Nov. 12, 2012
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- THE SETTING
The University of Iowa women's basketball team hosts Middle Tennessee in the semifinals of the Preseason WNIT on Wednesday. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Mediacom Court inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
Tickets are $10 for adults. Youth (18 and under) and UI students are admitted free. Wednesday's game is not a part of the regular season ticket package, but season ticket holders can purchase tickets for a discounted rate of $5.
Brent Balbinot and Shelley Till will call Wednesday's game for the Hawkeye Radio Network. Hawkeye fans can listen to the contest on AM-800 KXIC in Iowa City, AM-1360 KMJM in Cedar Rapids or on the Hawkeye All-Access page of hawkeyesports.com. Balbinot is in his ninth season as Iowa's play-by-play voice, while Till is in her eighth providing analysis.
ON YOUR COMPUTER
Wednesday's contest vs. Middle Tennessee will be streamed live on hawkeyesports.com. Fans must have a Hawkeye All-Access account in order to watch the web stream.
Hawkeye fans can also follow the game via live stats (Gametracker). The "GT" link can be accessed under the "Calendar" tab on the front page of hawkeyesports.com or on the women's basketball schedule page.
Iowa has played 1,100 games since beginning basketball in 1974. Iowa's overall record is 673-427 (.612). That includes a 340-170 (.667) mark in regular season Big Ten contests and a 335-91 (.786) mark in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
PRESEASON WNIT INFORMATION
The Preseason WNIT is in its 19th year and is one of the longest-running preseason women's basketball tournaments. Teams are selected based on expected success for that season, relevant past, conference standing, fan base and geographical location.
Sixteen teams from 16 conferences compete in a three-game guarantee championship format. Iowa and Middle Tennessee compete in one semifinal, while the other semifinal pits Georgetown at North Carolina on Wednesday at 6 p.m. (CT). The two winners will play for the Preseason WNIT championship Sunday at 3 p.m. (CT) live on CBS Sports Network. The championship site will be announced after both games are completed on Wednesday.
The consolation bracket will be re-drawn with regard to matchups based on geography of teams involved, who is able to host and recent history of the teams. The consolation bracket will be released after the completion of first round games on Nov. 10.
The official tournament website is womensnit.com. Fans can also follow the WNIT on Facebook and on Twitter (@womensNIT). The official Twitter hashtag of the tournament is #WNIT.
IOWA IN THE PRESEASON WNIT
The Hawkeyes are participating in the Preseason WNIT for the second time. Iowa's only other Preseason WNIT appearance was in 1996. The Hawkeyes, ranked No. 6 in the country, defeated Illinois State (66-41) in first round action, but were upset by No. 20 Notre Dame (60-51) in the second round. Both games were played in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
SCOUTING MIDDLE TENNESSEE
The Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders opened the 2012-13 season with home wins against Kennesaw State (87-45) and Memphis (82-68). The Blue Raiders are receiving votes in the lastest Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today Top 25.
Icelyn Elie netted a career-high 30 points against Memphis, adding five rebounds and four assists. Elie, along with Ebony Rowe and Kortni Jones, played all 40 minutes against Memphis. Rowe had 19 points and seven rebounds, while Jones had 14 points and eight assists.
The Blue Raiders were picked to win the Sun Belt East Division this year after claiming the conference title last year with a perfect 16-0 record. The Blue Raiders advanced to the championship game of the Sun Belt Tournament, falling to UALR in overtime. Middle Tennessee returns all five starters and 10 letterwinners from last year's team that compiled a 26-7 overall record and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the fifth consecutive season.
The trio of Elie, Jones and Rowe were all named first team Preseason All-Sun Belt earlier this year.
HAWKEYES ADVANCE WITH WIN OVER ILLINOIS STATE
Solid free throw shooting led Iowa to a 74-64 win over Illinois State in the quarterfinals of the Preseason WNIT.
The Hawkeyes shot 78 percent from the line, converting 32-of-41 attempts. Morgan Johnson netted 12 of her 24 points at the line on a 12-of-13 effort. She missed her first free throw and converted her next 12 straight.
Iowa led by as many as 22 late in the second half and collected 18 points off its bench. Johnson led Iowa with 24 points and five blocks. Theairra Taylor chipped in 10 points and 11 rebounds.
IOWA IN THE RANKINGS
The Hawkeyes are receiving votes in the latest ESPN/USA Today Top 25.
Five Iowa opponents are also ranked in the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today polls: Penn State (9th/8th), West Virginia (14th/22nd), Nebraska (15th/19th), Purdue (18th/18th) and Ohio State (20th/21st).
In addition, Middle Tennessee, Iowa State, Florida State, Michigan State, Texas and Michigan are receiving votes.
JOHNSON CLOSE TO BLOCKS RECORD
Morgan Johnson needs four more blocks to become Iowa's all-time blocked shots leader.
Johnson enters Wednesday's game with 232 career blocks. Tangela Smith holds the Iowa school record with 235 blocks.
Johnson currently ranks ninth in Big Ten history in career blocks.
TAYLOR HAS CAREER NIGHT
Theairra Taylor recorded her first career double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds in Iowa's Preseason WNIT quarterfinal win over Illinois State (Nov. 11).
Taylor's 11 rebounds were a career high. She also tied her career high with five assists.
JOHNSON REACHES MILESTONE
Senior Morgan Johnson became the 27th player in school history to score 1,100 career points in Iowa's win over Northern Illinois (Nov. 9). She currently ranks 26th in career scoring with 1,103 points.
NO BASKET FOR YOU
Sophomore Bethany Doolittle not only recorded the first start of her career against Northern Illinois (Nov. 9), she set a new caree high in blocks. Doolittle swatted six shots, besting her previous high of four.
BLUDER CLOSING IN ON MILESTONE
Head coach Lisa Bluder is just 12 wins away from career win No. 600. Bluder entered the 2012-13 season as the 26th winningest active coach and the 46th overall winningest coach in NCAA women's basketball history (by victories).
Only 41 coaches in NCAA women's basketball history have reached the 600 career win plateau.
MOVING UP CAREER CHARTS
Morgan Johnson ranks second in career blocks (232), 13th in career rebounds (644) and 26th in career scoring (1,127). She needs four more blocks to move past Tangela Smith for first place, 10 more rebounds to move past Shanda Berry for 12th place and three more points to pass Lisa Anderson for 25th place. Jaime Printy ranks fourth in career 3-pointers made (198), 11th in career scoring (1,421) and 12th in career assists (308). She needs 24 more 3-pointers to move past Wendy Ausdemore for third place, 19 more points to move past Megan Skouby for 10th place and 15 more assists to move past Lisa Anderson for 11th place.
IOWA SELECTED TO HOST NCAA 1ST AND 2ND ROUNDS
The University of Iowa has been selected to host first and second round games of the 2013 NCAA Women's Basketball Championship.
The Iowa City site will host first round games on Sunday, March 24 at 4 and 6:30 p.m. The second round contest will be on Tuesday, March 26 at 8:30 p.m.
Fans can take advantage of a special advanced sale rate that runs until Jan. 1. All-session tickets are just $25 for adults and $15 for youth (18 and under), UI students and seniors (50+). The first 500 fans purchasing all-session tickets will receive a souvenir t-shirt.
IOWA WOMEN'S BASKETBALL AND SOCIAL MEDIA
The Hawkeye women's basketball has four different social media outlets. Check out the Iowa women's basketball Facebook page or the University of Iowa Athletics Facebook page. Fans can also follow @IowaWBB or @TheIowaHawkeyes on Twitter.