The University of Iowa women’s basketball team opens the 2017-18 season this weekend, hosting the Hawkeye Challenge at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Iowa hosts Quinnipiac on Friday at 5 p.m. (CT), before hosting either #16 Missouri/Western Kentucky on Nov. 11 at 4:30 p.m. (CT).
- Both contests will be streamed live on BTN Plus. To see if your cable package gives you access to BTN Plus content, sign up for BTN Plus, or learn more about it, visit btn2go.com.
- Live stats are available on the Iowa women’s basketball schedule page on hawkeyesports.com.
- Zach Mackey and Jamie Cavey Lang will call both games on Hawkeye All-Access. A link to the broadcast is available on the women’s basketball schedule page on hawkeyesports.com.
- Lang enters her second year as Iowa’s color commentator. She lettered at Iowa from 2002-05. Lang finished her Hawkeye career with 1,265 points and 506 rebounds. She was a two-time All-Big Ten selection.
- Season tickets are still available for purchase. Tickets are $100 for adults, $80 for seniors and UI faculty/staff, and $25 for youth (18 & younger). For more information, visit hawkeyesports.com/tickets.
- Single-game tickets are also available for purchase. Tickets may be ordered online at hawkeyesports.com/tickets, in person at the UI Athletics Ticket Office in Carver-Hawkeye Arena, or by calling 1-800-IA-HAWKS.
- Head coach Lisa Bluder has 699 career wins and is just one away from recording career win No. 700.
- Bluder is 1-of-10 active Division I head coaches with 699 or more victories.
- Bluder is in her 33rd season as a head coach and her 18th at the helm of the Hawkeyes.
- In her 17 seasons in Iowa City, Bluder — Iowa’s all-time winningest coach — has accumulated 343 wins.
- Bluder has collected 10 20-win seasons as a Hawkeye.
GUSTAFSON NEARS 1,000 POINTS
- Junior Megan Gustafson has 980 career points and is just 20 shy of reaching the 1,000 points milestone.
- Gustafson looks to become the 35th Hawkeye in program history to surpass 1,000 career points.
- Iowa’s 2016-17 field goal percentage of 47.1 ranked eighth nationally.
- The Hawkeyes also ranked 13th in assists (17.6), 21st in points per game (76.1), and 22nd in defensive rebounds per game (28).
STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE
- Seven of Iowa’s nonconference opponents made the 2017 NCAA Tournament, including Quinnipiac, Missouri or Western Kentucky (Hawkeye Challenge), Elon, Florida State, Iowa State, Northern Iowa, and Drake.
- Five of Iowa’s nonconference opponents are ranked or receiving votes in the USA Today Coaches Preseason Poll (Oct. 26). They include: No. 14 Florida State, No. 16 Missouri, Quinnipiac (27 votes), Drake (18 votes), and Elon (1 vote).
- Iowa finished the 2016-17 season with a 20-14 overall record and an 8-8 mark in conference action.
- The Hawkeyes made their 10th consecutive postseason appearance last season (8 NCAA, 2 WNIT), earning an at-large bid to the WNIT.
- Iowa has made a postseason tournament appearance in 16 of head coach Lisa Bluder’s 17 season at the helm of the program, receiving 12 NCAA Tournament and four WNIT (2003, 2005, 2016, 2017) bids.
- The Hawkeyes recorded their 10th 20-win season under head coach Lisa Bluder last season.
- Iowa returns nine letterwinners, including starters Megan Gustafson, Tania Davis, Kathleen Doyle, and Makenzie Meyer.
HAWKEYE CHALLENGE HISTORY
- The Hawkeye Challenge began in 1985 and Iowa has included the event in all but two seasons (1996, 2012).
- Iowa is 52-8 all-time in the Hawkeye Challenge.
- The Hawkeyes are 33-10 all-time in season openers.
- Iowa is 17-0 in season openers under head coach Lisa Bluder.
- The Hawkeyes defeated Oral Roberts, 96-76, in their season opener at Carver-Hawkeye Arena last season.
- Quinnipiac played to a 29-7 overall record and a 17-3 mark in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.
- The Bobcats advanced to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen last season with wins over Marquette and Miami. Quinnipiac fell to eventual champion South Carolina.
- Quinnipiac is receiving 27 votes in the USA Today Preseason Coaches Poll
- The Bobcats are the three-time defending MAAC Regular Season Champions and two-time MAAC Tournament Champions. They were picked as the MAAC Conference favorite.
- Junior wing Aryn McClure was named the MAAC’s Preseason Player of the Year.
- Iowa leads the all-time series, 1-0. The Hawkeyes won the lone meeting between the two teams, 93-77, in Carver-Hawkeye Arena in 2006.
SCOUTING #16 MISSOURI
- Missouri played to a 22-11 overall record and an 11-5 mark in the SEC last season.
- The Tigers are ranked No. 16 in both major polls.
- Mizzou was selected to finish third in the SEC, trailing South Carolina and Mississippi State.
- Juniors Sophie Cunningham and Cierra Porter, and redshirt senior Jordan Frericks earned Preseason All-SEC recognition from the league’s coaches.
- Missouri head coach Robin Pingeton played for head coach Lisa Bluder at St. Ambrose. She stands as the school’s all-time leading scorer (2,502 points) and was an All-American in basketball and softball.
- Iowa leads the all-time series, 5-1. The teams last met in 2004. Iowa defeated Missouri, 75-54, in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
SCOUTING WESTERN KENTUCKY
- Western Kentucky finished the 2016-17 season with a 27-7 overall record and a 16-2 mark in Conference USA action.
- The Lady Topper’s were picked to finish second in the annual Preseason C-USA Coaches’ Poll, behind Middle Tennessee.
- Western Kentucky won the C-USA Tournament in 2017 and advanced to the NCAA Tournament. WKU fell to Ohio State, 70-63, in the first round.
- Head Coach Michelle Clark-Heard was an assistant coach on Lisa Bluder’s 2015 U.S. Pan American Women’s Basketball Team.
- The all-time series is tied, 3-3. Western Kentucky won the last meeting, 68-65, in 1999 in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
HAWKEYES ROLL TO EXHIBITION WIN
- Iowa defeated Minnesota State-Moorhead, 85-56, in an exhibition contest on Sunday evening in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
- Junior Megan Gustafson led the team with 22 points on 10-of-14 shooting from the field.
- Junior Tania Davis scored 12 points, sophomore Kathleen Doyle had 10, and senior Chase Coley, sophomore Makenzie Meyer, redshirt freshman Alexis Sevillian, and junior Hannah Stewart scored eight.
- Coley and sophomore Amanda Ollinger each registered a team-high 10 rebounds.
GUSTAFSON EARNS PRESEASON HONOR
Junior Megan Gustafson was named Preseason All-Big Ten by league coaches and media, the conference office announced Oct. 23. The Port Wing, Wisconsin, native was a first team All-Big Ten selection (league coaches and media) in 2016. She was named to the Big Ten All-Freshman Team in 2015.
- Gustafson became just the fourth Hawkeye in program history to score over 600 points in a single season and the first to do so since 1990. She netted 628 points in her sophomore campaign.
- Gustafson joins Cindy Haugejorde (672; 79-80), Michelle Edwards (621; 87-88), and Franthea Price (614; 89-90) as the only Hawkeyes to break the 600-point mark in a single season.
SINGLE-SEASON RECORD HOLDER
- Sophomore Megan Gustafson became Iowa’s single-season rebounding record holder with 10 boards against Missouri State on March 16.
- The Port Wing, Wisconsin, native surpassed former Hawkeye Amy Herrig’s record of 306 (1998-99). Gustafson recorded 343 rebounds on the season.
- Gustafson tallied a team-high 628 points on the year — the most points by a sophomore in program history.
TANIA DAVIS — THE RETURN
- Junior point guard Tania Davis will make her return to the Iowa lineup after suffering a season-ending knee injury at Michigan on Feb. 5, 2017.
- In 23 games last season, Davis averaged 10.9 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 4.3 assists.
- Iowa’s sophomore class of Kathleen Doyle, Makenzie Meyer, and Amanda Ollinger combined for 89 games played and 52 starts last season.
- The class accounted for a combined 38 percent of Iowa’s total steals (88/231), 37 percent of Iowa’s assists (221/600), and 22 percent of Iowa’s total points (565/2588).
DOYLE SUCCESSFUL FRESHMAN CAMPAIGN
- Kathleen Doyle was named to the Big Ten All-Freshmen Team last season.
- The LaGrange Park, Illinois, native averaged 9.2 points, 2.6 rebounds, 4.4 assists, and 2.1 steals per game in her freshman campaign.
- Doyle’s 148 assists on the season broke a program record for assists in a freshman campaign. She bested Sam Logic’s previous record of 136 set in 2012.
- Doyle broke the record for steals in a freshman season, tallying 71 to best the previous record of 57 set by Johanna Solverson in 2003.
- Doyle’s 70.1 free throw percentage and 2.1 steals per game led all Big Ten freshmen last season.
ALL-BIG TEN RECOGNITION
- Megan Gustafson and Kathleen Doyle earned All-Big Ten accolades last season.
- Gustafson garnered first team recognition from the league coaches and media, and Doyle was named to the Big Ten All-Freshmen Team.
- Doyle was the fourth Hawkeye in the last four years to be named to the All-Freshmen Team. Ally Disterhoft earned the honor in 2014, while Gustafson and sophomore Tania Davis were both named to the team in 2016.
- Gustafson led the team in scoring (18.5), rebounding (10.1), and field goal percentage (.647). She scored in double figures in every game last season. Guatafson paced the team in rebounds in 30-of-34 games and led the Hawkeyes in scoring 18 times.
- Doyle averaged 9.2 points, 4.3 assists, 2.6 rebounds, and 2.0 steals per game. She scored in double figures in 15 games, including nine times in conference action. Doyle led all league freshmen, averaging 2.0 steals per game.
HOME SWEET HOME
- Iowa was 17-4 in games played in Carver-Hawkeye Arena last season. The Hawkeyes were 14-3 in games played in the regular season and 7-1 in non-conference action on their home court.
- Two of Iowa’s four losses at home came to top-five teams (No. 1 Notre Dame and No. 3 Maryland).
- Iowa shot .486 from the field and .338 from 3-point range in Carver. In true road contests, Iowa shot .440 from the field and .254 from distance.
- Sophomore Kathleen Doyle was invited to the U19 United States Women’s Basketball National Team Trials. Doyle competed in the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, from May 18-21.
- Head coach Lisa Bluder participated in “Over the Edge” on Sept. 14. Bluder faced a fear by rappelling down a 13-story, Iowa City building to raise money for Iowa City’s Ronald McDonald House.
- On Sept. 27, the Hawkeyes participated in Habitat for Humanity, assisting in building a house for a local family in need.
- Sophomore Megan Gustafson has 27 double-doubles in her Hawkeye career.
- Last season, Gustafson broke a program record with 18 double doubles on the season.
- Gustafson finished 2016-17 ranked fifth nationally in field goal percentage (64.7), 10th in double-doubles (18), 11th in field goals made (260) and rebounds (343), 25th in rebounds per game (10.1), 26th in defensive rebounds per game (7), and 28th in final points (628).
- Gustafson led Iowa in rebounds in 30-of-34 games last season.
- Gustafson netted 20 or more points 15 times in her sophomore campaign.
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 host Northern Illinois on Wednesday, Nov. 15. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. (CT) in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.