WBB Set for 2016 Cancun Challenge

Hawkeye Fan Shop — A Black & Gold Store | 24 Hawkeyes to Watch 2016-17 | Hawk Talk Monthly — Nov. 2016

The University of Iowa women’s basketball team (4-1) travels to Riviera Maya, Mexico, for the 2016 Cancun Challenge this week. They Hawkeyes take on No. 9 UCLA (3-1) at 8 p.m. (CT) on Thursday, before playing James Madison (2-2) at 8 p.m. on Friday. 

Both contests will be streamed live on YouTube. Links can be found on the Iowa women’s basketball schedule page on hawkeyesports.com. 
Andy Petersen and Kathryn Reynolds will call both games on Hawkeye All-Access. Links to the broadcast are available on the women’s basketball schedule page at hawkeyesports.com. 

Season tickets are on sale for the 2016-17 Iowa women’s basketball season. General public season tickets are $100. UI faculty/staff can purchase tickets for $80. Senior tickets are also $80, while youth season tickets (18 or younger) are $25. UI students are admitted free to women’s basketball games. Fans can purchase tickets by visiting the ticket office in Carver-Hawkeye Arena, calling 1-800-IA-HAWKS, or online at hawkeyesports.com. 


  • Iowa is 7-1 all-time in Cancun, Mexico. 
  • The Hawkeyes defeated USC (78-65), Boston College (78-68), and UNC-Wilmington (102-65) in the Hawkeye Challenge in 2013. Iowa topped James Madison (67-61) and Virginia Tech (72-43) in what was then called the Caribbean Challenge in 2010. The Hawkeyes beat Mississippi State (60-54) and fell to No. 13 Arizona State (60-58) in 2007.


  • UCLA enters the week with a 3-1 record with wins over Pacific (82-55), Southern (95-47), and Cal Poly (84-64). The Bruins lone loss came to No. 2 Baylor (70-84) in Waco, Texas. The Bruins are ranked No. 9 in the latest AP Poll. 
  • Junior forward Monique Billings and junior guard Jordin Canada are both averaging 17 points a game. Kennedy Burke (13.5) and Nicole Kornet (11.5) are also averaging double figures. Billings also leads the team in rebounds, averaging 10.0 boards per game. 
  • Canada was named Pac-12 Player of the Week on Monday. In three contests last week, Canada averaged 17.7 points, 9.0 assists, 7.7 rebounds, and 3.3 steals.
  • Iowa owns a 1-0 advantage in the all-time series. The Hawkeyes defeated the Bruins, 81-52, in Iowa City, Iowa, in 1990. 


  • James Madison enters the week with 2-2 record. The Dukes posted wins over St. Fancis Brooklyn (83-57) and Liberty (62-48) and dropped decisions to Tennessee (69-81) and No. 12 Florida State (64-84). 
  • Redshirt senior guard Precious Hall leads the Dukes, averaging 26.8 points per game. Freshman guard Kamiah Smalls is averaging 13 points per contest and leads the team with 7.0 rebounds per game. 
  • Iowa leads the all-time series, 3-0. The last time the two teams met, the Hawkeyes defeated the Dukes, 67-61, at the 2010 Hawkeye Challenge. 


  • The Hawkeyes lead the nation in rebounds with 239 boards in five games this season. 
  • Iowa also ranks fourth in the nation in assists (99), sixth in defensive rebounds per game (35), 16th in free throws made (68) and 18th in free throws attempted (93). 
  • Megan Gustafson leads the NCAA in rebounds (50) and ranks second in double-doubles (3). Gustafson also ranks sixth in field goals made (35) and 15th in field goal percentage. 


  • The Hawkeyes lead the league in defensive rebounds, averaging 35.0 defensive boards per game. 
  • Iowa ranks second in the conference in field goal percentage defense, holding their opponents to .304. The Hawkeyes also rank third in scoring margin (+21.4) and assists (19.8), fourth in free throw percentage (.731), field goal percentage (.482), rebounding offensive (47.8), and rebounding margin (+11.8). 
  • Gustafson leads the league with a .938 free throw percentage. She also ranks second in the league in field goal percentage (.673), is tied for fourth in rebounds (10.0), and ranks eighth in blocked shots (1.3).
  • Senior Ally Disterhoft is averaging 18.2 points per game, the seventh-highest average in the Big Ten. Sophomore Megan Gustafson’s 17.0 points per game ranks ninth.
  • Sophomore Tania Davis (3.8) and freshman Kathleen Doyle (3.6) rank 10th and 11th, respectively, in assists per game. 


  • The Hawkeyes held Massachusetts to just 30 points in the first game of the Hawkeye Challenge last weekend, tying a Carver-Hawkeye Arena record for fewest points allowed. It also marked the fewest points allowed in the Big Ten this season. 
  • Iowa held the Minutewomen to just 10 first half points, breaking a program record for fewest points allowed in a first half. 


  • Sophomore Megan Gustafson and senior Ally Disterhoft were one of five players named to the 2016 Hawkeye Challenge All-Tournament Team, as voted on by media. 
  • Gustafson averaged 17.0  points, 10.5 rebounds, and shot .727 (16-of-22) from the field  in two contests. 
  • Disterhoft averaged 13.0 points, 8.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists, and 3.0 steals per game last weekend. 


  • Sophomore Megan Gustafson registered the 12th double-double of her career against South Dakota State on Sunday. 
  • Gustafson has registered a double-double in 12 of her last 18 games dating back to last season. 
  • Gustafson leads the NCAA in rebounds (50) and ranks second in double-doubles (3). Gustafson also ranks sixth in field goals made (35) and 15th in field goal percentage. 
  • The Port Wing, Wisconsin, native tied career highs in points (25), field goals made (10), and free throws made (5) in Iowa’s season opener against Oral Roberts on Nov. 11. She followed that up with 14 points and 11 boards against Hampton on Nov. 13. She added her third double-double of the season against South Dakota State with 21 points and 13 rebounds. 

Senior Ally Disterhoft now ranks seventh on Iowa’s all-time career scoring list. Disterhoft has 1,633 career points and is 426 points from tying Iowa’s all-time scoring record of 2,059 set by Cindy Haugejorde (1976-80). Disterhoft also ranks 11th all-time in 3-point field goals (1167, 13th in career blocks (57), and 16th in rebounds (627). 


  • Three Big Ten teams are included in the week three Associated Press Top 25. They include No. 6 Maryland, No. 8 Ohio State, and No. 24 Michigan State. Indiana is receiving 27 votes in the poll. 
  • The week three USA Today Coaches Poll will be released on Tuesday (11/22) afternoon. 


  • Sophomore Hannah Stewart has registered a career-high 10 points twice (Hampton, UMass) this season. 
  • The Minot, North Dakota, native is registering seven points through five games.
  • After scoring just five points in 12 contests last season, Stewart has netted 35 points in five games this year. 


  • Freshman Kathleen Doyle registered six of her 10 steals on the season at last weekend’s Hawkeye Challenge. 
  • Doyle’s four steals against Massachusetts marked a new career high. 
  • The LaGrange Park, Illinois, native ranks fifth in the conference with 10 steals this season. 


  • Senior Ally Disterhoft has netted double figures 83 of her 89 career starts. 
  • The Iowa City, Iowa, native has started 89 consecutive games and appeared in every game of her Hawkeye career (108). 
  • Disterhoft led the team with a career-high 29 points in Iowa’s season opener against Oral Roberts on Nov. 11. She also registered seven boards, two blocks, an assist and a steal in 27 minutes of play. 
  • Disterhoft now ranks seventh on Iowa’s all-time career scoring list. She’s scored 1,633 points in her career and is 426 points from tying Cindy Haugejorde career scoring record of 2,059. 
  • Disterhoft has registered 20 or more points in two of five games this season. 
  • Last season, Disterhoft became the program’s highest scoring junior, netting 565 points to break Michelle Edwards’ record of 564 points in 1986-87. 


  • Center/forward Megan Gustafson was named Big Ten Player of the Week, the conference office announced Nov. 14.  It is the second weekly honor of Gustafson’s career
  • The Port Wing, Wisconsin, native posted back-to-back double-doubles to lead Iowa to wins overall Oral Roberts and Hampton last weekend. The sophomore tied career highs in points (25) and field goals made (10), and recorded 12 rebounds, an assist and a block in 26 minutes of action against Oral Roberts on Nov. 11. Two days later, Gustafson netted 14 points and pulled down 11 boards to lead the Hawkeyes past Hampton. She also went a combined 7-for-8 from the free throw line.
  • In two games this season, Gustafson is averaging 19.5 points and 11.5 rebounds. She has recorded a double-double in 12 of her last 18 games dating back to last season.
  • Gustafson earned Big Ten Freshman of the Week honors on Feb. 22, 2016. She is the first Hawkeye to win Big Ten Player of the Week since Samantha Logic won the award on March 2, 2015.  

The Iowa Athletic Department upgraded Carver-Hawkeye Arena’s video boards, sound system, lighting, digital scorestable displays, and playing surface this past summer. 
    A new four-sided centerhung video system is the centerpiece of the installation. The two main centerhung displays measure approximately 14.5 feet high by 26 feet wide and the other two centerhung displays measure 9.5 feet high by 16.5 feet wide. The project also upgraded the auxiliary displays located near the ceiling at each side of the arena.

Senior Ally Disterhoft was named Preseason All-Big Ten by the coaches and media, the Big Ten Conference announced Oct. 24. The Iowa City, Iowa, native was a second team All-Big Ten selection in 2015 and 2016 and an honorable mention All-Big Ten honoree in 2014. She was also named to the Big Ten All-Freshman Team and Big Ten All-Tournament team in 2014. 


  • Iowa returns four of its five starters from last season in senior Ally Disterhoft, junior Chase Coley, and sophomores Tania Davis and Megan Gustafson. 
  • Senior Ally Disterhoft garnered second team All-Big Ten accolades by coaches and media for the second consecutive season and received Iowa’s Sportsmanship Award. The preseason All-Big Ten pick by coaches and media scored in double figures in every game last season and in 78 of her 84 consecutive starts. 
  • Tania Davis and Megan Gustafson were named to the 2016 Big Ten All-Freshman Team.
  • Davis was one of two Big Ten freshmen to lead her team in assists per game (3.4) and average at least one steal per game (1.2) last season. She has dished out 111 assists in 33 games played, the second-highest total recorded by a freshman at Iowa (Samantha Logic; 136). 
  • Gustafson was the only freshman and one of three players in the conference overall to lead her team in field goal percentage (.554), rebounds (225), and blocks (58) last season. 
  • Chase Coley averaged 11.1 points per game last season — the second highest mark on the team. The junior compiled 365 points, 194 rebounds, 53 assists, 37 blocks, and 24 steals in her sophomore campaign to receive Iowa’s Most Improved Award. 


  • Iowa’s freshman class was ranked No. 7 nationally by Blue Star — the highest ranked recruiting class for head coach Lisa Bluder and her staff. 
  • Iowa’s freshmen class consists of Bre Cera (2016 Journal Sentinel Player of the Year), Kathleen Doyle (Illinois Miss Basketball), Makenzie Meyer (Iowa Miss Basketball), Amanda Ollinger (2016 Gazette Female Athlete of the Year), and Alexis Sevellian (finalist for Michigan Miss Basketball). 
  • Meyer and Cera each got the starting nod in Iowa’s first five games of the season.  


  • Iowa made its ninth straight postseason appearance (8 NCAA, 1 WNIT) with an at-large bid to the WNIT in 2016.
  • Iowa was one of six Big Ten Conference teams (Minnesota, Michigan, Nebraska, Northwestern, Rutgers) and one of three teams from Iowa (Drake, UNI) to be included in the WNIT field of 64.

Jinaya Houston has inked a National Letter of Intent to play basketball at the University of Iowa, UI head coach Lisa Bluder announced Nov. 9. 
     Houston, a 6-1 guard from Davenport, Iowa, attends Davenport North High School where she is coached by Rob O’Brien. Houston is a three-time all-state, all-metro, and all-conference honoree and a two-time all-district selection.
    As a junior, Houston guided her high school team to a 20-3 overall record and its first state tournament appearance in school history. The second-year team captain averaged 19.4 points, 8.4 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.5 steals, and 1.6 blocks per game her junior campaign.
     The 2015-16 Mississippi Athletic Conference Player of the Year was named first team all-state by the Iowa Newspaper Association and second team all-state by the Iowa Coaches Association. She earned all-metro co-captain, all-district, Chicago Showcase Player of the Game, Des Moines Register Elite 8 accolades, and was a finalist for the Quad City Times Female Athlete of the Year.
     As a sophomore, Houston averaged 21.4 points, 6.1 rebounds, 2.2 assists, two steals, and one block per game to help her team to a 17-5 overall record in its first year as a 5A institution. The first-year team captain collected first team all-conference and all-metro accolades following the season. She was also a second team all-state honoree (Iowa Newspaper Association) and a second team Sports Spotlight selection in the state of Iowa.
     Houston was named third team all-state by the Iowa Newspaper Association, second team all-metro, and first team all-conference as a freshman. She averaged 17.8 points, 7.6 rebounds, one assist, two steals, and one block per game her freshman campaign.  


  • Head coach Lisa Bluder begins her 17th season at the helm of the Iowa women’s basketball program this season. She owns a 327-189 (.634) overall record and a 160-106 Big Ten record at Iowa. In her 32 seasons as a head coach, Bluder is 683-331 (.674).
  • Bluder is one of 14 active Division I coaches to collect 675 or more career wins.
  • The head Hawkeye is second in career Big Ten wins (160) and in total wins among Big Ten coaches. She trails only C. Vivian Stringer who has compiled 189 Big Ten wins and 971 career wins.
  • Bluder ranks third all-time among all Big Ten coaches with 160 conference victories.


  • Ally Disterhoft was named Academic All-America of the Year for Division I women’s basketball and a CoSIDA first team Academic All-American last season. Disterhoft became the only junior to earn first team Academic All-America recognition and owned the top GPA (4.03) of all Academic All-Americans this year.
  • Christina Buttenham, Ally Disterhoft, Alexa Kastanek, and Hailey Schneden, earned Academic All-Big Ten recognition following the 2015-16 season. To be eligible for Academic All-Big Ten, student-athletes must be letterwinners and be in at least their second academic year at the institution. They must also carry a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or better.
  • In 2014-15, Iowa was the only program to have two Academic All-Americans in Disterhoft and Samantha Logic. There were 15 total honorees.

Check out the Iowa women’s basketball team’s website, iowawbb.com, devoted to everything on and off the court surrounding the program. Iowawbb.com allows fans to go behind the scenes with the Hawkeye basketball program. The site is complete with exclusive videos, photo galleries, and content featuring the basketball program. 

The Hawkeyes return to Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Wednesday, Nov. 30, hosting No. 1 Notre Dame in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m. (CT). The contest will air live on the Big Ten Network.