March 16, 2009
IOWA CITY, Iowa — Wendy Ausdemore might not remember much about Georgia Tech, but University of Iowa women’s basketball fans will never forget Ausdemore’s performance the last time the Hawkeyes and Yellow Jackets met inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
Ausdemore made 9 of 10 field goals and 3 of 4 three-point field goals for 23 points and eight rebounds on Nov. 28, 2007, when Georgia Tech defeated Iowa 76-57 as part of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. The teams will meet nearly 16 months later in the first round of the NCAA tournament Sunday, March 22. The Hawkeyes (21-10 overall) are the No. 8 seed and Georgia Tech is a No. 9 seed.
“We’re happy to be in,” Ausdemore said. “We don’t know anything about them yet, but we’ll start focusing on them tomorrow. We just want to play well. We’re on our home court and it should be a good game.”
“They’re kind of a mystery to me,” said UI senior Megan Skouby. “I don’t really know a lot about them. I know they’re from a great conference and it will be a tough game. We did play them last year, but we’ve played so many teams in between — I don’t know who they graduated and who they still have playing. A team can completely change their dynamics in a year.”
The Yellow Jackets have a record of 21-9 overall and went 3-5 against teams ranked in the top 25. Their biggest victory was a 66-62 decision over No. 2 North Carolina on Jan. 22. Georgia Tech (4-5 in road games) is led by Alex Montgomery, who was limited to two points when the teams met last season. Montgomery averages 13.7 points and 6.7 rebounds per game in 2008-09. Jacqua Williams averages 11.7 points and Iasia Hemingway averages 10.9 points per game.
“I’m anxious to get in the office and start watching some film on them and figure out a little more about them,” UI head coach Lisa Bluder said. “Everybody we get this time of year is going to be a great team, so obviously they’re a very good team.”
Bluder is thrilled that the Hawkeyes won’t need to pack their bags and play in a foreign environment Sunday.
“To be able to sit here this week and prepare in the arena we’re going to play in is amazing,” she said. “I’ve never been a part of anything like this where we’ve gotten to host an NCAA tournament. It’s very exciting and a great advantage. I hope we get a great crowd out here to support us.”
The Iowa-Georgia Tech game will begin approximately 30 minutes after the Oklahoma-Prairie View contest which begins at 6 p.m.
NCAA WOMEN’S BASKETBALL NOTES
“To be able to sit here this week and prepare in the arena we’re going to play in is amazing. I’ve never been a part of anything like this where we’ve gotten to host an NCAA tournament. It’s very exciting and a great advantage. I hope we get a great crowd out here to support us.”
UI head coach Lisa Bluder
A total of five teams (Iowa, Auburn, Maryland, Montana and Ohio State) will be making their 18th NCAA Tournament appearance this weekend. The total of 18 is the eighth-most of any tournament team this year.
Iowa enters the tournament with the identical record it did a year ago, 21-10 overall and 13-5 in the Big Ten. The Hawkeyes tied Michigan State and Purdue for second place in the Big Ten standings this season.
This marks the second-straight year Iowa earned an at-large berth into the NCAA Tournament and third time in the last four years. This year’s senior class will have played in three NCAA Tournaments (2006, 2008 and 2009) — only the second class under Bluder to accomplish the feat.
Iowa is 16-17 all-time in NCAA Tournament games, including a 7-3 record in first round games and a 5-9 mark in the second round.
Iowa (21-10) earned a No. 8 seed and will meet ninth-seeded Georgia Tech (21-9) in the first round. The other first round game in Iowa City pits top-seeded Oklahoma (28-4) against 16th-seeded Prairie View A&M (23-10). Iowa is 0-1 all-time against Georgia Tech. Iowa is 2-1 all-time vs. Oklahoma, most recently playing on Nov. 25, 2005, in the Odwalla Classic in San Francisco, Calif. The Sooners defeated the Hawkeyes 85-68. Iowa has never played Prairie View A&M. Prairie View A&M, which won the SWAC automatic bid, is located in Texas.
This year marks the 12th year Iowa City and Carver-Hawkeye Arena will host NCAA Tournament games (1986-90, 92-94, 96-98, 2009). The UI and Carver-Hawkeye Arena have entertained the regional finals four times and first and/or second rounds 10 times. The last time Iowa City hosted a first and second round was in 1998. Iowa defeated Massachusetts in the first round, but lost to Kansas in the second round. The Hawkeyes are 9-4 in NCAA Tournament games in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
Bluder, who is a two-time Big Ten and WBCA Regional Coach of the Year, has guided the Hawkeyes to postseason tournaments eight of nine years (six NCAA and two WNIT) while coaching the Hawkeyes. Last season, Iowa lost to Georgia 67-61 in the NCAA Tournament first round at Norfolk, Va. Iowa last advanced to the second round in 2002, when it defeated Virginia in the first round, but lost to Connecticut (in Storrs, Conn.), a team that eventually won the national championship.
A total of five Big Ten teams made the NCAA Tournament (Ohio State, Michigan State, Purdue, Iowa and Minnesota). Three of the five Big Ten teams are first and second-round site hosts. Purdue and Minnesota are the only schools not hosting this season.
Click HERE to purchase tickets online. Tickets can also be purchased by calling 1-800 IA-HAWKS or at the UI Athletics Ticket Office in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.