Bulldogs To Open Season At No. 9 Iowa

GAME NOTES: Samford @ No. 9 Iowa (11.11.21)
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The Bulldogs (0-0, 0-0 SoCon) of Samford University tipoff the 2021-22 campaign on Thursday, Nov. 11 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena against the No. 9 ranked Hawkeyes (1-0, 0-0 Big 10) of Iowa. Tipoff is set for 6:30 PM and the game will be broadcast on the Big 10 Network. Samford and Iowa are meeting for the third time in series history with the Hawkeyes owning a 2-0 edge in the series. The Hawkeyes won both of the previous meetings at home, claiming a 66-60 victory on Dec. 3, 2006 and an 80-59 decision on Dec. 3, 2017.

Carley Kuhns enters her third season as head coach of Samford Women’s Basketball. What she has done in the last two seasons is remarkable, as the Bulldogs have captured back-to-back Southern Conference regular season championships including the 2019-20 SoCon Tournament title. The former Valdosta State standout was named the 2020-21 SoCon Coach of the Year after leading the Bulldogs to an impressive 11-2 record. In total, Kuhns enters the year 98-53 overall in six seasons as a head coach including a 32-26 mark at Samford.  

Junior guard Andrea Cournoyer returns to anchor a Samford lineup that features five starters off of last season’s 11-2 SoCon regular season championship team. The Merryville, La., native, played in 22 games for the Bulldogs en route to being named the 2020-21 SoCon Player of the Year. Cournoyer averaged a league-high 18.4 points per game while contributing 3.9 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game. Cournoyer was also a unanimous selection to the 2020-21 All-SoCon First Team. She rates as one of the nation’s top 30 returning scorers for the 2021-22 campaign.

The Iowa Hawkeyes opened the season with a dominating 99-50 victory over New Hampshire on Tuesday, Nov. 9. All-American Caitlin Clark led the Hawkeyes with 26 points, eight rebounds, and six assists. Monika Czinano totaled 14 points, going 7-10 from the field goal, and tallied six rebounds. McKenna Warnock finished with 12 points, and Tomi Taiwo ended with 10.   

Caitlin Clark, the WBCA Co-Freshman of the Year in 2020-21, returns for the Hawkeyes as one of the nation’s top producing guards. The 6-0 sophomore from West Des Moines, Iowa, averaged an amazing 26.7 points per game.

SCOUTING THE BULLDOGS:
Samford will play a formidable non-conference schedule for a third-straight year under head coach Carley Kuhns. The Bulldogs will open the 2021-22 campaign on the road at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Nov. 11 against perennial Big 10 power, Iowa. The Bulldogs will also square-off on the road with Southern Miss (11.20), Colorado (11.22), Northern Colorado (11.26), Troy (12.1), Ole Miss (12.17), and LSU (12.27). SU will host Jacksonville State (11.17), Murray State (12.4), Alabama A&M (12.9), UAB (12.12), and Kennesaw State (12.29) before opening SoCon play.

Carley Kuhns enters her third season as head coach of Samford Women’s Basketball. What she has done in the last two seasons is remarkable, as the Bulldogs have captured back-to-back Southern Conference regular season championships including the 2019-20 SoCon Tournament title. The former Valdosta State standout was named the 2020-21 SoCon Coach of the Year after leading the Bulldogs to an impressive 11-2 record. In total, Kuhns enters the year 98-53 overall in six seasons as a head coach including a 32-26 mark at Samford.  

Junior guard Andrea Cournoyer returns to anchor a Samford lineup that features five starters off of last season’s 11-2 SoCon regular season championship team. The Merryville, La., native, played in 22 games for the Bulldogs en route to being named the 2020-21 SoCon Player of the Year. Cournoyer averaged a league-high 18.4 points per game while contributing 3.9 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game. Cournoyer was also a unanimous selection to the 2020-21 All-SoCon First Team. She rates as one of the nation’s top 30 returning scorers for the 2021-22 campaign.

Entering her final season with the Bulldogs, senior center Natalie Armstrong is looking to solidify one of the most memorable runs in recent Samford history. The three-time All-SoCon Team selection has played in 112 games for the Bulldogs, scoring 1,163 points in her illustrious career while averaging 10.4 points per game. The Norcross, Ga., native, has also cleared 562 career rebounds and blocked 122 shots. She led the SoCon in blocks (43) in 2020-21 while averaging 12.7 points and 6.3 rebounds per contest. In 2019-20, Armstrong was named the SoCon Tournament MVP after draining the game-winning three-pointer to propel the Bulldogs past UNCG and into the NCAA Tournament.

Senior guard Shauntai Battle is back after an injury-shortened 2020-21 campaign. The Mobile, Ala., native, averaged 15.7 points per game before missing the remainder of the year with a lower body injury. Known as one of the league’s top defenders, Battle was named to the 2019-2020 All-SoCon Defensive Team after helping lead the Bulldogs to the regular season and tournament titles. The former McGill-Toolen star has played in 86 career games, scoring 553 points (6.4 ppg) and clearing 208 rebounds (2.4 rpg).

Junior forward Annie Ramil is set to play a major role in the paint for the Bulldogs this season. The Binghamton, N.Y., native, played in all 25 games for Samford last year,  making 25 starts at forward, while averaging 11.0 points and a SoCon-leading 8.2 rebounds per game in 26.7 minutes on the floor. She connected on 104-of-198 shots from the field (52.5) while also making 9-of-23 from 3-point range (39.1). The former Binghamton University transfer scored in double figures in 16 games and turned in a career high 28 points and 15 rebounds versus Mercer.

Freshman Mallory Hampton played in 25 games, making 21 starts at guard for the Bulldogs while averaging 5.0 points, 2.9 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game in 25.6 minutes on the floor. The Evensville, Tenn., native, scored a career-high 12 points twice, last versus Mercer (1.9.21).

Samford enters the 2021-22 campaign picked to finish second in both the Southern Conference Preseason Coaches’ & Media Polls. The Bulldogs have captured back-to-back SoCon Regular Season Championships in coach Carley Kuhns first two seasons with Samford. Junior guard Andrea Cournoyer was picked to repeat as the league’s Player of the Year while senior center Natalie Armstrong and junior forward Annie Ramil were also named to the All-SoCon Preseason Team.  

FACE THE FOE: IOWA
The Iowa Hawkeyes finished the 2020-21 campaign 20-10 overall and 11-8 in Big 10 play. The Hawkeyes fell to Connecticut 92-72 in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament to conclude the year. Lisa Bludder returns for her 21st season at the helm of her alma mater. She is 775-336 in her illustrious coaching career.  

Caitlin Clark, the WBCA Co-Freshman of the Year in 2020-21, returns as one of the nation’s top producing guards. The 6-0 sophomore from West Des Moines, Iowa, averaged an amazing 26.7 points per game. Clark earned first team All-America honors from The Athletic, WBCA, and USBWA, and earned second-team honors from Associated Press. She was also named Big Ten Freshman of the Year and earned unanimous Big Ten All-Freshman Team, and unanimous first team All-Big Ten honors.

Monika Czinano, a 6-3 senior forward from Watertown, Minn., is also a key returnee for the Hawkeyes. The former Watertown-Mayer star averaged 19.5 points and 5.9 rebounds per game for Iowa. She also led the Big 10 in FG percentage, shooting a blistering 67.8 percent (230-339).  

FOLLOW THE BULLDOGS:
For the latest news and information on Samford women’s basketball, visit the official website for Samford Athletics at SamfordSports.com. Fans can also follow the Bulldogs on social media at /SamfordWomen’sBasketball (Facebook), @SamfordWBB (Instagram) and @SamfordWBB (Twitter).

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