No. 23 Iowa was deeper than Notre Dame. The Hawkeyes were also playing in front of a raucous home crowd and were bolstered by a strong showing in last week's Battle 4 Atlantis.
That the Fighting Irish took Iowa to the final second showed the strides they have made since that ugly loss to Indiana State two weeks ago.
Aaron White scored 20 points, Devyn Marble and Jarrod Uthoff added 17 each and Iowa held off Notre Dame 98-93 on Tuesday night.
Marble had 13 straight points in the second half for the Hawkeyes (8-1), who bounced back from an overtime loss to No. 14 Villanova with just their third win in 13 Big Ten/ACC Challenge games.
Garrick Sherman led Notre Dame (5-2) with a career-high 29 points. Eric Atkins added 23 for the Irish, which lost despite shooting 51.5 percent from the field.
"We need him to be a main guy for us. Last year he was a little bit up and down. For him to have a night like this in this atmosphere I think is very important," Notre Dame coach Mike Brey said of Sherman. "I think this will be something he can really grow from."
Iowa shot 56.9 percent from the field. Still, the Hawkeyes couldn't put away the Fighting Irish until the final second.
White answered a 3-pointer by Atkins by drawing contact with Sherman and converting from the free throw line to put the Hawkeyes ahead 90-83 with 1:50 left.
But Uthoff blew an easy layup and didn't get a loose ball that Atkins put home to pull Notre Dame within 91-88. Uthoff soon made up for those mistakes, but the Fighting Irish were still alive until White's free throw with 0.8 seconds left.
Jerian Grant had 13 points and 10 assists for Notre Dame, which committed just seven turnovers despite a frenetic pace.
"I'm really impressed by Iowa. But I love my team," Brey said. "We just didn't have much at the end."
The Hawkeyes had no answer for Sherman in the first half. He had 18 points, repeatedly beating Iowa's interior defense for easy baskets.
The way the Hawkeyes were scoring, it didn't matter all that much.
Iowa shot 19 of 33 from the field — including an 18-foot turnaround jumper from Uthoff to beat the shot clock — and took a 52-43 halftime lead.
But the Hawkeyes were playing their fourth game in six days, and it showed at the start of the second half. Sherman helped Notre Dame quickly tie it at 55-all, reaching his career high in points with 16:53 left.
Marble kept Iowa ahead with those 13 straight points, but the Fighting Irish closed within 76-75 on Grant's dunk with 6:46 left.
"You knew they were going to make a run. You just didn't want it to be that quickly. They erased our lead within the first couple minutes of the second half. We were sideways," Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said.
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