DAYTON, Ohio --A nearly flawless first-half unraveled in a late slump, but Iowa leads Tennessee 29-26 at halftime in an NCAA first-round tournament game at UD Arena.
The Hawkeyes shot 52.2 percent from the field but were empty from their final five possessions spanning the final 3:39. Tennessee took advantage with a 7-0 run and reclaim momentum.
The first half could not have started better for Iowa. The Hawkeyes burst to a 13-2 lead inside of the game's first seven minutes. Iowa scored the first eight points and pushed the lead to 11 points on a Zach McCabe 3-pointer. For most of the half, every time Tennessee clawed back within double digits, Iowa extended it.
Jordan McRae completed back-to-back three-point plays, then Jarrod Uthoff answered with a pair of baskets. Tennessee's Jarnell Stokes dunked, and Peter Jok sank a 3-pointer.
But late in the half, Tennessee surged and Iowa slumped. Devyn Marble scored his first basket with 3:39 left to give Iowa a 29-19 advantage. Tennessee's Armani scored on a jumper in the lane. Jeronne Maymon added a pair of free throws and Stokes added one. Then at the buzzer, McRae hit a shot to bring the Volunteers within 29-26.
In a battle of top rebounding squads, Iowa held the advantage 14-13. But Iowa was in foul trouble most of the half, picking up 11 fouls. Starter Melsahn Basabe played just four minutes and had three fouls.Iowa's fast break created opportunities and the Hawkeyes outscored the Volunteers 12-2.