Women's Hoops Hosts Syracuse in Big Ten/ACC Challenge

Dec. 4, 2013

Iowa Game Notes — Syracuse

The 25th-ranked University of Iowa women’s basketball team (8-1) hosts No. 22 Syracuse (8-0) on Thursday at 6 p.m. (CT) on Mediacom Court at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in the annual Big Ten/ACC Challenge.

The Hawkeyes enter the month of December on a four-game win streak (the second-longest in the Big Ten), with an overall mark of 8-1. Iowa is off to its best start in three seasons, when it started the 2010-11 campaign with a 12-1 record.

Tickets are $10 for adults. Youth — high school-aged and younger — are admitted free to all weekday games, while weekend games are $6. Youth — five years old and younger — are admitted free to all games, and UI students are admitted free. Tickets can be purchased online at hawkeyesports.com, over the phone at 1-800 IA-HAWKS, and at the UI Athletics Ticket Office in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Game 10 | #22 Syracuse (8-0) at #25 Iowa (8-1)
Date: Thursday, Dec. 5 | 6 p.m. (CT)
Location: Iowa City, Iowa | Carver-Hawkeye Arena
TV: Big Ten Network
Radio: Hawkeye Radio Network
Live Coverage: GameTracker | Twitter Game Updates
All-Time Series: Iowa leads, 2-0

Thursday’s top-25 match-up will be broadcast live on the Big Ten Network. Lisa Byington (play-by-play) and LaChina Robinson (analyst) will call the action.

Brent Balbinot and Shelley Till will call the action for the Hawkeye Radio Network. Hawkeye fans can listen to the contest on the Hawkeye All-Access page of hawkeyesports.com. Balbinot is in his 10th season as Iowa’s play-by-play voice, while Till is in her ninth providing analysis.

Hawkeye fans can also follow the action 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. Follow @IowaWBB on Twitter for game updates.

Iowa has played 1,141 games since beginning basketball in 1974. Iowa’s overall record is 700-441 (.613). That includes a 348-178 (.662) mark in regular season Big Ten contests and a 339-97 (.776) mark in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Iowa cracked The Associated Press Top 25 poll this week, ranking 25th with 93 votes. Iowa is receiving votes in the USA Today Top 25 poll. Connecticut is the only team in the top 25 poll with more victories (nine) than the Hawkeyes. Seven Iowa opponents are also ranked in the Associated Press/USA Today polls: Penn State (10/11), Colorado (11/17), Nebraska (15/13), Purdue (16/22), Iowa State (20/12), Syracuse (22/23) and Michigan State (RV/25). In addition, Dayton and Northwestern are receiving votes.

The Orange, coached by Quentin Hillsman, finished 24-8 overall a year ago with an 11-5 mark in BIG EAST play. Syracuse lost to Creighton in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. In seven seasons at the helm of the program, Hillsman — the 2008 BIG EAST Coach of the Year — has led the Orange to six consecutive postseason appearances, 11 postseason victories, and six-straight winning seasons. This season, Syracuse holds an 8-0 mark after finishing 3-0 at the Paradise Jam last week. The Orange defeated Texas (77-65), Memphis (77-58), and No. 11 Texas A&M (78-63) by double digits to win the Reef Division title. Syracuse is 1-0 on the road season, winning at Washington State (69-65) in the season opener on Nov. 10. Sophomore guards Brittney Sykes (19.1 points/game) and Brianna Butler (17.1) lead the Orange in scoring.

Syracuse begins a new era as a first-year member of the Atlantic Coast Conference. This will mark the third meeting between the Orange and Hawkeyes. Iowa has claimed both meetings, winning at Syracuse on Dec. 5, 1998, 70-64, in the Carrier Classic, and in Iowa City on Nov. 28, 1999, 76-73, in the Hawkeye Challenge.

Iowa — the only Big Ten team to appear in the last six NCAA Tournaments — is 13-8 all-time against ACC opponents. Last season, the Hawkeyes fell to Florida State in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge and North Carolina in the Preseason WNIT last season, before downing Miami in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Iowa is 1-5 in the Challenge after falling at Florida State last year, 83-69. The Hawkeyes picked up their first win in the annual event two years ago with a 58-47 victory over Virginia Tech in Iowa City. Iowa was defeated at home by Georgia Tech (2007) and Boston College (2009) and fell on the road at Duke (2008) and North Carolina (2010). A year ago, Big Ten teams combined for a 5-7 mark against their ACC counterparts. In the past two seasons, the two conferences have squared off in head-to-head competition on 37 total occasions with the Big Ten holding a 19-18 advantage. The ACC and the Big Ten have long been among the most dominant conferences on the women’s basketball scene. For the sixth time in conference history, the Big Ten had at least six teams selected to the NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship in 2013, and Big Ten teams have appeared in the NCAA Sweet 16 in 27 of the last 29 years.

Following a three-point loss at No. 16 Colorado on Nov. 20, the Hawkeyes won at Northern Iowa, 67-60, on Nov. 20. Iowa then traveled to the Cancun Challenge and finished with a 3-0 mark, defeating all three opponents — Southern California (78-65), Boston College (78-68), and UNC-Wilmington (102-65) — by double digits to win the Mayan Division. During the Cancun Challenge finale, junior guard Melissa Dixon tied the school record for 3-pointers in a single game (seven). Dixon matched the record held by Lindsey Meder, Kamille Wahlin, and Jaime Printy. Dixon finished with a career-high 32 points and was named MVP of the Mayan Division; junior Samantha Logic was also named to the All-Tournament team. Iowa’s 102 points against UNC-Wilmington marked the fourth-most in a single game in program history (106 is the record – twice). Ten Hawkeyes played, and all 10 Hawkeyes scored.

Four Hawkeyes are averaging double figures, and five players are averaging at least 9.4 points per contest: Samantha Logic (14.3 ppg), Melissa Dixon (13.9). Bethany Doolittle (12.9), Ally Disterhoft (11.9), and Theairra Taylor (9.4). Six Hawkeyes scored in double figures in Iowa’s overtime win against No. 14 Dayton, and Iowa has had three or more players score in double figures in each of the last seven contests.

? Two Hawkeyes — Samantha Logic and Melissa Dixon — have been named to the Big Ten Player of the Week Honor Roll in the last two weeks.
? Logic was named to the Honor Roll on Nov. 25 after averaging 21.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 2.0 steals as Iowa split a pair of road contests at No. 16 Colorado and UNI.
? Dixon was honored Dec. 2 after being named MVP of the Cancun Challenge Mayan Division, where she averaged 22.3 points per game, including a career-high 32 against UNC-Wilmington.

? Samantha Logic is fourth in career assists (416). She moved passed Kristi Smith and Jaime Printy (412) during the Cancun Challenge, and needs 12 to take over third place (Kamille Wahlin – 427).
? Melissa Dixon ranks ninth in career 3-pointers (135). She surpassed Johanna Solverson (125) during the Cancun Challenge, and needs four more to move past Kristi Faulkner for eighth (138).
? Bethany Doolittle is sixth all-time with 100 career blocks. She needs 15 blocks to move past Jennie Lillis (114) for fifth place.

Lisa Bluder needs 11 wins to surpass Hall of Famer C. Vivian Stringer (269) as Iowa’s all-time winningest coach. Bluder is 259-158 all-time as the Hawkeye head coach.

? The Hawkeyes lead the Big Ten in assists, averaging 19.1 per contest. Iowa also leads the league in assist/turnover ratio (1.3).
? Samantha Logic leads the league in assists, averaging 7.0 a game.
? As a team, Iowa registered 30 assists, one shy of the school record, in the win against No. 14 Dayton on Nov. 10. Iowa matched that number in its win against UNC-Wilmington in the Cancun Challenge (Nov. 30).
? Iowa broke the school record for single-season assists last year in the win over Miami (March 24). The previous record of 514 was set in 2011-12. Iowa finished with 531 assists. Iowa finished second in the Big Ten and 26th in the NCAA with 15.7 assists per game. Iowa recorded at least 17 assists in 15 games, including five games with 20 or more.

? Samantha Logic recorded her 13th career double-double (16 points, 14 assists) on Nov. 10, leading the Hawkeyes to a 97-93 overtime victory against No. 14 Dayton. Logic hit the game-tying 3-pointer with nine seconds remaining in regulation to send the game into overtime. The 14 assists equaled a personal best and Iowa school record, and are the most in Carver-Hawkeye Arena history. The previous high was 12 (three times).
? Logic — who now has 14 career double-doubles — became Iowa’s single-season assist record holder a year ago, breaking the mark in Iowa’s win at Northwestern (March 3). Logic entered the game tied with Cara Consuegra (2000-01) at 191 assists. Logic collected seven assists at Northwestern and finished with 217.
? Last season, Logic led the Big Ten and ranked 15th in the NCAA with 6.4 assists per game.
? Logic recorded seven or more assists in 15 games, including four games with 10 or more. She had at least five assists in 24 games.
? Logic’s eight games with double digit assists are the second most in Iowa history. Cara Consuegra had nine games in her career with 10 or more assists. The next closest Hawkeyes on the list are Kachine Alexander, Jolette Law and Michelle Edwards, with two career games.

The Hawkeyes have recorded at least one win against a top-25 team in all but two seasons under Bluder. In 10 of those seasons, Iowa has knocked off at least one top-15 opponent. Iowa defeated No. 11 Purdue and No. 12 West Virginia last year, when it tied a single-season record with seven victories over ranked foes. Iowa defeated No. 14 Dayton, 97-93 in overtime, earlier this season on Nov. 10.

? The Hawkeyes have recorded at least one win against a top-25 team in all but two seasons under Bluder. In nine of those seasons, Iowa has knocked off at least one top-15 opponent.
? Last season marked just the second time in school history that Iowa defeated three ranked teams prior to Big Ten play (No. 12 West Virginia, No. 22 Iowa State, No. 20 Texas). The only other time Iowa defeated three ranked opponents was in 1993 (No. 4 Louisiana Tech, No. 20 Missouri State, No. 9 Southern California).
? Last year was only the sixth time in school history that Iowa played at least three ranked teams prior to conference action. Iowa faced five ranked opponents in 1990 (2-3 record) and three in 1999 (0-3), 1995 (2-1), 1993 (3-0) and 1989 (1-2).
? Iowa’s contest against No. 22 Syracuse on Thursday will mark its third against a ranked foe this season (No. 14 Dayton, No. 16 Colorado).
? Iowa tied the school record for number of wins over ranked teams in a season last year with seven. The Hawkeyes have accomplished the feat three other times (1995-96, 1993-94, 1992-93). Iowa faced 11 ranked teams last season, which tied for the most games against ranked opponents in a season. The only other time Iowa played 11 ranked teams in a season was in 1992-93 (7-4 record).

Iowa is the only Big Ten team, and one of only 13 teams in the country, to have appeared in the last six NCAA Tournaments.

Head coach Lisa Bluder became the 42nd coach in NCAA women’s basketball history (all divisions) and only the 25th Division I head coach (minimum 10 years at a DI school) to collect 600 wins Jan. 20 vs. Purdue. Bluder is one of 13 active Division I coaches with 600 or more wins.

Kathryn Reynolds has been nominated for the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association Allstate Good Works Team. The announcement was made Dec. 3 by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA), the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC), and Allstate Insurance Company.

Tickets for the 2014 NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship First and Second Rounds, hosted by the University of Iowa, are now on sale for UI women’s basketball season ticket holders and the general public. Iowa’s First and Second Round Games will be played Sunday, March 23 (4:30 and 7 p.m.) and Tuesday, March 25 (8:30 p.m.). The UI was one of 16 sites chosen to host First and Second Round Games, and 1-of-8 chosen to host in back-to-back years. Fans can order tickets by calling 1-800-IA-HAWKS, visiting the Carver-Hawkeye Arena ticket office, or by visiting hawkeyesports.com.

Last season marked the 10th time in 13 seasons under head coach Lisa Bluder — one of 13 active Division I coaches with 600 or more wins — that Iowa has been selected for the NCAA Tournament, including each of the last six seasons. The Hawkeyes have participated in postseason play in all but one season under Bluder (two WNIT appearances). It also marked the seventh time in Bluder’s 13 seasons that the Hawkeyes reached 20 wins. Iowa has collected 20 or more wins in five of the last six years. In addition, Iowa finished with a winning record for the 12th time in 13 seasons under Bluder.

Iowa limited Arkansas-Pine Bluff to 38 points on Nov. 13, the fewest total for an opponent in 19 years. The Hawkeyes then limited Stony Brook to 40 points on Nov. 17.

Check out the Iowa women’s basketball Facebook page or the University of Iowa Athletics Facebook page (/iowawomenshoops). Fans can also follow @IowaWBB or @TheIowaHawkeyes on Twitter.

Following the Big Ten/ACC Challenge match-up, Iowa hosts Idaho State on Saturday at 2 p.m. before traveling to rival Iowa State for the annual Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series contest on Dec. 12. The Hawkeyes conclude the month with two home matchups against in-state foe Drake (Dec. 21) and North Dakota (Dec. 28), prior to starting league play in January.