Hawkeyes to Play Regular Season Finale at Northwestern

Feb. 27, 2009

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The Iowa Hawkeyes (19-9, 12-5) hit the road for their regular-season finale Sunday at Northwestern (7-21, 3-14). Tip-off is slated for 2:05 p.m. in Welsh-Ryan Arena at Evanston, IL. Iowa has won 11 of its last 13 games, while Northwestern has lost 11 of its last 13. Iowa has won five straight, which ties Purdue for the longest active winning streak in the Big Ten. The Hawkeyes enter Sunday’s game tied with Michigan State for third place in the Big Ten standings.

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, 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 998 games, two shy of competing in its 1,000th contest, since beginning basketball in 1974. Overall, Iowa’s record is 608-390 (.609). That includes a 308-151 (.671) mark in Big Ten contests and 285-82 (.777) in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Iowa’s senior trio of, Kristi Smith (1,402), Megan Skouby (1,397) and Wendy Ausdemore (1,286), have combined for 4,085 points during their illustrious four-year careers. The trio is only 26 points from becoming the highest scoring trio, from one class, in Big Ten history. Purdue’s 2004 senior trio of Shereka Wright (2,251), Erika Valek (1,219) and Beth Jones (640) accumulated a record 4,110 points. Furthermore, Iowa is the only Big Ten school with three players who have netted 1,250 points or more in their careers.

With only one game remaining, Iowa can be seeded anywhere from third to fifth depending on the outcome of Sunday’s games around the league. Below is a list of scenarios:

Third Seed: Iowa wins and Michigan State loses
Fourth Seed: Michigan State wins and Iowa wins OR Iowa loses and Minnesota loses
Fifth Seed: Michigan State loses, Iowa loses and Minnesota wins

Iowa has recorded another first-division finish in the Big Ten standings. Bluder’s Hawkeyes have finished in the upper half of the Big Ten Conference six times in her nine years as head coach. The Hawkeyes are one win from notching their 20th of the season. Bluder has mentored Iowa to three 20-win seasons during her tenure.

Iowa has maintained a solid home court advantage the last couple years. Dating back to last season, Iowa has won 20 of its last 21 home games. Iowa finished the 2008-09 regular season with a 13-1 home record.

Northwestern will be playing in its third game in seven days Sunday, after beating Minnesota (62-53) at home last Monday and losing at Penn State (65-50) last Thursday. Sunday will be Northwestern’s “Senior Day”. They will recognize a four-member senior class. Penn State out-scored Northwestern 46-28 in the second half en route to a 65-50 win in University Park, PA, Thursday night. In the loss, Amy Jaeschke scored a team-high 18 points and secured a team-high seven rebounds. Kristin Cartwright added 15 points, but had eight turnovers. The Lady Lions forced 28 Northwestern turnovers and converted the Wildcat miscues into 24 points. Six of Northwestern’s 21 setbacks have come by six points or less and the Wildcats have lost two games in overtime. Northwestern is 7-8 in home games, including 3-5 in home league contests. Jaeschke averages a team-best 13.9 points, 8.4 rebounds and 3.3 blocks per contest. Kristin Cartwright, the daughter of former Chicago Bulls star Bill Cartwright, averages 10.2 points. Eckhart averages a team-best 3.3 assists. Northwestern ranks second in Big Ten blocks (4.68) and sixth in rebounds allowed (34.4). The Wildcats get out-scored by 7.0 points, on average, in the second half. Joe McKeown is the newest Big Ten head coach. McKeown is in his first season on the Wildcat sidelines after coaching at George Washington. He is in his 23rd season as a head coach (516-195, .726).

Sunday will be the 54th meeting between Iowa and Northwestern, with the Hawkeyes leading the series 41-12. Iowa boasts a 19-5 advantage in games played at Evanston. The Hawkeyes have won 15 straight in the series (all during Bluder’s tenure), including seven-consecutive at Welsh-Ryan Arena. Iowa boasts a 19.8-point margin of victory average during the winning streak, including a 21.6 point margin of victory in contests played at Evanston. The Wildcats’ last win over Iowa came at the 2000 Big Ten Tournament (53-52) in Indianapolis.

? Kachine Alexander will celebrate her 20th birthday Saturday (Feb. 28).
? Iowa’s Lisa Bluder and Northwestern’s Joe McKeown have combined for 1,039 victories and 48 years as a head coach. Bluder has won 523 games in 25 years, while McKeown has won 516 in 23 seasons.
? 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.
? Iowa boasts a perfect 11-0 record when allowing 59 points or less, are 15-2 when shooting a higher field goal percentage than its opponents and 16-1 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 17 league games. Also, Alexander has attempted the most free throws of any Big Ten athlete (153) in 28 overall games. The 153 free-throw attempts are 16 from the school single-game record.
? Iowa’s senior trio of Kristi Smith (1,402), Megan Skouby (1,397) and Wendy Ausdemore (1,286) 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.
? Iowa had five players score in double figures in the previous meeting between Iowa and Northwestern on Jan. 18 in Iowa City. JoAnn Hamlin led all scorers with 16 points. Hannah Draxten contributed 13 points, followed by Kristi Smith (11), Megan Skouby (10) and Kachine Alexander (10). Alexander also pulled down a game-high 11 rebounds. Iowa assisted on 25 of its 29 field goals en route to victory. Brittany Orban tallied 13 points and Kristin Cartwright netted 12 points to lead the Wildcats.
? Kristi Smith, Megan Skouby, Wendy Ausdemore and Kristi Smith have had solid outings in multiple games against Northwestern during their careers. Skouby averages 17.7 points, including 24-26 (.923) from the foul line, and 5.0 rebounds. Kristi Smith averages 9.5 points, including 8-16 (.500) from distance, and 3.3 assists. Ausdemore averages 10.8 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.3 assists.
? Kristi Smith has reached double figures a team-best 21 times this year, including 13 of the last 14 contests. Also, Smith has made 23-straight free throws, dating back to the Indiana game (Feb. 5).
? Kristi Smith’s 58 triples this season are a single-season best for the senior and rank second-best in school history for an Iowa senior.
? Kamille Wahlin second in assists (2.88) and scoring (8.3), fourth in rebounding (3.5) and 3-point field goal percentage (.404), 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 one dime from reaching 400.
? Iowa players have corralled double-digit rebounds 21 times this season. Kachine Alexander has accomplished the feat a team-best 12 times, JoAnn Hamlin six times, Wendy Ausdemore three times and Megan Skouby once. The last time an Iowa player controlled double-digit rebounds 12 times or more in a season was Jerica Watson (12), during the 2001-02 season.
? Iowa has an RPI rating of 32nd in the country and strength of schedule of 37th. 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. Northwestern is rated 230th in the RPI and 73rd in strength of schedule. The numbers are based on the report published Feb. 27.

Only five points separate Megan Skouby and Kristi Smith for eighth place on Iowa’s all-time scoring list. Smith has amassed 1,402 points, followed by 1,397 for Skouby. Skouby (115) has played four fewer games than Smith (119).

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 28 games this season, she is averaging 9.5 points, 8.8 rebounds and 4.0 assists. Alexander, who stands 5-9, ranks first in defensive rebounding (7.29) and assist/turnover ratio (1.57), second in rebounding (9.8) and assists (4.71), 13th in free throw percentage (.764), and 19th in scoring (10.8), 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 and its five-member senior class beat Illinois, 69-56, Thursday night on the Hawkeyes’ “Senior Night” in Iowa City. Although it was “Senior Night”, it was a trio of underclassmen that helped the Black and Gold to their 11th victory in their last 13 games. Sophomore Kachine Alexander posted her team-leading seventh double-double, recording 13 points and a game-high 11 rebounds. Freshman Kamille Wahlin chipped in 13 points, while freshman Hannah Draxten contributed eight points and two assists off the bench. Iowa outscored Illinois, 15-7 at the foul line, shooting 88 percent from the charity stripe. The Fighting Illini were led by Jenna Smith, who poured in a game-high 20 points and grabbed eight rebounds.

? Iowa improves to 44-16 all-time against Illinois after Thursday’s victory. Also, Iowa improves to 23-5 against the Fighting Illini in Iowa City. The Hawkeyes have now won 41 of the last 48 meetings against Illinois, including nine of the last 10.
? Thursday was Iowa’s “Senior Night”. The Hawkeyes paid tribute to five outstanding seniors after the contest: Wendy Ausdemore, Kristi Smith, Lindsey Nyenhuis, Nicole VanderPol and Megan Skouby.
? All 12 players saw action for Iowa, including senior Nicole VanderPol who saw a few seconds late in the game. VanderPol has been sidelined with an injury since the second game of the year.
? Kristi Smith dished out a game-high six assists, to go along with her nine points. Kachine Alexander added five assists. The Hawkeyes improved to 10-0 when she collects five assists or more.
? The Black and Gold posted a season low in turnovers, recording only four miscues. The previous low was eight, at Illinois, earlier this season.
? Iowa out-rebounded Illinois by nine (38-29).
? Iowa, who ranks fifth in the nation in free throw shooting, made 15-17 (.882) from the charity stripe. Illinois also shot well, 7-9 (.778).
? Iowa’s bench outscored Illinois’ reserves, 16-3.
? The Hawkeyes assisted on 18 of its 24 field goals.

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 18.1 free throws the last eight games and made 15.1 of those attempts (83.4%). Iowa was 14-16 (.875) vs. Penn State, 21-26 (.808) vs. Indiana, 26-32 (.813) vs. No. 13 Ohio State, 20-24 (.833) vs. Wisconsin, 15-17 (.822) vs. Illinois, 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 .849 (79-93). Wendy Ausdemore has missed only five free throw attempts this season (49-54, .907). Kachine Alexander has attempted more free throws than any other Big Ten student-athlete this season (153). The 153 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 .796 (406-510) from the charity stripe, ranking fifth in the nation. The Hawkeyes have made more free throws (406) than their opponents have attempted (398). Iowa is on pace to break the Big Ten single-season record for free throw percentage. The record is 78.8 percent (461-585), which was established by the Hawkeyes during the 2006-07 campaign.

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 16 times through 28 games. The last time Iowa had at least 16 double-doubles in a season was during 2000-01 campaign. That team, which was Lisa Bluder’s first Hawkeye team, also collected a total of 16 double-doubles that season. Kachine Alexander has posted a team-best seven double-doubles this season, which includes two triple-doubles. The sophomore registered double-doubles vs. Providence, Michigan, No. 13 Ohio State, Wisconsin and Illinois, and also added triple-doubles vs. Northwestern and Penn State. The last Iowa player to record seven 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%3EGP/GS%20%20%20FG-FGA%20%203-Ptrs%20%20FT-FTA%20%20RB%20%20AS%20%20ST%20%20PTS%20AVG29/21%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: onlyfans.cstv.com/schools/iowa/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%3E28/10%20%20%2072-161%20%2022-55%20%20%2028-38%20%20%2085%20%2068%20%2019%20%20194%206.9%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%2014.6%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(.824)%20than%20on%20the%20road%20(.753).%20Iowa%20averages%202.7%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20more%20rebounds%20per%20game,%204.9%20more%20assists%20and%203.3%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%2017.6%20more%20points%20in%20victory.%20Also,%20Iowa%20averages%205.5%20fewer%20turnovers%20in%20its%20victories.%20%20%20%20%20%20%20%20Finally,%20Iowa%20averages%20.399%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 14.9 points, including making 42-91 (.462) from 3-point territory, in        victories. Also, Kachine        Alexander averages 11.3 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 1,250-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 1,402 points, followed by Skouby (1,397) and Ausdemore (1,286). 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 10 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 10 career starts, Wahlin averages 11.2 points, 4.6 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 2.4 assist/turnover ratio and 34 minutes of action. Wahlin has posted double figures in six of her 10 starts. She currently second in assists (2.88) and scoring (8.3), fourth in rebounding (3.5) and 3-point field goal percentage (.404), amongst Big Ten freshmen, in conference games only rankings. Additionally, she ranks sixth in Big Ten 3-point percentage (.404) and 12th in assists (2.88), 13th in field goal percentage (.430) and 15th in 3-pointers (1.12), 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. She contributed a team-high 13 points in Iowa’s home victory over Illinois.

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 10-0 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 played in the first two games of the season and saw a couple seconds on “Senior Night” vs. Illinois on Feb. 26.
? Kristi Smith ranks 19th nationally in 3-point field goal percentage (.423), while Megan Skouby ranks 25th in free throw percentage (.849). As a team, Iowa ranks fifth in free throw percentage (.796), 26th in 3-point field goal percentage (.363), 29th in assist/turnover ratio (0.95), 31st in assists (15.5) and 35th in fewest fouls (14.9).
? 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 137-18 when leading at the half in nine years under Coach Bluder, including 16-1 this season. The Hawkeyes are 117-26 when holding opponents to 69 points or less, including a 57-4 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 six statistical Big Ten games only categories: scoring (68.8), free throw percentage (.793), 3-pointers made (6.94), 3-point field goal percentage (.391), assist/turnover ratio (1.13) and assists (16.18). Individually, Kachine Alexander ranks first in assist/turnover ratio (9.7) and defensive rebounding (7.29), and second in rebounding (9.8) and assists (4.71). Kristi Smith ranks first in 3-pointers made (2.53), second in minutes played (37.24), third in 3-point percentage (.443) and fourth in scoring (14.9). Megan Skouby rates sixth in blocked shots (1.35) and 12th in field goal percentage (.438). Kamille Wahlin ranks sixth in 3-point percebtage (.404) and 12th in assists (2.88). Wendy Ausdemore ranks fourth in 3-pointers (2.0), fifth in field goal percentage (.468) and sixth in scoring (13.3).

Iowa was 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 five regular season conference titles, which includes this season. Ohio State sophomore Jantel Lavender was selected as the pre-season Player of the Year by both voting groups.

“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 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.

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 return to action next week at the 2009 Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament. The Hawkeyes will receive a first-round bye and play Friday against an opponent yet to be determined.