IOWA CITY –The black uniforms meshed with the blackout at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. So did Iowa’s offense with the nets.
On a night where Iowa’s defense stayed in the locker room underneath the leftover towels from the Bahamas trip, Iowa’s offense was everywhere last night. No. 23 Iowa knocked down 57 percent from the floor to upend Notre Dame, 98-93, in the Big Ten-ACC Challenge.
It ended a seven-game challenge losing streak for the Hawkeyes (8-1) and boosted their record to 3-10 all-time. It was Notre Dame’s first challenge game since joining the ACC.
But it was hardly easy for the Hawkeyes. After leading by 11 late in the first half, Iowa fizzled defensively to start the second half. Notre Dame went on 14-3 run and took a 57-55 lead with 15:45 left in the game. But Iowa regrouped, and senior guard Devyn Marble sizzled.
Marble scored on six of Iowa’s next seven possessions, putting up 13 consecutive points to give Iowa a 68-62 lead. He drove the lane for three baskets and drilled a pair of 3-pointers.
But Notre Dame kept coming. Each time Iowa took a step ahead, the Irish countered. When Aaron White scored on a three-point play with 8:58 left in the game, Notre Dame’s Austin Burgett hit a jumper. Then Demetrius Jackson knocked down a 3-point to tie it up.
As much as Iowa struggled on defense, the Hawkeyes turned it up on offense. Iowa scored on 10 of its final 11 possessions and relied on its front court to do the scoring. The Hawkeyes attacked the Notre Dame interior and got to the foul line 14 times in the final five minutes. Iowa converted 12 into points.
White, who led Iowa with 20 points, put the Hawkeyes ahead 90-83 with 1:50 left when was fouled going strong to the basket. After an official conference, it was ruled goal tending, which gave White the basket. He knocked down the free throw.
Marble and Jarrod Uthoff each scored 17 points for Iowa. Zach McCabe and Mike Gesell added 10.
Iowa struggled to defend Notre Dame center Garrick Sherman, who scored 29 points and grabbed nine boards. He made 12 of 18 shots.
In the first half Iowa shot 57.6 percent from the floor and took 52-43 halftime lead. The Hawkeyes scored on their last seven possessions and 13 of 15 overall. Iowa’s post players produced the late run with Uthoff putting up six, White scoring four and Gabe Olaseni scoring three points.
But as efficient as Iowa’s offense, its defense had an equally rough first half. The Fighting Irish shot 48.5 percent from the field and crushed Iowa’s inside. Sherman scored 18 points and grabbed five rebounds in the half. Notre Dame outscored Iowa 26-18 in the paint.
In the first half Olaseni paced the Hawkeyes with nine points, five rebounds and two assists.
Iowa next plays Drake at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Des Moines’ Wells Fargo Arena.