Those dressed in Iowa gold moved and fidgeted as the scoreboard drama mounted, this sold-out event unfolding in unexpected ways.
Even for seasoned teams, the long Big Ten trudge produces a couple of these. Caitlin Clark jumped in to make sure everyone was comfortable.
Locked in a sloppy offensive duel with a Michigan State women's basketball team on the rise on Tuesday, No. 4 Iowa had to swiftly dismiss any notions of a masterpiece and focus on finding an escape route.
Unsurprisingly, Clark found it, hitting a logo trey at the buzzer to give the Hawkeyes a 76-73 victory at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
"Honestly, when it left my hand, I knew it was going in," Clark said of her shot, which was similar to her buzzer-beater against Indiana last season.
The circumstances leading up to Clark's final act of an extraordinary 40-point night were a microcosm of the Hawkeyes' inconsistent offensive performance.
With time running out and Clark looking for a difficult opening, this 73-73 game appeared destined for OT.
Hannah Stuelke handed it to college basketball's biggest star at the top of the key, who shook free from Michigan State's Moira Joiner for barely a second before taking a stepback to the left and blasting away on the 3-point shot.