|GAME #14: IOWA (9-4) at ILLINOIS (5-8)|
|Date||Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2016 | 3 p.m. (CT)|
|Location||Champaign, Illinois | State Farm Center (16,618)|
|Radio | Listen Live||Hawkeye Radio Network | Hawkeye All-Access|
|Live Stream||BTN Plus|
|Live Stats||Sidearm Stats|
The University of Iowa women’s basketball team (9-4) opens its 2016-17 Big Ten slate at Illinois (5-8) on Wednesday. Tipoff is set for 3 p.m. (CT) at the State Farm Center in Champaign, Illinois.
- Wednesday’s contest will air live on BTN. Mike Wolf and Shelley Till will have the call. Links can be found on the Iowa women’s basketball schedule page on hawkeyesports.com.
- Rob Brooks and Jamie Cavey Lang will have the call on the Hawkeye Radio Network. 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.
- Illinois enters Wednesday’s matchup with a 5-8 overall record.
- Sophomore forward Alex Wittinger (14.8) and freshman guard Brandi Beasley (11.2) are each averaging double digits in scoring. Wittinger also leads the team with 9.2 rebounds per game.
- The Illini lead the Big Ten Conference in free throw percentage, shooting .763 from the line. Illinois also ranks fifth in the conference with 4.3 blocks per game.
- Wittinger ranks eighth nationally with 35 blocks this season. She leads the Big Ten in both blocked shots (35) and blocks per game (2.69).
- Illinois freshmen are combining for 50 percent of the Illini’s scoring.
- Head coach Matt Bollant is in his fifth season at the helm. He owns a 57-80 overall record.
- Iowa leads the all-time series, 53-18.
- The Hawkeyes won the lone meeting between the two teams last season. Iowa defeated Illinois, 61-56, in Iowa City. Sophomore Megan Gustafson led the Hawkeyes with 16 points and 10 rebounds on 8-of-11 shooting from the field.
- Iowa is 21-12 all-time in games played in Champaign.
- The Hawkeyes have won18 of the last 21 meetings, including four of the last five games.
BIG TEN OPENERS
- The Hawkeyes are 11-5 in Big Ten openers under head coach Lisa Bluder.
- Iowa has won four of its last five Big Ten openers.
MARGIN OF VICTORY
- Iowa has won by 20 or more points six times this season, including wins against Oral Roberts (96-76), Hampton (84-51), Massachusetts (71-30), Northern Iowa (88-39), Robert Morris (81-60), and Kent State (83-48).
- The Hawkeyes are averaging 78.4 points per game and holding their opponents to 62.6 (+15.8).
GUSTAFSON NAMED TO B1G HONOR ROLL
- Sophomore Megan Gustafson was named to the Big Ten Women’s Basketball Player of the Week Honor Roll, the conference office announced Monday. It is the third weekly honor of Gustafson’s career and her second of the season.
- Gustafson registered a team-high 20 points and a team-leading seven boards to guide the Hawkeyes to an 83-48 victory over Kent State on Dec. 20. She went 8-for-11 (.727) from the field and added a pair of blocks and two steals in 25 minutes of action.
- Through 13 games, Gustafson is averaging 16.6 points and 10.2 rebounds. She has scored in double figures and led Iowa in rebounds in every contest this season.
- Gustafson earned Big Ten Player of the Week accolades on Nov. 14. She garnered Big Ten Freshman of the Week honors on Feb. 22, 2016.
- Down 11-2 in the first quarter to Kent State, the Hawkeyes used a 40-5 run over a 12-minute span to ultimately defeat Kent State, 83-48, on Dec. 20.
- Iowa made 12-of-18 field goals in the second quarter and held Kent State to 3-of-16 shooting. Iowa also dominated the boards in the second frame, 18-3.
- Megan Gustafson (20 points), Ally Disterhoft (18 points), and Makenzie Meyer (12 points) all scored in double figures for the Hawkeyes.
- Junior Christina Buttenham registered her first career start in the contest. She netted five points and pulled-down a career-high six boards in 18 minutes of action.
MEYER GETS HOT
- Freshman Makenzie Meyer netted a career-high 12 points in Iowa’s win over Kent State on Dec. 20.
- The Mason City, Iowa, native made 4-for-7 from 3-point range in 21 minutes of action. The four 3-pointers made also marked a career high.
- Meyer is shooting .500 (5-for-10) from 3-point range in the last two games. She’s also registered four assists, four steals and zero turnovers in 49 minutes of game action.
DOYLE RETURNS TO HOME STATE
- Freshman Kathleen Doyle will return to her home state of Illinois on Wednesday.
- The LaGrange Park, Illinois, native was named Illinois Miss Basketball in 2016.
- She led Benet Academy to back-to-back 4A Illinois State Championships (2015, 2016) and was a 2016 McDonald’s All-American nominee.
DAVIS NAMED MADNESS B1G PLAYER OF THE WEEK
- Sophomore Tania Davis was named the Madness Big Ten Women’s Basketball Player of the Week, College Sports Madness announced Dec.12.
- Davis averaged a team-high 18.5 points, shot .526 from the field (10-of-19), .600 from 3-point range (6-for-10) and a perfect 1.000 (11-for-11) from the free throw line to lead Iowa to a pair of wins over Iowa State and Robert Morris.
- The Flint, Michigan, native registered career highs in points (23), 3-pointers made (5) and field goals made (7) to guide the Hawkeyes past in-state rival Iowa State (88-76) on Wednesday.
- Two days later, Davis netted 14 points and was a perfect 7-for-7 from the charity stripe to help the Hawkeyes to an 81-60 win over Robert Morris.
- Sophomore Megan Gustafson registered the 16th double-double of her career against Iowa State. It was her seventh double-double of the season.
- Gustafson is one of 16 NCAA student-athletes to record seven or more double-doubles this season.
- Gustafson has led Iowa in boards in every game this season.
- The Port Wing, Wisconsin, native ranks fourth in the nation in field goal percentage (.676), seventh in double-doubles (7), eighth in rebounds (133), ninth in field goals made (94), and 26th in rebounds per game (10.2).
HAVE A DAY, TANIA
- A career day by sophomore Tania Davis led the Hawkeyes past in-state foe Iowa State on Wednesday, Dec. 7.
- Davis registered career highs in points (23), 3-pointers made (5), and field goals made (7).
- The Flint, Michigan, native was 7-of-11 from the field and 5-of-6 from 3-point range in 30 minutes of action.
- On the season, Davis is shooting .388 (19-of-49) from long distance — the second highest percentage on the team (Disterhoft, .488).
MOVIN’ ON UP
- Senior Ally Disterhoft now ranks fifth on Iowa’s all-time career scoring list.
- Disterhoft has 1,774 career points and is 285 points from tying Iowa’s all-time scoring record of 2,059 set by Cindy Haugejorde (1976-80).
- Disterhoft also ranks 10th all-time in 3-point field goals (136), 13th in career blocks (59), and 14th in rebounds (668).
- Senior Ally Disterhoft and sophomore Megan Gustafson have each scored in double figures in every game this season.
- Gustafson has netted 20 or more points five times this year, while Disterhoft has accomplished the feat four times. Both Hawkeyes have scored 20 or more points in games against Oral Roberts, James Madison, and Drake.
- Together, the pair averages 34.5 points per game.
- The Hawkeyes are 9-0 when leading at the half.
- Iowa is 9-0 when scoring 70 points or more.
- The Hawkeyes rank 13th nationally in total attendance (35,032).
- Iowa shot .688 (11-for-16) from three point range against UNI on Dec. 4, marking the second-highest 3-point field goal percentage in a single game this season (Tennessee, .857, vs. Navy).
IN THE POLLS
- Two Big Ten teams are included in the week seven (Dec. 26) Associated Press Top 25. They include: No. 4 Maryland and No. 14 Ohio State. Northwestern (4) and Michigan (1) are receiving votes in the poll.
- Maryland (No. 3) and Ohio State (No. 13) are also included in the week seven (Dec. 20) USA TODAY Coaches Poll, while Michigan State (34), Michigan (9), Northwestern (8), and Penn State (1) are receiving votes.
AROUND THE NATION
- The Hawkeyes rank ninth nationally in assists with 239 on the season.
- Iowa also ranks 11th in field goal percentage (.488), 12th in defensive rebounds per game (31), 15th in 3-point field goal defense (.256), and 16th in assists per game (18.4) and rebounds (557).
- Sophomore Megan Gustafson ranks fourth in the nation in field goal percentage (.676), seventh in double-doubles (7), eighth in rebounds (133), ninth in field goals made (94), and 26th in rebounds per game (10.2).
- Sophomore Tania Davis is shooting .919 from the free throw line — a mark that ranks 15th nationally.
- Senior Ally Disterhoft ranks 19th nationally in field goal percentage and 24th in total points (232).
AROUND THE LEAGUE
- Iowa leads the Big Ten Conference in field goal percentage defense (.344) and 3-point field goal percentage defense (.256). The Hawkeyes also rank second in assists (18.4) and defensive rebounds (31.1), fourth in field goal percentage (.488) and rebounding offense (42.8), and fifth in scoring offense (78.4) and scoring margin (+15.8).
- Three Hawkeyes rank within the top-10 in field goal percentage. They include: Megan Gustafson (.676; T-1st), Ally Disterhoft (.601; 6th), and Hannah Stewart (.583; 7th).
- Gustafson leads the league in field goal percentage (.676). She also ranks second in double-doubles (7), third in rebounding (10.2) and defensive rebounds (6.9), fourth in offensive rebounds (3.3), and eighth in blocked shots (1.5).
- Sophomore Tania Davis leads the Big Ten Conference with a .919 free throw percentage.
- Disterhoft ranks second in 3-point field goal percentage (.488), sixth in field goal percentage (.601), and ninth in scoring (17.8).
- Freshman Kathleen Doyle is tied for eighth in the conference in steals (1.9) and 10th in assist to turnover ratio (2.0).
CALL ON ME
- Senior Ally Disterhoft has netted double figures in 91 of her 97 career starts, including the last 46 straight games.
- The Iowa City, Iowa, native has started 97 consecutive games and appeared in every game of her Hawkeye career (115).
- Disterhoft has 1,774 career points and is 285 points from tying Iowa’s all-time scoring record of 2,059 set by Cindy Haugejorde (1976-80).
- Disterhoft has registered 20 or more points in four 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.
HISTORICALLY GOOD DEFENSE
- The Hawkeyes held Massachusetts to just 30 points in the first game of the Hawkeye Challenge on Nov. 19, tying a Carver-Hawkeye Arena record for fewest points allowed. It also marked the second-fewest points allowed in the Big Ten this season (27, Purdue vs. North Carolina Central).
- Iowa held the Minutewomen to just 10 first half points, breaking a program record for fewest points allowed in a first half.
- The Hawkeyes allowed just 39 points against UNI on Dec. 4. It marked the second time this season Iowa has held an opponent to under 40 points.
GUSTAFSON NAMED B1G PLAYER OF THE WEEK
- 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 on Nov. 11 and 13. The sophomore tied a career high in points (25) 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.
- 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.
DISTERHOFT EARNS PRESEASON HONOR
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.
HAWKEYES CONTINUE POSTSEASON STREAK
- 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.
- 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).
- Cera has started all seven games this season, while Meyer has started five and Doyle has started the last two.
THE BLUDER FILE
- Head coach Lisa Bluder begins her 17th season at the helm of the Iowa women’s basketball program this season. She owns a 332-192 (.634) overall record and a 160-106 Big Ten record at Iowa. In her 32 seasons as a head coach, Bluder is 688-334 (.673).
- 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 Saturday, Dec. 31 when they host Nebraska at 2 p.m. (CT).