Hawkeyes to Face Florida State in ACC/Big Ten Challenge

May 22, 2012

IOWA CITY, Iowa — The University of Iowa women’s basketball team will travel to Tallahassee, Fla. to face the Florida State Seminoles as part of the sixth annual ACC/Big Ten Challenge. The game is scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 28. Start time and television information will be released at a later date. This will be the first meeting between the two schools.

Florida State returns 11 of its 12 players from last year’s squad that finished 14-17 overall and 6-10 in ACC play. The Seminoles will be led by third team All-ACC pick Natasha Howard, who led the ACC in double-doubles with 12. She averaged 12.2 points and 9.1 rebounds per game, starting all 31 contests. Alexa Deluzio, the team’s second-leading scorer, also returns after starting 30 games and averaging 13.2 points per contest.

The Seminoles are coached by Sue Semrau, who just finished her 15th season at Florida State. She is the winningest coach in school history and led FSU to seven straight NCAA Tournament appearances from 2005-11. Semrau is a three-time ACC Coach of the Year and led the Seminoles to its second-consecutive ACC regular season title and a berth in the Elite 8 in the 2010 season.

Florida State’s coaching staff also has an Iowa tie, as director of operations Melissa Bruner graduated from Coe College in 1994 and was a four-sport athlete in softball, basketball, tennis and volleyball. She also served as an assistant athletic director and head women’s basketball coach at Coe College before taking the job at Florida State.

Iowa is 1-4 in the Challenge after picking up its first win last year with a 58-47 victory over Virginia Tech in Iowa City. The Hawkeyes were defeated at home by Georgia Tech (2007) and Boston College (2009) along with road losses at Duke (2008) and North Carolina (2010).

Florida State is 3-2 in the Challenge and the Hawkeyes are 11-6 all-time vs. the ACC.

The ACC/Big Ten Women’s Basketball Challenge matches 12 teams from each conference in head-to-head competition. Last season, the Big Ten and ACC battled to a 6-6 draw, the first tie in the Challenge’s history. The ACC had won the previous five Challenges.

The Big Ten and ACC have long been among the most dominant conferences on the women’s basketball scene. For the first time in league history, the Big Ten had seven teams selected to the NCAA Tournament in 2012. The ACC sent four schools to the NCAA Tournament.

Game times and television information will be released at a later date.

Wednesday, Nov. 28
Ohio State at North Carolina
Iowa at Florida State
Wisconsin at Virginia Tech
Duke at Michigan
Maryland at Nebraska
Georgia Tech at Purdue
Clemson at Indiana
Northwestern at Boston College

Thursday, Nov. 29
Penn State at Miami
Michigan State at North Carolina State
Virginia at Minnesota
Wake Forest at Illinois