May 28, 2009
IOWA CITY — The Iowa women’s basketball team announced today its tournament match-ups for its 24th annual KCRG-TV9 Hawkeye Challenge set for Nov. 14-15 in Iowa City. The four-team field features UCLA, Illinois State and Santa Clara and the host-school Hawkeyes, who won the challenge last year with victories over Boston and Providence.
The first round match-ups feature Illinois State vs. UCLA and Santa Clara vs. Iowa on Saturday. Second round contests will take place on Sunday in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The Bruins will be making their second appearance in the Challenge (1990), while the Redbirds and Broncos will be competing in the tournament for the first time.
Last season, UCLA finished fifth in the Pac-10 with a 19-12 overall record. Illinois State won the Missouri Valley regular season title and finished with a 27-8 overall record and advanced to the semifinals of the WNIT a year ago. Santa Clara went 4-27 and placed last in the West Coast Conference last season.
This will be the first-ever meeting between Iowa and Santa Clara. Depending on who the Hawkeyes play in round two of the tournament, Iowa is 4-1 all-time against Illinois State and 1-0 vs. UCLA. The last time Iowa played the Redbirds was a 66-41 triumph in 1996. The Black and Gold defeated the Bruins 81-52 in 1990.
Iowa has won 18 of the previous 23 challenges and boast a 40-6 record in the tournament.
Iowa finished with a 21-11 record, tying for second place in the Big Ten and competed in the NCAA Tournament last season.