Hawkeyes To Host KCRG-TV9 Challenge

Nov. 11, 2009

Complete Release in PDF Format

The University of Iowa women’s basketball team opens the 2009-10 regular season by hosting the 24th edition of the KCRG-TV9 Hawkeye Challenge. Iowa will face Santa Clara in its season opener Saturday at noon. Illinois State and UCLA will join Santa Clara in Iowa City this weekend.

Below is a schedule of the Challenge.

Saturday, November 14
Santa Clara vs. Iowa – Noon
Illinois State vs. UCLA – 2:30 p.m.

Sunday, November 15
UCLA/Illinois State vs. Santa Clara – 11:30 a.m.
UCLA/Illinois State vs. Iowa – 2 p.m.

Season ticket prices are $70 for adults, $56 for UI faculty and senior-citizens and $15 for youth (18 and under). UI students are admitted free with student I.D.

Single-game tickets are $9 for adults. Youth (18 and under) are admitted free for weekday games and are $5 for weekend games.

Brent Balbinot and Shelley Till will call Saturday’s game for the Hawkeye Radio Network. on the Hawkeye All-Access page of hawkeyesports.com. Balbinot is in his sixth season as Iowa’s play-by-play voice, while Till is in her fifth providing analysis.

Hawkeye fans can also follow the game via live stats (Gametracker). The “GT” link can be accessed under the “Calendar” tab on the front page of hawkeyesports.com or on the women’s basketball schedule page.

Iowa has played 1,002 games, since beginning basketball in 1974. Overall, Iowa’s record is 610-392 (.609). That includes a 309-151 (.672) mark in regular season Big Ten contests and a 285-83 (.774) mark in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Members of the University of Iowa Alumni Association will be admitted free to Saturday’s game. Also, fans who purchases a ticket for the women’s basketball game Sunday are invited to stay and attend the men’s basketball game vs Texas-San Antonio immediately following at approximately 5 p.m.

Iowa is a perfect 9-0 in season openers under Head Coach Lisa Bluder. Saturday will mark the eighth time in the last 10 years that Iowa has opened the regular season at home. The Hawkeyes started the 2001-02 season with a 69-54 win over Gonzaga at the Great Alaska Shootout in Anchorage, and the 2006-07 campaign with a 79-70 victory over Missouri State in Kansas City at the WBCA Classic.

Under Bluder, Iowa is also 7-2 in home openers, with the only losses coming to then No. 8 Iowa State in 2000-01 (76-86) and to Drake in 2001-02 (72-75 in overtime). Iowa has won seven-straight home openers.

Last season, Iowa finished with a 21-11 overall record and tied for second place in the Big Ten with a 13-5 mark. The Hawkeyes advanced to the semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament, and were an at-large selection in the NCAA Tournament. Iowa hosted first and second round contests in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

The Hawkeyes return three players who started at least 14 games last season, in sophomore Kamille Wahlin (14 starts), junior Kachine Alexander (32 starts) and senior JoAnn Hamlin (18 starts).

Iowa was picked to finish fifth in the Big Ten by both the league coaches and media. Ohio State was tabbed as the favorite to win the Big Ten, with Michigan State coming in second.

The Hawkeyes return two full-time starters, one part-time starter and a total of seven letterwinners from last year’s squad.

Iowa returns 43.7% of its scoring and 56.4% of its rebounding from a year ago. The Hawkeyes also return 57% of their assists, 52.5% of their steals and 50.3% of their minutes played from the 2008-09 season.

The Santa Clara Broncos are 1-0 after defeating Sonoma State, 73-43 in their season opener Sunday. Lena Gipson, Alyssa Shoji and Maggie Goldenberger each scored 12 points in the win. Santa Clara’s defense held Sonoma State to just 31 percent from the field.

Santa Clara returns three starters from last year’s squad that went 4-27 last season, and finished eighth in the West Coast Conference. Gipson was named honorable mention all-WCC after averaging 13.6 points and 9.9 rebounds per game.

Jennifer Mountain is in her second season as head coach at Santa Clara.

The Illinois State Redbirds are picked to finish second in the Missouri Valley Conference, after winning the regular season crown a year ago (27-8 overall, 15-3 in MVC). Illinois State advanced to the WNIT semifinals, where it was defeated by Kansas.

The Redbirds return four starters, including Ashleen Bracey, Shala Jackson, Maggie Krick and Nicolle Lewis. Krick was also named to the Preseason all-MVC team.

Illinois State defeated Kentucky Wesleyan, 100-51, in its first exhibition game. Krick led the way with 23 points, while Lewis added 11 rebounds. The Redbirds played Truman State in their final exhibition before heading to Iowa City.

Robin Pingeton is in her seventh year at Illinois State, and has a 116-73 record.

The UCLA Bruins are picked to finish fourth in the Pac-10, after finishing the 2008-09 season in fourth place with a 19-12 overall record and a 9-9 mark in league play.

The Bruins return four starters, including Doreena Campbell, who was a Preseason Pac-10 selection. Other returning starters include Christina Nzekwe, Atonye Nyingifa and Erica Tukiainen.

UCLA defeated Master’s College, 80-66, Monday night.

Nikki Caldwell is in her second season as head coach at UCLA, and she has a 19-12 overall record.

?Iowa has won 18 of the previous 23 tournaments it has hosted, and holds an impressive 40-6 record in Hawkeye Challenge contests.

?Illinois State Head Coach Robin Pingeton played for Lisa Bluder at St. Ambrose from 1987-90, and is the school’s all-time leading scorer (2,502 points). She also coached under Bluder at Drake, and also spent time at Iowa State as an assistant coach.

?Illinois State Associate Head Coach Randy Norton is from Iowa City and played basketball and baseball at the University of Iowa. Norton was a part of Iowa’s 1980 Final Four team. He also coached high school boys basketball at Davenport Assumption, where he won two state titles from 1989-2003.

?Santa Clara Head Coach Jennifer Mountain was an assistant at Gonzaga when Iowa defeated the Zags, 69-54, to open the 2001-02 season at the Great Alaska Shootout. ?UCLA Assistant Coach Stacie Terry was an assistant coach at Illinois from 2004-07. Iowa was 4-1 vs. the Fighting Illini during Terry’s time in Champaign.

Junior Kachine Alexander returns after a breakout sophomore campaign.

Alexander was a second team all-Big Ten pick last year, and became the first Big Ten player to ever record two triple-doubles in the same season. She accomplished the feat after a 10 point, 11 rebound and 12 assist performance vs. Northwestern (Jan. 18), and a 26 point, 21 rebound 10 assist game against Penn State (Feb. 1).

The 5-9 guard ranked second in rebounding (9.7), defensive rebounding (7.17), assist/turnover ratio (1.59) and assists (4.5), 10th in offensive rebounds (2.5), 15th in free throw percentage (.757) and field goal percentage (.425) and 18th in scoring (10.9), in Big Ten games only.

In addition, Alexander’s 282 rebounds are the most by a Hawkeye since Amy Herrig pulled down 306 as a senior in 1998-99.

After starting 14 games at shooting guard as a freshman, Kamille Wahlin will assume point guard duties as a sophomore in 2009-10.

The Crookston, MN, native burst on to the scene last season, earning a spot on the all-Big Ten Freshmen team. She recorded 10 assists vs. Michigan (Jan. 26), which is believed to be the most by a Hawkeye freshman in a game. She also had 14 points vs. the Wolverines, making her the first Hawkeye freshman to ever post a double-double in her first career start.

Iowa’s lone senior, JoAnn Hamlin, will be sidelined indefinitely with a lower leg injury.

Three Hawkeyes scored in double figures as Iowa defeated Division II power Washburn, 88-60, Sunday in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Iowa was led by junior Kachine Alexander, who scored a game-high 25 points, including 3-4 from behind the three-point line. Sophomore Kamille Wahlin added 18 points while sophomore Kelly Krei chipped in 12.

Alexander, along with freshman Morgan Johnson, led Iowa with seven rebounds. Johnson also added a game-high six blocked shots.

The Hawkeyes shot a blistering 63.2 percent from behind the arc (12-19), and also shot 52.4 percent (33-63) from the floor.

Iowa out-scored Washburn, 40-18, in the paint, and also netted 18 points off 17 Washburn turnovers. The Hawkeyes racked up 19 assists to just eight team turnovers.

Ten of Iowa’s 12 players saw at least eight minutes of action against Washburn. Freshman Theairra Taylor and senior JoAnn Hamlin did not play against Washburn.

The Hawkeyes welcome five freshmen to the squad this season, one at each position.

Trisha Nesbitt (Ames, IA), will most likely play point guard for Iowa this season. She was a three-time all-conference and two-time first team all-district and all-state selection.

Jaime Printy (Marion, IA) could play both guard positions. She became the youngest player (15) ever to verbally commit to the Iowa Women’s Basketball team. She also played high school basketball at Coach Bluder’s alma mater (Linn-Mar). She was a three-time consensus first team all-state, all-district, all-metro and all-conference pick.

Theairra Taylor (St. Paul, MN) is a 5-11 guard. She was a finalist for 2009 Miss Minnesota Basketball award and was the 2009 St. Paul City Conference Player of the Year. Taylor also earned Associated Press and Pioneer Press first team all-state honors.

Gabby Machado (Pontiac, MI) ranked in the Top 10 in the state of Michigan’s 2009 recruiting class. She was a Detroit News Class “A” all-state honorable mention selection.

Morgan Johnson (Platte County, MO) was the Miss Show Me Basketball Award winner, given to the top prep senior in the state of Missouri. She was also named the 2009 Direnna Award winner, given to top prep in the Kansas City Area, and the Kansas City Star Scholar Athlete of the Year.

Four Hawkeyes prepped in the state of Iowa. Those players are junior Kelsey Cermak (Norwalk), sophomore Kelly Krei (Iowa City) and freshmen Trisha Nesbitt (Ames) and Jaime Printy (Marion).

The 2009-10 edition of the Iowa Women’s Basketball team has four players from the state of Minnesota. They include junior Kachine Alexander (Minneapolis), sophomores Kamille Wahlin (Crookston) and Hannah Draxten (Fergus Falls) and freshman Theairra Taylor (St. Paul).

Iowa fans will have a chance to see 21 of the 29 regular season games, either on television or webstream.

The Hawkeyes will have 13 games televised by either the Big Ten Network, KCRG TV-9, Mediacom or ESPN2. In addition, 12 games will be streamed live on BigTenNetwork.com.

All Big Ten Tournament and NCAA Tournament games will be televised, as well.

“Hawk Talk With Lisa Bluder” is the weekly radio call-in show of Iowa’s head women’s basketball coach. Hosted by Brent Balbinot, the radio voice of the Hawkeyes, “Hawk Talk With Lisa Bluder” is 60 minutes of discussion about Iowa women’s basketball. All shows begin at 6 p.m. and originate from Bob’s Your Uncle restaurant on North Dodge Street (Highway 1) in Iowa City, and are open to the public. Everyone who attends receives a free game ticket and discounts on “Show Night Specials” on the Bob’s Your Uncle menu.

Dates are listed below.

November 23 and 30, December 7, 14, 21 and 30, January 4, 11, 18 and 25, February 1, 8, 15 and 22 and March 1.

THE Lisa Bluder SHOW
“The Lisa Bluder Show,” featuring Iowa Head Coach Lisa Bluder and KCRG-TV9’s John Campbell, will air four times during the regular season on KCRG-TV9. Dates and times are listed below. Sunday, November 14 – 1 p.m.*
Thursday, December 31 – 6:30 p.m.
Sunday, January 16 – 5 p.m.
Sunday, January 20 – 5 p.m.
* – will re-air at 1:30 p.m. on KCRG-TV9.2 (digital signal)

All-session tickets for the 2010 Big Ten Men’s Women’s Basketball Tournament are on sale. Tickets can be purchased at all 11 Big Ten university ticket offices, Conseco Fieldhouse box office, Ticketmaster outlets, www.ticketmaster.com or by calling Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000. Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis is the site of the women’s tournament from March 4-7.

All-session tickets are available for $45 through January 18, which marks a 30-percent discount off the regular price of $65.

Iowa will take on either Illinois State or UCLA Sunday at 2 p.m. in the final game of the KCRG-TV9 Hawkeye Challenge. Sunday’s game will be televised live on KCRG-TV9.2 (digital signal). The game will also be available on www.bigtennetwork.com.

After Sunday, the Hawkeyes will host Kansas Wednesday, Nov. 18 at 7 p.m. That game will also be webcast on www.bigtennetwork.com.