The 17th-ranked University of Iowa women’s basketball team travels to Champaign, Illinois, for a matchup against Illinois on Sunday, Jan. 7. Tipoff is set for 1 p.m. (CT) from the State Farm Center.
- The contest will air live on BTN. Mike Monaco and Vera Jones will have the call from the State Farm Center. 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. 17 in the USA Today Coaches Poll. The Hawkeyes also moved up five spots to No. 18 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).
- Four other Big Ten teams are ranked or receiving votes in polls (AP/Coaches), including No. 10/10 Ohio State, No. 13/13 Maryland, No. 22/20 Michigan, and RV/25 Rutgers.
- Iowa is off to an 14-2 — the best start for the program since 1995-96 (20-1).
- The Hawkeyes finished the 1995-96 season with a 27-4 overall record, a Big Ten title, and a Sweet 16 appearance.
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.
- Illinois enters Sunday’s contest with a 9-8 overall record and a 0-3 mark in conference play.
- Two of Illinois’ eight losses have come against top-20 teams, including No. 16 Missouri (72-55)and No. 15 Maryland (100-65).
- The Illini are 6-3 when playing at State Farm Center this year.
- Alex Wittinger leads the team, averaging 13.3 points per game. Brandi Beasley also averages double figures in scoring (12.2).
- Wittinger leads the team in rebounding, averaging 8.8 rebounds per game.
- In three conference games this season, Wittinger is averaging 14.7 points per game, while Beasley is averaging 11.7.
- Wittinger ranks 10th nationally in blocked shots (43) and 22nd in blocked shots per game (2.53). She also ranks 23rd in rebounds (150) and 28th in offensive rebounds per game (4).
- Iowa leads the all-time series, 54-19.
- The Hawkeyes and Fighting Illini split a pair of meetings last season. Illinois won, 70-65, in Champaign on Dec. 28, before Iowa claimed the 78-58 victory in Iowa City on Jan. 11.
- Junior Megan Gustafson averaged 20.5 points and 14 rebounds in a pair of contests against Illinois last season.
- LaGrange Park, Illinois native Kathleen Doyle averaged 15 points and five assists against the Illini last season.
DOYLE STAYS HOT
- Sophomore Kathleen Doyle registered a career-best 23 points on 9-of-17 shooting from the field to help the Hawkeyes to an 82-72 victory over No. 19/21 Michigan on Dec. 31.
- The LaGrange Park, Illinois, native has registered career-highs in assists in back-to-back games. Doyle registered nine assists against No. 19/21 Michigan on Dec. 31, before recorded 11 assists at No. 13/13 Maryland on Dec. 4.
- Doyle registered 13 points and 11 assists against the Terrapins, marking her first career double-double. She became the third Hawkeye to register a double-double this season (Megan Gustafson, Tania Davis).
MOHNS STEPS UP
- Redshirt junior Carly Mohns provided a spark of the bench in Iowa’s win over No. 19/21 Michigan on Dec. 31.
- Mohns netted nine points, pulled down six boards, and registered two steals in a career-high 25 minutes played.
A PERFECT DECEMBER
- Iowa finished the month of December with a perfect 7-0 record.
- Three of Iowa’s wins came against teams that made the NCAA Tournament.
- The Hawkeyes held their opponents to 55.7 points per game during the month.
- Junior Megan Gustafson averaged 22.0 points and 12.0 rebounds in December. Sophomores Makenzie Meyer (12.6) and Kathleen Doyle (10.0) also averaged double figures.
IOWA FINISHES 2017 WITH A TOP-25 WIN
- A near-perfect effort from junior center Megan Gustafson led the Hawkeyes past No. 21/19 Michigan on Dec. 31.
- Gustafson led all scorers with 27 points and 11 rebounds. She was 8-for-9 from the field and 11-for-11 from the free throw line. She also blocked a career-best six shots.
- Sophomore Kathleen Doyle registered career-highs in points (23) and assists (9).
- The Hawkeyes shot 50 percent from the field (29-of-58) and won the rebounding battle, 38-30.
- The win marked Iowa’s first win over a ranked opponent since defeating No. 25 Nebraska, 74-65, on March 6, 2015.
GUSTAFSON EARNS 8TH STRAIGHT CONFERENCE HONOR
- Junior Megan Gustafson was named Big Ten Player of the Week for the third straight week, the conference office announced Tuesday. The weekly award was the 14th of her career.
- Gustafson has earned a conference recognition in each of the first eight weeks of the season, including five Player of the Week awards. She is one away from tying Ohio State’s Jantel Lavender for the most Player of the Week awards in a single season (6, 2010-11).
- Gustafson is one of five Big Ten student-athletes to garner five Player of the Week awards in a single season. The list includes Lindsay Whalen (Minnesota, 2001-02), Kelly Mazzante (Penn State, 2002-03, 2003-04), Jessica Davenport (Ohio State, 2004-05, 2006-07), and Jantel Lavender (Ohio State, 2008-09).
- The Port Wing, Wisconsin, native averaged 24.0 points, 13.0 rebounds. 3.5 blocks, and shot 61.9 percent from the field and 1.000 from the free throw line (22-for-22) to lead Iowa to a pair of wins against Wisconsin and No. 21/19 Michigan last week.
DEFENSE STEPS UP
- The Hawkeyes have held their opponents to less than 60 points in five of their last eight games.
- Iowa has held three of its last eight opponents to less than 50 points (Arkansas-Pine Bluff, UNI, and Wisconsin).
- Iowa’s field goal percentage defense of 34.2 leads the Big Ten.
CLIMBING THE CAREER CHARTS
- Junior Megan Gustafson’s 1,332 career points ranks 19th all-time. She needs three points to tie former Hawkeye Lisa Becker (1,335; 83-87) for 18th.
- Gustafson has 770 rebounds in her career. She currently ranks 12th all-time. She is 18 rebounds shy of tying Ally Disterhoft (788; 13-17) for 11th.
- Juniors Megan Gustafson and Hannah Stewart and senior Chase Coley are ranked among the top-15 in the conference in field goal percentage.
- Gustafson leads the conference, shooting 68.7 percent from the field this season, while Coley ranks ninth (54.0) and Stewart ranks 14th (51.5).
- Junior Megan Gustafson has 42 double-doubles in her Hawkeye career, including double-doubles in 20 of her last 24 games.
- Gustafson leads the nation with 15 double-doubles this season.
FAST START LIFTS HAWKEYES TO 13TH WIN
- Iowa improved to 13-1 overall and 1-0 in conference action with a 56-46 victory over Wisconsin on Dec. 28 in Madison.
- Port Wing, Wisconsin, native Megan Gustafson led the team with 21 points and 16 rebounds. It marked her 13th double-double of the season and the 40th of her career.
- Iowa led 19-4 after 10 minutes. The Hawkeyes made 8-of-14 field goals and grabbed 15 rebounds in the first quarter.
- The Hawkeyes made 14-of-15 free throws. Gustafson was a perfect 11-for-11 from the line.
- Iowa dominated on the glass, out-rebounding Wisconsin, 49-29. Gustafson led the way with 16 while Ollinger pulled down eight.
- Iowa leads the nation in two categories, including assists (358) and fewest fouls per game (11.6).
- They Hawkeyes are ranked in the top-15 in 11 categories. They include assists, fewest fouls per game, assists per game (4th; 22.4), rebounds (4th; 710), blocked shots (5th; 97), defensive rebounds per game (5th; 32), field goal percentage (6th; 49.6), fewest fouls (11th; 185), blocked shots per game (13th; 6.1), win/loss percentage (14th; 87.5), and free throw percentage (15th; 76.5).
- Megan Gustafson is currently ranked in the top-10 in the nation in eight categories. She leads the nation in field goals made (138) and double-doubles (15), ranks second in field goal percentage (68.7), third in rebounds (202), fourth in total points (352), fifth in rebounds per game (12.6), eighth in points per game (22.0), and ninth in defensive rebounds per game (8).
- Sophomore Kathleen Doyle ranks 24th nationally in assists per game (6.0) and 25th in assists (84).
SHARING IS CARING
- Iowa leads the nation in assists (358) and ranks fourth in assists per game (22.4).
- The Hawkeyes have registered 23 assists or more in 10 of their 16 contests this season.
- Nine Hawkeyes have registered 16 or more assists on the season.
TOTAL TEAM EFFORT
- Four Hawkeyes average double figures in scoring this season, while seven are averaging seven or more.
- Four Hawkeyes average 4.6 or more rebounds per game, including Megan Gustafson (12.6), Hannah Stewart (5.5), Chase Coley (5.1) and Kathleen Doyle (4.6).
- Nine Hawkeyes have registered 16 or more assists on the season.
STEWART MAKES AN IMPACT
- Junior Hannah Stewart is averaging 7.3 points and 5.5 rebounds off the bench for the Hawkeyes this season.
- Stewart has registered five or more rebounds in 10 games so far 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 1.4 per contest.
SEVILLIAN STEPS IN
- Redshirt freshman Alexis Sevillian ranks third on the team, averaging 11.1 points per game.
- Sevillian has scored in double figures in 11 of Iowa’s 16 contests.
- The Goodrich, Michigan, native has netted 3-or-more 3-pointers nine times.
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 five 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 11 times this season, and has registered four or more rebounds on 11 occasions.
- Coley’s field goal percentage of 54.0 currently ranks ninth 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 357 wins.
Iowa returns to Iowa City on Saturday, Jan. 13, hosting Purdue in Carver-Hawkeye. Tipoff is set for 3 p.m. (CT) on BTN. The contest will be Iowa’s annual “Go Red for Women” game, and the team will sign autographs following the game.