Devyn Marble scored 22 points and Melsahn Basabe blocked a potential game-tying layup with 21 seconds left to help Iowa hold off Penn State 74-72 on Thursday night.
Iowa (16-9, 5-7 Big Ten) led by at least 10 twice in the game but couldn't put away the league's last-place team until late.
The Nittany Lions (8-16, 0-12) went 0 for 2 from the field in the last 30 seconds with a chance to tie or take the lead, capped by Basabe's block of Jermaine Marshall's drive to the paint.
Marble was fouled on the ensuing inbounds and hit two foul shots for a four-point lead with 20.9 seconds left.
Penn State had one last chance, down three with 1.5 seconds left and Marshall on the foul line. Marshall hit both shots, but the Nittany Lions whiffed on a chance for a game-tying putback if Marshall had missed at the line.