The Iowa Hawkeyes outscored 12th ranked North Carolina 9-4 to close the game in a 60-55 victory over the Tar Heels in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. Mike Gessell snapped a 55-all tie with a layup and free throw. “I knew the shot blocker was coming, the shot clock was running down, so I knew I wanted to get it high off the glass and I was able to sneak it in there,” Gessell says. Gessell led the Hawkeyes with 16 points and made his first four shots of the game. He says he hasn’t been shooting the ball well, so he worked all week on form shooting and getting his confidence back.

After getting dominated on the glass in the opening half the Hawkeyes turned the tables in the second half. “This game, the reality is we were the tougher team in the second half, we made the plays down the stretch, I’m really proud of my guys,” Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said. Junior center Adam Woodbury scored all of his 11 points in the second half. McCaffery says he’s happy to see Woodbury enjoy the game and says Gessell made big plays when they went to him.

Iowa rallied late despite going 0-12 from three point range in the second half and shooting just under 33 perecent for the game. “It’s a big step for us, but I think what it is does, it typifies who we are, this is our identity. We’ll start making shots. But if we are playing this tuff, we are goiing to win a lot of games,” McCaffery said.

Iowa is 5-2.