CHICAGO (AP) D.J. Newbill and Penn State are used to playing tight Big Ten games, and all that experience is paying off right now.
Newbill scored 18 points, and the Nittany Lions shut down Iowa in the second half of a 67-58 victory on Thursday in the conference tournament.
''We've been in too many games coming down to one possession, one stop, one rebound,'' Newbill said. ''We've learned from that. I think we're a different team than we are now. We're looking for a dogfight.''
Ten of Penn State's 14 Big Ten losses this season were by nine points or less, including an 84-77 overtime thriller against Purdue on Jan. 17. Next up for the Nittany Lions (18-15) is a rematch with the Boilermakers in the quarterfinals.
Ross Travis scored a season-high 17 points on 6-for-9 shooting for the 13th-seeded Nittany Lions, who advanced with a 68-65 victory over Nebraska on the first day of the tourney. Geno Thorpe scored seven of his 11 points in the second half.
It's the best Big Ten run for Penn State since it lost to Ohio State in the 2011 final.
''I think we can take something from each of those close losses,'' Travis said. ''One thing I remember from Purdue is they play hard, just like us.''
Aaron White had 21 points and 13 rebounds for Iowa (21-11), which had won six in a row and eight of 10. Jarrod Uthoff finished with 17 points and seven boards.
The Hawkeyes had a 49-34 advantage on the glass, but shot just 22 percent (7 for 32) in the second half and 26.3 percent for the game. Coach Fran McCaffery also was whistled for a costly technical that Newbill turned into four points.
''We gave up 48 points in the second half. That's more of where we lost the game rather than the shooting percentage,'' White said.
Penn State used a 15-2 run to take a 36-34 lead on Thorpe's layup with 11:01 to go. The Nittany Lions were clinging to a two-point lead when McCaffery's technical led to two foul shots and a pullup jumper for Newbill with about 7 1/2 minutes left.
McCaffery declined to talk about the call after the game.
The Hawkeyes had a chance to tie it with a minute to go, but Uthoff missed a jumper and Travis had a key three-point play to help the Nittany Lions hold on for the victory.
''In the second half we found our confidence,'' Penn State coach Patrick Chambers said. ''We saw the ball go through the basket a little bit more, got a few more stops than we did in the first half. Luckily we made some shots.''
Penn State was looking for a measure of revenge for an 81-77 overtime loss to Iowa on Feb. 28, part of a season-ending slide of eight losses in 10 games. The Nittany Lions had a 12-point lead in the first half of their previous meeting with the Hawkeyes, and the teams were tied at 74 with 47 seconds left in the extra period.
The rematch got off to an ugly start. Penn State missed 17 of its first 21 shots and went without a field goal for a nine-minute stretch in the first half. Iowa waited almost five minutes for its first basket.
Uthoff blocked Thorpe's layup in the final seconds, sending Iowa to the locker room with a 27-19 lead. The Hawkeyes held Penn State to 25 percent shooting in the first half, but the Nittany Lions made 15 of 28 shots after the break.
''They shot it well,'' McCaffery said. ''We made some mistakes, I think. They took advantage of those mistakes. But they made some shots at a critical juncture in the game.''
Penn State: Newbill has scored in double digits in 32 of 33 games this season. ... Thorpe had a career-high six steals. ... The 19 points in the first half matched a season low for a half.
Iowa: Senior C Gabriel Olaseni tied a season high with five blocks. ... The Hawkeyes have dropped each of their four games on a neutral court this season. ... Iowa went 15 for 17 at the line in the second half and 25 for 31 for the game. ... It was White's 16th career double-double.
Penn State takes on Purdue on Friday.
Iowa waits for a likely NCAA Tournament berth.
Jay Cohen can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/jcohenap