The 21st-ranked University of Iowa women’s basketball team opens Big Ten Play Thursday, traveling to Madison, Wisconsin, for a matchup with the Badgers. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. (CT) from the Kohl Center.
- The contest will be streamed live on BTN Plus. Links are available on the Iowa women’s basketball schedule page on hawkeyesports.com.
- Live stats are also available on the women’s basketball schedule page on hawkeyesports.com.
- Rob Brooks and Jamie Cavey Lang will call the action on the Hawkeye Radio Network. A link to the broadcast is available on the women’s basketball schedule page on hawkeyesports.com.
- Brooks is in his second year as the play-by-play announcer for the Iowa women’s basketball team. He has been Iowa football’s sideline announcer since 2004. He has called seven different Iowa sports on radio or television.
- 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.
IN THE POLLS
- Iowa moved up four spots to No. 21 in the USA Today Coaches Poll. The Hawkeyes also moved up two spots to No. 23 in this week’s AP Poll.
- The Hawkeyes entered both major polls on Dec. 11 (AP) and Dec. 12 (USA Today) at No. 25. It marked Iowa’s first time in the AP Poll since Dec. 7, 2015 (No. 23) and its first time in the Coaches Poll since Jan. 5, 2016 (No. 23). Iowa is ranked in the AP Poll for the first time since Dec. 7, 2015 (No. 23).
- Five other Big Ten teams are ranked or receiving votes in polls (AP/Coaches), including No. 12/11 Ohio State, No. 15/14 Maryland, No. 21/19 Michigan, RV/NR Rutgers, and RV/RV Michigan State.
- Iowa is off to an 12-1 start for the first time since 2010-11.
- Iowa finished the 2010-11 season with a 22-9 overall record and a trip to the NCAA Tournament.
- A win on Thursday would mark Iowa’s best start since 2004-05 (13-0).
STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE
- Iowa has defeated six teams — Quinnipiac, Western Kentucky, Elon, Iowa State, UNI, and Drake — that made the NCAA Tournament last season.
- Eleven of Iowa’s opponents made the 2017 NCAA Tournament, including Quinnipiac, Western Kentucky, Elon, Florida State, Iowa State, Northern Iowa, Drake, Maryland, Michigan State, Ohio State, and Purdue.
- Wisconsin enters Thursday’s contest with a 7-6 overall record. The Badgers have wins over Charlotte, Southern, Vanderbilt (OT), Pitt, La Salle, UT Rio Grande Valley, and Savannah State.
- Three of Wisconsin’s six losses have come by seven points or less, including two losses by three points.
- The Badgers are 5-2 in games played at the Kohl Center this season.
- Senior guard Cayla McMorris leads the Badgers, averaging 14.6 points per game. Junior forward Marsha Howard is also averaging double figures in points (11.6).
- Howard leads the team in rebounding, averaging 7.9 per game.
- The Badgers ranks 39th nationally in rebounds (527). They also rank 57th in rebounding margin (+7.4).
- Jonathan Tsipis is in his second season at the helm of the Badgers.
- Iowa leads the all-time series, 47-20.
- The Hawkeyes have won the last 17 meetings, dating back to 2006-07.
- Iowa defeated Wisconsin, 71-60, in Iowa City last season. Gustafson led the team with 22 points and 14 rebounds.
BIG TEN OPENERS
- The Hawkeyes are 11-6 in Big Ten openers under head coach Lisa Bluder.
- Iowa has won four of its last six Big Ten openers.
- The Hawkeyes completed the state sweep with a 79-66 win over Drake on Dec. 21.
- It marked the first state sweep for the Hawkeyes since 2014-15.
- Iowa clinched two of the three in-state victories on the road. The Hawkeyes defeated Iowa State, 61-55, in Ames on Dec. 6, before downing UNI, 71-47, in Cedar Falls on Dec. 17.
DEFENSE STEPS UP
- The Hawkeyes have held their opponents to less than 60 points in four of their last five games.
- In its last five games, Iowa’s opponents averaged just 54.4 points per game.
- Iowa’s scoring defense of 64.4 points per game ranks ninth in the Big Ten Conference.
CLIMBING THE CAREER CHARTS
- Junior Megan Gustafson’s 1,269 career points ranks 21st all-time. She needs 14 points to tie former Hawkeye Necole Tunsil (1,283; 90-94) for 20th.
- Gustafson has 728 rebounds in her career. She currently ranks 13th all-time. She is 17 rebounds shy of tying Randi Peterson (745; 97-01) for 12th.
IOWA DOWNS DRAKE IN NONCONFERENCE FINALE
- The Hawkeyes defeated Drake, 79-66 in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Dec. 21.
- Junior Megan Gustafson led the Hawkeyes with 27 points and 12 rebounds.
- Sophomore Makenzie Meyer tied career highs in points (21) and 3-pointers made (5). She also handed out a game-high seven assists.
- Sophomore Amanda Ollinger dished out a career-best six assists.
- The Hawkeyes shot a season-high 50 percent from 3-point range.
- Iowa outscored the Bulldogs, 25-12, in the second quarter. The Hawkeyes shot 53 percent from the field (9-for-17) and 83 percent from 3-point range (5-of-6) in the contest.
- Junior Megan Gustafson and senior Chase Coley are ranked among the top-15 in the conference in field goal percentage.
- Gustafson leads the conference, shooting 69.8 percent from the field this season, while Coley ranks 13th (54.1).
- In three games against in-state opponents this season, Iowa native Makenzie Meyer averaged 15.7 points.
- Meyer shot 53.3 percent from the field (16-for-30) and 50.0 percent from 3-point range (9-for-18) against in-state foes this season.
- Junior Megan Gustafson has 39 double-doubles in her Hawkeye career, including double-doubles in 17 of her last 21 games.
- Gustafson leads the nation with 12 double-doubles this season.
HAWKEYES END DROUGHT AT HILTON
- The Hawkeyes defeated Iowa State, 61-55, in Hilton Coliseum on Dec. 6, marking the team’s first win in Ames since 1989 (11 meetings).
- Sophomore Makenzie Meyer led the Hawkeyes with 18 points. The Mason City, Iowa, native went 4-for-6 from 3-point range.
- After being held to just two points in the first half, junior Megan Gustafson netted 14 points and pulled down seven boards in the second half to register her ninth double-double of the season (16 points, 14 rebounds). It marked the 36th double-double of her career.
- Junior Hannah Stewart registered a career-high 12 rebounds.
TOTAL TEAM EFFORT
- Three Hawkeyes average double figures in scoring this season, while seven are averaging seven or more.
- Four Hawkeyes average 4.9 or more rebounds per game, including Megan Gustafson (12.3), Hannah Stewart (5.8), Chase Coley (5.1) and Kathleen Doyle (4.9).
- Nine Hawkeyes have registered 13 or more assists on the season.
GUSTAFSON EARNS 7TH STRAIGHT CONFERENCE HONOR
- Junior Megan Gustafson was named Big Ten Player of the Week, the conference office announced Tuesday. She has earned conference recognition in each of the first seven weeks of the season. The weekly award is the 13th of her career.
- Gustafson registered 27 points, 12 rebounds (5 offensive), four blocks, and two steals to guide Iowa to a win over in-state rival Drake on Dec. 21. She shot 64.7 (11-for-17) percent from the field and scored six or more points in every quarter to lead Iowa to its 12th win of the season. Gustafson notched her NCAA-leading 12th double-double of the season. She now has 39 double-doubles in her career.
- The Port Wing, Wisconsin, native has now earned seven straight conference honors. She was named the Big Ten Player of the Week on Nov. 13, Dec. 4, and Dec. 18 and was named to the Player of the Week Honor Roll on Nov. 20, Nov. 27, and Dec. 11.
STEWART MAKES AN IMPACT
- Junior Hannah Stewart is averaging 7.8 points and 5.8 rebounds off the bench for the Hawkeyes this season.
- The Minot, North Dakota, native netted a career-high 17 points (7-for-9) against Samford on Dec. 3.
- Stewart recorded a career-best 12 rebounds to help the Hawkeyes to their first win in Hilton since 1989.
- Stewart also leads the team in steals, averaging 1.6 per contest.
SHARING IS CARING
- Iowa leads the nation in assists (310) and assists per game (23.8), and ranks fourth in assist/turnover ratio (1.58).
- The Hawkeyes have registered 23 assists or more in 10 of their 13 contests this season.
- Nine Hawkeyes have registered 13 or more assists on the season.
SEVILLIAN STEPS IN
- Redshirt freshman Alexis Sevillian ranks second on the team, averaging 11.4 points per game.
- Sevillian has scored in double figures in nine of Iowa’s 13 contests.
- The Goodrich, Michigan, native has netted 3-or-more 3-pointers eight times.
- Sevillian ranks second in the Big Ten and 26th nationally in 3-point field goal percentage (45.7).
- Sevillian led the team in scoring with a career-best 21 points on 5-of-6 shooting from 3-point range against Elon on Nov. 25 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
- Iowa leads the nation in three categories, including assists (310), assists per game (23.8), and fewest fouls per game (11.5).
- The Hawkeyes are ranked in the top-10 in nine categories. They include assists, assists per game, personal fouls per game, defensive rebounds per game (3rd; 33), assist/turnover ratio (4th; 1.58), field goal percentage (5th; 51.3), rebounds (7th; 577), blocked shots (8th; 74), and win/loss percentage (8th; 92.3).
- Junior Megan Gustafson is currently ranked in the top-15 in the nation in nine categories. She leads the NCAA in double-doubles (12) and field goals made (120), and ranks second in field goal percentage (69.8), fifth in rebounds (160), sixth in total points (289), seventh in points per game (22.2), eighth in rebounds per game (12.3), 11th in defensive rebounds per game (8), and 14th in offensive rebounds per game (4).
GUSTAFSON NAMED TO NAISMITH TROPHY WATCH LIST
- Junior Megan Gustafson was named to the Naismith Trophy Watch List by the Atlanta Tipoff Club on Nov. 29. The award honors the nation’s top player.
- The list currently features 50 student-athletes. It will be trimmed to 30 on Feb. 12, 2018.
- Nine different conferences are represented on the list. Gustafson is one of eight Big Ten student-athletes included.
- Gustafson was named to the Katrina McClain Award Watch List on Nov. 9. She is one-of-20 student-athletes named to the list. The award honors the nation’s top power forward.
- After scoring in double figures once last season, senior Chase Coley has scored 10 or more points in four contests this season.
- Coley netted 20 points in Iowa’s win over Northern Illinois on Nov. 15 — her most points since scoring 20 against Michigan on March 3, 2016.
- The Minneapolis native has scored eight or more points eight times this season, and has registered four or more rebounds on eight occasions.
- Coley’s field goal percentage of 54.1 currently ranks 13th in the Big Ten Conference.
- Head coach Lisa Bluder collected her 700th victory on Nov. 10 against Quinnipiac.
- Bluder is one-of-10 active Division I head coaches with 700 or more victories and one-of-29 women’s coaches to ever accomplish the feat. Bluder is one of 80 coaches (men or women) to win 700 or more contests.
- Bluder is in her 34th season as a head coach and her 18th at the helm of the Hawkeyes.
- In her 18 seasons in Iowa City, Bluder — Iowa’s all-time winningest coach — has accumulated 355 wins.
- Bluder has collected 10 20-win seasons as a Hawkeye.
THE CENTURY MARK
- For the first time in school history, Iowa scored 100 or more points in back-to-back contests on Nov. 11 and Nov. 15.
- Iowa scored 104 points in an overtime win against Western Kentucky on Nov. 11, before netting 105 against Northern Illinois on Nov. 15.
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.
Iowa hosts No. 21/19 Michigan in its Big Ten home opener on Dec. 31. Tipoff is slated for 3 p.m. (CT). The contest will air live on BTN.