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ORLANDO, Fla. — Fran McCaffery knows his team is putting forth enough effort to win basketball games. That’s what drives him crazy about losing two straight at the AdvoCare Invitational.

Defensive lapses and offensive droughts are starting to baffle the Iowa head coach.

He watched his team go through it once again Friday night as the Hawkeyes struggled to find consistency in a 68-62 loss to No. 17 Notre Dame at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.

“I think that’s what’s disappointing. It was very similar to last night’s game,” McCaffery said of his team, which lost to Dayton on Thanksgiving night in the opening round of the tournament. “We hit a bunch of shots early … but then the offense wasn’t clicking and the defense wasn’t what it needed to be against a team of this caliber.”

Iowa seemed to be riding momentum from the football team’s win over Nebraska to start the contest. The score was announced just before tipoff and the Hawkeyes came out on fire. They hit their first four shots as point guard Mike Gesell pushed the pace and spread the ball.

Jarrod Uthoff’s 3-pointer gave Iowa an early 10-3 lead and a nifty jump hook from Adam Woodbury answered a Notre Dame bucket.

Then things went awry. Iowa would hit just one field goal in the next 10 minutes and Notre Dame took advantage, reversing the flow and bolting to a 39-17 halftime lead.

“At halftime, we challenged them. I didn’t flip tables or anything like that,” McCaffery said, “but you can’t be a team who derives its defensive intensity from offensive success. It’s almost gotta be the other way around.

“As proud as I was of our guys in the second half, we should have known better than to let that happen in the first half.”

Iowa eventually climbed back, taking a 47-46 lead with 10 minutes left. Woodbury started and ended a 16-0 run that appeared to finally get things going in the right direction.

Despite playing only four minutes in the first half after picking up an early second foul, Woodbury still managed a double-double of 14 points and 10 rebounds. He provided tremendous energy at times, even sprawling on the floor for loose balls.

“He was fabulous. ... He gets two really early (fouls) and I sat him the rest of the half because I wanted him to be able to play, and boy did he ever,” McCaffery said. “I thought his shot selection was terrific. His offensive rebounding really energized us.”

Inconsistency hindered Uthoff, who had 10 points in the first half, but he missed six shots, and Peter Jok, who managed just three points at the break as the Hawkeyes went from making their first four shots to shooting just 33 percent (11 of 33) in the first half. The pair went 7 of 29 from the floor the final 18 minutes.

“We thought we were on a roll,” Jok said of the game’s start. “But we got trigger happy and started shooting a lot of threes and nobody was getting rebounds for second shots.”

Iowa plays at 11 a.m. Sunday against perennial power Wichita State in the tourney’s seventh-place game. The Shockers are depleted, having lost All-American point guard Fred VanVleet for the week with an injury.

“We played two really good teams. We played them right to the wire. Yeah, we can look back and say, ‘I wish we could have done this better or that better,’ ” McCaffery said. “I’m going to get with my staff and figure out how can we help these guys. That’s what we need to do.”

NOTRE DAME (68)

MIN

FG

3P

FT

RB

A

TO

TP

Beachem

36

6-13

4-9

0-1

5

1

1

16

Auguste

26

2-6

0-0

0-1

11

2

2

4

Colson

23

4-7

0-0

3-4

8

0

0

11

Jackson

30

5-10

0-3

2-3

4

3

0

12

Vasturia

38

4-11

1-7

2-2

4

3

3

11

Torres

5

0-0

0-0

0-0

0

1

0

0

Ryan

26

3-5

2-4

3-4

2

1

1

11

Farrell

16

1-3

1-2

0-0

1

2

0

3

Team

1

Totals

200

25-55

8-25

10-15

36

13

7

68

IOWA (62)

MIN

FG

3P

FT

RB

A

TO

TP

Woodbury

24

7-9

0-0

0-0

10

0

1

14

Uthoff

34

8-16

2-5

2-3

8

0

0

20

Clemmons

28

1-3

1-2

0-0

3

1

2

3

Gesell

37

5-15

0-3

4-6

3

9

1

14

Jok

33

3-15

2-9

0-0

4

3

1

8

Uhl

9

0-0

0-0

0-0

1

0

1

0

Baer

8

0-1

0-1

0-0

3

0

0

0

Jones

8

0-2

0-1

0-0

0

0

0

0

Wagner

5

0-1

0-0

0-0

1

0

0

0

Williams

1

0-1

0-0

0-0

0

0

0

0

Fleming

5

1-1

1-1

0-0

0

0

0

3

Ellingson

8

0-2

0-2

0-0

2

0

0

0

Team

5

Totals

200

25-66

6-24

6-9

40

13

7

62

Halftime—Notre Dame 39-27. Team fouls—Notre Dame 15, Iowa 19.

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