, 13-5.
? This season marks the sixth time in nine years that Coach Bluder has guided the Hawkeyes to at least 18 victories. Bluder has mentored Iowa to three 20-win seasons during her tenure.
? Iowa’s last two games of the season are vs. the bottom two teams in the Big Ten standings. In Fact, the Hawkeyes’ last five games of the regular season will be against the bottom five of the league.
? Iowa boasts a perfect 10-0 record when allowing 59 points or less, are 15-2 when shooting a higher field goal percentage than its opponents and 15-1 when leading at halftime this season.
? Kachine Alexander, who stands 5-9, leads the Big Ten in rebounding, pulling down 9.7 per contest in 16 league games. Also, Alexander has attempted the most free throws of any Big Ten athlete (146) in 27 overall games.
? Iowa’s senior trio of Kristi Smith (1,393), Megan Skouby (1,389) and Wendy Ausdemore (1,276) is the first-ever senior class of three players in Big Ten history to each have eclipsed 1,250 points.
? Iowa shoots 79 percent (59-75) from the foul line the last two minutes of games, including 85 percent (46-54) with under a minute to go.
? Kristi Smith, Megan Skouby and Kamille Wahlin had solid outings at Illinois on Jan. 15. Skouby finished with a game-high 21 points, Smith chipped in 17 and Wahlin 12. The Hawkeyes shot a blistering 62.5 percent (10-16) from 3-point range. Illinois was paced by Jenna Smith’s 18 points and 18 rebounds. Lacey Simpson contributed 15 rebounds and 12 points. Chelsea Gordon scored 14 points against Iowa, but is out for the remainder of the year with a knee injury.
? Kristi Smith, Megan Skouby and Wendy Ausdemore have had good games against Illinois in their careers. Smith averages 11.4 points, including 11-20 from distance, and 3.4 assists in five starts vs. the Illini. Ausdemore averages 14.6 points, sinking all 14 free throw attempts, while Skouby averages 13.8 points and 4.3 rebounds.
? Kristi Smith has reached double figures a team-best 21 times this year, including the last 13 contests. Also, Smith has made 19-straight free throws, dating back to the Indiana game (Feb. 5).
? Kristi Smith’s 57 triples this season are a single-season best and tie Kristi Faulkner (2003-04) for second-best in school history by an Iowa senior.
? Kamille Wahlin ranks second in assists (3.0), fourth in scoring (8.0), rebounding (3.6) and 3-point field goal percentage (.400), amongst Big Ten freshmen, in conference games only rankings.
? Kristi Smith’s two assists at Michigan moved her past Johanna Solverson and into third place in Iowa all-time assists (493). She is only seven dimes from reaching 400. Megan Skouby, who ranks 18th in career rebounding (499), is only one from reaching 500.
? Iowa players have corralled double-digit rebounds 20 times this season. Kachine Alexander has accomplished the feat a team-best 11 times, JoAnn Hamlin six times, Wendy Ausdemore three times and Megan Skouby once. The last time an Iowa player controlled double-digit rebounds 11 times or more in a season was Jenee Graham (11), during the 2006-07 season.
? Iowa has an RPI rating of 32nd in the country and strength of schedule of 28th. Iowa has four wins over teams in the RPI top-50, including two ranked in the top 25. Iowa’s lowest RPI-ranked loss this year came at Kansas (59) in its second game of the year. Illinois is rated 132nd in the RPI and 18th in strength of schedule. The numbers are based on the report published Feb. 23.

Only four points separate Megan Skouby and Kristi Smith for eighth place on Iowa’s all-time scoring list. Smith has amassed 1,393 points, followed by 1,389 for Skouby. Skouby (114) has played four fewer games than Smith (118).

Sophomore Kachine Alexander has made a name for herself in the Big Ten with her improved play. Last year, she played only 18 games, averaging 2.2 points, 2.9 rebounds and 0.7 assists. Through 27 games this season, she is averaging 9.4 points, 8.7 rebounds and 4.0 assists. Alexander, who stands 5-9, first in rebounding (9.7) and defensive rebounding (7.25), second in assists (4.69), third in assist/turnover ratio (1.5), and 12th in free throw percentage (.767), in Big Ten Conference games only. Additionally, she became the first Big Ten player to ever post two triple-doubles in the same season when she accomplished the feat twice in four games. The Minneapolis, MN, native had 10 points, 11 rebounds and 12 assists vs. Northwestern (Jan. 18) and 26 points, 21 rebounds and 10 assists vs. Penn State (Feb. 1). Both games were Iowa wins.

Iowa won its fourth-straight game Sunday with a 68-64 triumph at Michigan. The Hawkeyes led start-to-finish and led by as many as 16 points in the second half. Wendy Ausdemore tallied a game-high 19 points on 7-12 shooting from the field, including 3-6 from 3-point territory, and 2-2 from the foul line. Ausdemore has been on fire during Iowa’s four-game winning streak, draining 26-45 (.578) from the floor. Kristi Smith registered 13 points, while JoAnn Hamlin added nine. Three Hawkeyes grabbed eight rebounds each: Kachine Alexander, Megan Skouby and Wendy Ausdemore. Smith controlled a season-high seven boards. Despite not shooting the ball very well, Iowa won the game with defense and rebounding. The Hawkeyes boasted a +18 rebounding margin (50-32), allowing a season-low seven offensive rebounds to the Wolverines. Iowa grabbed a season-high 19 offensive rebounds. Iowa turned its second-chance opportunities into 14 points, to only four for Michigan.

? Iowa has won 10 of its last 12 games. The Hawkeyes have won five road games this season, four of which have come in the Big Ten.
? Michigan has lost 10 games by eight points or less this season.
? Iowa has won 12 of the last 13 against Michigan, including four of the last five contests played in Crisler Arena.
? Iowa led 31-20 at intermission. The Hawkeyes improves to 15-1 when leading at halftime.
? Wendy Ausdemore scored 12 of her game-high 19 points in the first half. The senior made two huge jumpers with under five minutes remaining when Michigan made a push.
? Kachine Alexander dished out a team-high five assists. Iowa improves to 9-0 when the sophomore collects five assists or more.
? Michigan’s Carly Benson netted 14 of her 17 points in the second stanza. Also scoring in double figures for the Wolverines was Veronica Hicks (16) and Melinda Queen (11).

Iowa has done an outstanding job, recently, getting to the free throw line and taking advantage of the free shots. The Hawkeyes attempted an average of 18.7 free throws the last six games, including making 15.3 of those attempts. Iowa was 21-26 (.808) vs. Indiana, 26-32 (.813) vs. No. 13 Ohio State, 20-24 (.833) vs. Wisconsin, 11-14 (.786) at Penn State, 9-11 at Michigan and 5-5 (1.000) at Minnesota. Senior Megan Skouby ranks first in the conference and 29th nationally in free throw accuracy, shooting .846 (77-91). Wendy Ausdemore has missed only five free throw attempts this season (47-52, .904). Kachine Alexander has attempted more free throws than any other Big Ten student-athlete this season (146). The 146 are the most by a Hawkeye since Kristi Faulkner attempted 165 in 33 games during the 2002-03 campaign. The school record for free throw attempts is Amy Herrig’s 169, which she established in 1998-99. As a team, Iowa shoots .793 (391-493) from the charity stripe, ranking fourth in the nation. The Hawkeyes have made more free throws (391) than their opponents have attempted (389).

Seniors Kristi Smith and Wendy Ausdemore have their names all over the Hawkeye record books for 3-point shooting. Both Smith and Ausdemore are shooting at a 40.9 percent clip from 3-point territory. Ausdemore has converted 213-521 and Smith 177-433. Smith and Ausdemore’s career shooting accuracy from distance currently ranks second in the Big Ten and first in Hawkeye record books. Former Ohio State Buckeye Caity Matter (270-657, .411) ranks first. Former Hawkeye Lindsey Meder (261-644, .405) ranks fourth. Ausdemore’s 213 treys ranks second in Iowa annals behind Meder’s 261. Smith’s 177 triples rate third best. 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.

Last season, Iowa had only three players record a double-double in 32 games (Wendy Ausdemore, Johanna Solverson and Megan Skouby). So far this season, Iowa has had five different players post double-doubles a total of 15 times through 27 games. The last time Iowa had at least 15 double-doubles in a season was during 2000-01 campaign. That team, which was Lisa Bluder’s first Hawkeye team, collected a total of 16 double-doubles that season. Kachine Alexander has posted a team-best six double-doubles this season, which includes two triple-doubles. The sophomore registered double-doubles vs. Providence, Michigan, No. 13 Ohio State and Wisconsin, and also added triple-doubles vs. Northwestern and Penn State. The last Iowa player to record six or more double-doubles in a season was Jennie Lillis in 2002-03. Lillis had nine double-doubles that season. JoAnn Hamlin has four double-doubles (Boston, Iowa State, Minnesota and Wisconsin) this year. Wendy Ausdemore collected double-doubles vs. Texas Tech and South Florida in the Paradise Jam and also at Penn State. Kamille Wahlin had her first double-double vs. Michigan, while senior Megan Skouby posted her first career double-double at Minnesota.

Kamille Wahlin is on the same path as Kristi Smith in her freshman season. Below are Kamille’s and Kristi’s freshman year numbers.

Kristi Smith's Freshman Campaign in 2005-06="https://hawkeyesports.com/http:%3E%3C/strong%3E%3Cstrong%3EGP/GS%20%20%20%20FG-FGA%20%203-Ptrs%20%20FT-FTA%20%20RB%20%20AS%20%20ST%20%20PTS%20AVG%3C/strong%3E29/21%20%20%2074-156%20%2022-53%20%20%2036-43%20%20%2061%20%2082%20%2029%20%20206%207.1%3Cbr%3E%3Cstrong%3E%3Cahref="http: hawkeyesports.cstv.com/sports/w-baskbl/mtt/wahlin_kamille00.html"="">Kamille Wahlin's Freshman Campaign in 2008-09="https://hawkeyesports.com/http:%3E%3C/strong%3E%3Cstrong%3EGP/GS%20%20%20%20FG-FGA%20%203-Ptrs%20%20FT-FTA%20%20RB%20%20AS%20%20ST%20%20PTS%20AVG%3C/strong%3E27/9%20%20%20%2067-149%20%2019-48%20%20%2028-38%20%20%2083%20%2067%20%2018%20%20181%206.7%3C/pre%3E%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%3Cstrong%3E%3Cem%3EHOME,%20AWAY%20COMPARISONS%3C/em%3E%3C/strong%3E%3Cbr%3E%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20Iowa%20averages%2015.1%20more%20points%20at%20home%20than%20on%20the%20road.%20The%20Black%20and%20Gold%20have%20a%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20much-higher%20free%20throw%20percentage%20at%20home%20(.820)%20than%20on%20the%20road%20(.753).%20Iowa%20averages%202.9%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20more%20rebounds%20per%20game,%204.9%20more%20assists%20and%202.4%20fewer%20turnovers%20at%20home%20than%20on%20the%20road.%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%3Cp%3E%3Cstrong%3E%3Cem%3EWINS,%20LOSSES%20COMPARISONS%3C/em%3E%3C/strong%3E%3Cbr%3E%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20There%20are%20big%20differences,%20statistically%20in%20Iowa's%20wins%20vs.%20losses.%20The%20Hawkeyes%20average%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%2017.8%20more%20points%20in%20victory.%20Also,%20Iowa%20averages%204.9%20fewer%20turnovers%20in%20its%20victories.%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20Finally,%20Iowa%20averages%20.403%20from%20behind%20the%203-point%20arc%20in%20its%20wins,%20compared%20to%20only%20.296%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20in%20defeat.%20Individually,%20%3Ca%20href="/roster.aspx?rp_id=3336" class="imported_story_link" oldlink="/sports/w-baskbl/mtt/smith_kristi00.html">Kristi        Smith averages 15.2 points, including making 41-90 (.456) from 3-point territory, in        victories. Also, Kachine        Alexander averages 11.2 points, 5.1 assists and 9.7 rebounds in Hawkeyes wins. In        losses, Smith averages only 9.6 points, while Alexander averages 5.8 points and 1.7        assists.        

Iowa has three seniors who have reached the 1,200-point plateau. Wendy Ausdemore, Megan Skouby and Kristi Smith became the first trio, from the same class, in Big Ten history to ever eclipse 1,250 points! Purdue and Illinois each have three members from their 1988 class score 1,000 points or more. Smith currently has 1,393 points, followed by Skouby (1,389) and Ausdemore (1,276). 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.

Kachine Alexander, who was tabbed Big Ten Player of the Week twice this season (Jan. 20 and Feb. 3), is the first player in Big Ten history to record two triple-doubles in a season. The 5-9 guard totaled 10 points, 11 rebounds and 12 assists in Iowa’s win against the Northwestern Wildcats. The 12 assists are a personal best and match the school single-game and Carver-Hawkeye Arena record. She became the first player to register a triple-double during a Big Ten game since Feb. 8, 2007, when Ohio State’s Jessica Davenport tallied 17 points, 10 rebounds and 11 blocks against Minnesota. The last triple-double involving points, rebounds and assists in league play was courtesy of Iowa’s Cara Consuegra (17 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists) on Feb. 3, 2000. The sophomore repeated the feat three games later when she totaled 26 points, 21 rebounds and 10 assists in a triple-overtime triumph over Penn State. She is the only Hawkeye to ever record two triple-doubles. Alexander is one of only four NCAA Division I student-athletes to post multiple triple-doubles this season. Kansas State’s Shalee Lehning, UT-San Antonio’s Monica Gibbs and St. Mary’s Louella Tomlinson are the other three players to have two triple-doubles this year. In total, there have been 13 triple-doubles, by a total of nine different players in 2008-09. Alexander became only the second Iowa basketball player, male or female, to post a triple-double (Cara Consuegra).

Kamille Wahlin was moved to a starting role the last nine games. She first entered the starting lineup after JoAnn Hamlin went down with an injury, but has remained in the starting lineup since Hamlin’s return. In her nine career starts, Wahlin averags 11.0 points, 4.9 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 35 minutes of action. She currently second in assists (3.0), fourth in scoring (8.0), rebounding (3.6) and 3-point field goal percentage (.400), amongst Big Ten freshmen, in conference games only rankings. Additionally, she ranks first in Big Ten assist/turnover ratio (1.92), fifth in 3-point percentage (.400) and 11th in assists (3.0), in conference games only rankings. In her first career start against Michigan (Jan. 26), she posted a double-double, the first of her career, recording 14 points and a personal-best 10 assists. The 10 assists are believed to be the most in a single-game by an Iowa freshman. At Michigan State, Wahlin was under the weather, with the flu, but still managed to play 27 minutes and collect six points and two assists. In Iowa’s triple overtime thriller, the freshman logged 43 minutes of court time, recording 18 points and seven boards. Wahlin helped Iowa to a two-point victory (69-67) over Indiana on Feb. 5. The freshman tallied 10 points, seven rebounds and five assists. At Minnesota, she was credited with eight points, seven rebounds and a game-high six assists. The native of Crookston, MN, netted a personal-best 19 points and collected a team-high five assists in Iowa’s 10-point upset home win over No. 13 Ohio State. Wahlin was credited with 10 points and a personal-best eight boards in Iowa’s last win vs. Wisconsin.

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, again, was asked to provide depth and will likely play a pivotal role in the team’s success.

Kachine Alexander has been putting up big assist numbers. The sophomore had eight assists vs. Minnesota (Jan. 11) and followed up that performance with nine at Illinois (Jan. 15). Against Northwestern (Jan. 18), Alexander collected a game and career-high 12 helpers. The 12 assists tied the school single-game and Carver-Hawkeye Arena record. She was credited with 10 dimes vs. Penn State (Feb. 1). Alexander ranks second in assists (4.69), in league play. Alexander’s 29 combined assists vs. Minnesota, Illinois and Northwestern are believed to be the most ever by a Hawkeye in a three-game span. Iowa is 9-0 this season when Alexander has five assists or more, and only 2-6 with two assists or fewer.

? Senior Nicole VanderPol will not play the rest of the year, due to injury. VanderPol only played in the first two games of the season.
? Kristi Smith ranks 20th nationally in 3-point field goal percentage (.419), while Megan Skouby ranks 29th in free throw percentage (.846). As a team, Iowa ranks fourth in free throw percentage (.793), 26th in 3-point field goal percentage (.364), 33rd in assists (15.3) and 37th in assist/turnover ratio (0.92).
? Iowa has only three wins this season when trailing at the half: two coming against Penn State and the other vs. Wisconsin. The Hawkeyes were behind by two (36-34) at intermission vs. Penn State Feb. 1. The Black and Gold also trailed the Lady Lions 41-23 Feb. 15 on the road. Iowa rallied from 12 points down in the first half against the Lady Lions (Feb. 1) and a school-record 20 points in the second half (Feb. 15) at Penn State. Iowa trailed Wisconsin 32-30 at the break, but won by seven (72-65) on Feb. 19 in Iowa City.
? Iowa is 136-18 when leading at the half in nine years under Coach Bluder, including 15-1 this season. The Hawkeyes are 116-26 when holding opponents to 69 points or less, including a 56-4 mark when opponents score 59 points or less.
? Iowa’s 12 blocks at Drake (Dec. 20) tied the school single-game record previously set vs. UC Santa Barbara in 1995.
? 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).
? Wendy Ausdemore’s 14 three-point attempts vs. Penn State (Feb. 1) tied a school single-game record. Crystal Smith attempted 14 triples at Louisiana Tech, while Lindsey Meder shot 14 treys vs. Colorado and Ohio State.
? 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 is 3-0 in bus trips this season (Drake, Wisconsin and Illinois). The Hawkeyes have one bus trip remaining (at Northwestern).

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).

The Iowa Hawkeyes rank first in seven statistical Big Ten games only categories: scoring (68.8), free throw percentage (.788), field goal percentage (.431), 3-pointers made (7.0), 3-point field goal percentage (.394), assist/turnover ratio (1.07) and assists (16.0). Individually, Kachine Alexander ranks first in rebounding (9.7) and defensive rebounding (7.25), second in assists (4.69) and third in assist/turnover ratio (1.5). Kristi Smith ranks first in 3-pointers made (2.63), second in minutes played (37.25), third in 3-point percentage (.438) and fourth in scoring (15.3). Megan Skouby rates sixth in blocked shots (1.44) and 12th in field goal percentage (.438). Kamille Wahlin ranks first in assist/turnover ratio (1.92), fifth in 3-point percebtage (.400) and 11th in assists (3.0). Wendy Ausdemore ranks third in 3-pointers (2.13), fifth in field goal percentage (.475) and sixth in scoring (13.5).

The Iowa-Penn State triple overtime game on Feb. 1, in Iowa City, made Big Ten history. Iowa became the first Big Ten school to win a triple overtime conference game, since league play officially began in 1982-83.

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.

Former Drake athlete Jenni Fitzgerald received the Drake Double D Award in Des Moines, IA, on Jan. 17. The award is presented annually to Drake letterwinners for achievements in their chosen fields of endeavor and/or community service since leaving Drake. The Double D Award is the highest honor Drake bestows on its student-athletes. Since its inception in 1968, the Double D honor has been presented to 234 former Drake letterwinners. Fitzgerald was the starting point guard for the Drake women’s basketball team from 1986-91. She was named team MVP as a junior and was named captain as a senior while earning All-Gateway Conference honors. She was a four-year starter for the Bulldogs and only the second player in Drake history to start every game of her collegiate career. Fitzgerald graduated from Drake, ranking second on the school career steals list (250) third on the school career free throw percentage chart (.802) and third on the school career assist list (516). In February 2007, Jan Jensen, who also played women’s basketball at Drake, earned the Double D Award.

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.

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.

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 will play its regular season finale next Sunday at Northwestern. Tip-off is scheduled for 2:05 p.m. at Welsh-Ryan Arena.