No. 1 Notre Dame passes road test at Iowa
IOWA CITY, Iowa — No. 1 Notre Dame passed its first road test.
When things got close, the Irish turned to their pesky defense and balanced scoring attack to thwart any thoughts of an upset.
Brianna Turner scored 15 points, Arike Ogunbowale added 14 and Notre Dame held off Iowa 73-58 on Wednesday night in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.
Lindsay Allen had 11 points, eight assists and five steals for the Irish (7-0). They had 42 points in the paint and scored 21 points off 23 Hawkeyes turnovers.
Notre Dame led by as many as 14 points in the first half and looked like it could turn the game into a blowout, but Iowa cut it to 50-48 with 2 1/2 minutes left in the third quarter. The Irish responded with an 11-1 run to pull away.
That lapse in the second half irked Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw.
"We weren't containing the ball, we weren't guarding, we weren't boxing out, we weren't making layups and we weren't making good decisions," McGraw said. "We just couldn't wait for the buzzer to go off. We just wanted the game to be over — at least that's what it looked like."
Ally Disterhoft led Iowa (5-3) with 18 points and Megan Gustafson had 16 points and 10 rebounds. The Hawkeyes hosted the top-ranked team for the first time since 1999.
Turner became the 36th in Notre Dame history to eclipse the 1,000-point mark.
Iowa's 23 turnovers were a season-worse. Notre Dame forced 15 of those in the first half and then held the Hawkeyes to nine fourth-quarter points.
"Too many turnovers resulted in too many easy points for Notre Dame," Iowa coach Lisa Bluder said. "We have to value the ball more."
The Irish responded well under some pressure in their first road game — the latest they've played their first true road game of a season since 1993. Notre Dame's offense sputtered at times, but the defense had 15 steals and held Iowa to 4-of-19 shooting on 3-pointers.
The young Hawkeyes have lost three out of their last four games, but 10 players logged at least 8 minutes in a fairly competitive game against the nation's top-ranked team.
The Irish are 4-0 all-time in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.
Iowa shot only 6 of 15 (38 percent) from the foul line. The Hawkeyes entered the game shooting 72 percent on free throws.
Iowa men's coach Fran McCaffery and his wife, Margaret, watched the game from a few rows behind the Hawkeyes' bench.
Margaret McCaffery, the former Margaret Nowlin, played basketball at Notre Dame from 1988-92 and was a team captain. She later served on McGraw's staff as a graduate assistant.
Fran McCaffery was an assistant at Notre Dame from 1988-99. His Hawkeyes lost to Notre Dame 93-78 in South Bend on Tuesday.
• Iowa: Starts a two-game home stretch against in-state rivals Sunday against Northern Iowa.
• Notre Dame: Gets a final tuneup Sunday with Valparaiso before next Wednesday's against No. 2 UConn. The Irish have lost five straight against the Huskies — including the NCAA title game the last two seasons.