IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Adam Haluska scored 18 points and No. 14 Iowa held on for a 45-42 victory over No. 24 North Carolina State Wednesday night in the final game of the ACC-Big Ten Challenge.
Haluska hit consecutive baskets with less than five minutes to go to put Iowa (5-1) up 41-35. The Wolfpack came back and had a final chance to tie, but Ilian Evtimov’s desperation 3-pointer bounced off the rim just before the buzzer.
The game was ugly, as both teams tallied season-low point totals and season-highs for turnovers. Iowa shot just 30 percent and turned the ball over 19 times.
North Carolina State shot 34 percent — just 50 percent from the free-throw line — and had 24 turnovers, which led to 17 Iowa points.
Cedric Simmons led the Wolfpack (5-1) with 13 points, 13 rebounds and a career-high six blocked shots. Evtimov added eight points on 3-of-12 shooting.
Iowa had just one other player in double figures, Jeff Horner with 11 on 4-of-11 shooting.
Both teams struggled shooting the ball early in the second half, Haluska’s basket off a drive down the lane at the 14:43 mark was the first field goal after halftime.
The Wolfpack, fueled by six points from Simmons, answered quickly with a 12-2 run over the next five minutes to grab a 35-31 lead. But Iowa came back to tie at 35 when Mike Henderson sank a pair of free throws with 7:42 to go, setting off a 10-3 run.
The game opened with plenty of action on both ends of the floor. Iowa quickly opened a 9-2 lead behind Horner’s shooting, only to see the Wolfpack come back to tie it at 11 when Andrew Brackman sank a free throw at the 10:13.
Simmons helped lead the rally defensively with five blocked shots in the first nine minutes. The pace settled at the midway point as both teams went into extended shooting slumps and bouts of careless ballhandling.
But with 6:35 left in the half, Doug Thomas hit a free throw to tie the game at 16, and the Hawkeyes closed with a 9-6 run to take a 25-22 lead at the break.