Seattle, WA (SportsNetwork.com) - Aaron White personally assured Iowa of its first NCAA Tournament win in 14 years.
White scored 26 points, as the Hawkeyes pounded Davidson, 83-52, in a South Region second-round contest.
The senior scored all of Iowa's points during a 13-1 run in the second half that effectively put the game away.
"There's a stretch there where I was just feeling confident, feeling good with my shot, with my hook shot and I was finishing around the basket," White said. "But most of the credit goes to my teammates and the coach for running stuff for me."
The seventh-seeded Hawkeyes, who had lost their previous four NCAA Tournament contests, will take on No. 2 seed Gonzaga Sunday at Key Arena. The Bulldogs beat 15th seed North Dakota State, 86-76, Friday night.
This is the first NCAA Tournament win for the Hawkeyes (22-11) since 2001 when they beat Creighton in the first round before falling to Kentucky in the second round.
Mike Gesell tallied 15 points and six assists, and Peter Jok scored 12 for the Hawkeyes.
Jack Gibbs and Peyton Aldridge each had 14 points for 10th-seeded Davidson (24-8), which shot 33.3 percent from the field.
"I thought we did a really good job contesting the three-point line," Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said. "It's not easy against this team because they have three-point shooters who can also drive one through four. So, our length disrupted their ability to get comfortable threes. We didn't give up a lot of driving kick threes either."
The Wildcats, who captured the Atlantic 10 regular-season title in their first year as a league member, trailed 49-40 following Andrew McAuliffe's lone bucket of the night with 14:38 remaining.
White, who played under Davidson coach Bob McKillop during the summer of 2013 at the World University Games, then took over. He canned a jumper to start the deciding flurry and finished it by nailing another jumper for a 62-41 cushion with 11:01 left.
White shot 11-of-14 from the field, part of a 50.7 percent performance for the Hawkeyes.
He had nine first-half points, but the highlight in the opening 20 minutes was an 18-4 burst for Iowa. Adam Woodbury surged in for a thunderous put-back slam following a missed 3-pointer from Anthony Clemmons for a 31-19 lead. Jok then culminated the push by nailing a 3-pointer with 4:17 left in the half.
Davidson season leading scorer Tyler Kalinoski picked up three fouls in the opening half, which limited the ability for the Wildcats to keep up with the Hawkeyes.
"He's the only one I think out of the starters who played in the tournament," Gibbs said. "So he definitely had that experience. When you lose a big part of your team like that, you're definitely going to have some down play."
It was 38-29 at the break, and Davidson never got closer than six in the second half. The Wildcats went 10-of-34 from the field in the final 20 minutes.
"I've never seen our guys as tentative as hesitant as they were," McKillop said. "We moved the ball around the arc a lot and did not go inside out. We didn't attack and deflate with dribble penetration, which is normally a staple of what we do to get our shooters open. I think that was the hesitancy we had, because of the length."
As a No. 11 seed last year, Iowa lost in overtime to Tennessee in the first round in Dayton ... Iowa held a 46-30 rebounding edge ... The Wildcats, who have lost four consecutive NCAA tourney games, were 6-of-28 from 3-point range ... It's Iowa's largest margin of victory in the NCAA Tournament.