6-Banner Sunday: IU bounces back with a crucial win against Ohio State

  • 01/07/2024 6:59 am in

Welcome to another edition of 6-Banner Sunday, a joint production between The Assembly Call and Inside the Hall, and presented by our friends at Trueblood Real Estate, where we highlight the five most essential IU basketball stories of the past week, plus take a look at how the other IU sports programs are doing.

IU’s week on the court started poorly but ended better. The Hoosiers returned to Big Ten play in the last few days against Ohio State last night and Nebraska earlier in the week to mixed results.

In other news, women’s basketball was victorious twice, new Bracketology, and several episodes from these sites’ shows were released. We will as usual conclude with a look at other Indiana sports led by a couple of coaches in Bloomington receiving extensions.

Here is what’s in this week’s edition:

• IU bounces back against Ohio State
• Hoosiers dominated in a road loss against Nebraska
• IU women defeat Illinois and Michigan
• Bracketology updates
• Assembly Call and Podcast on the Brink
• Hoosier Roundup

IU men’s basketball will play five games this season on Peacock and the women will play seven, making the streaming service essential for IU basketball fans. Sign up for Peacock using Inside the Hall’s link to help support the site and also enjoy Big Ten hoops all season long! (The link is an Inside the Hall affiliate link, so a commission will be paid to ITH if you click and subscribe to Peacock. Alex and the ITH team appreciate your support!)

Banner #1 – IU bounces back against Ohio State

It started ugly against Ohio State as the Buckeyes raced to a 46-37 lead early in the second half. However, Indiana took control from there, led by a finally healthy Xavier Johnson as well as Malik Reneau. Johnson showed senior leadership with 18 points, while Reneau led the squad with 23 as they turned the deficit into a 66-56 advantage with just over three minutes left. OSU would not be deterred, though, as they got within two with over a minute still to go before a Reneau layup and Johnson free throws sealed a 71-65 victory in what was the biggest win of the season to date.

Afterward, IU coach Mike Woodson spoke, Inside the Hall had a photo gallery, while Ryan Corazza wrote a Minute After. Meanwhile, Assembly Call had their postgame polls.

With the result Saturday, the team is 11-4 overall. They also sit at 3-1 in the league with 20 percent of Big Ten play over.

Banner #2 – Hoosiers dominated in a road loss against Nebraska

Despite the return of Johnson and Kel’el Ware from injury and illness, respectively, IU was dominated by Nebraska on the road in their return to Big Ten play 86-70. Ware had a great night and did everything in his power for a positive result, leading the Hoosiers with a double-double by recording 20 points and 10 rebounds. Johnson, on the other hand, went scoreless in 15 minutes after his extended absence as the Cream and Crimson were dominated for most of the contest.

Afterward, Woodson spoke, Corazza wrote a Minute After and Film Session, Alex Bozich penned Five Takeaways, and Amanda Foster wrote a column about the squad’s sloppiness. Also, Assembly Call had their postgame email and polls as well as a Film Room.

The team returns to action on Tuesday at 7 pm against Rutgers in Piscataway. This will be the second of several contests streamed exclusively on Peacock. It can be canceled anytime and bought for $5.99 a month with the affiliate link through Inside the Hall (see advertisement above).

Banner #3 – IU women defeat Illinois and Michigan

The No. 14 women returned to conference play with an impressive record but had not been seriously tested since a tournament in Florida over Thanksgiving. However, the resumption of tougher competition in the Big Ten at home did not slow down the team as they won their 10th and 11th straight contests to improve to 12-1 overall and 3-0 in the league.

On Sunday, before a season-high crowd of 11,600 that bled into the balcony, the spectators were treated to a thriller. IU star Mackenzie Holmes and Illinois’ Makira Cook traded blows late in a nailbiter before the Hoosiers pulled it out 77-71. On Thursday, the contest was fun to watch in a different way, as Indiana did not miss in the first quarter and cruised to an 80-59 victory.

The squad returns to action today against Nebraska (2 p.m. BTN) on the road in their most formidable challenge since the blowout loss to Stanford in November. After that, IU is home Wednesday against banged-up Penn State (7 p.m. BTN+) before heading to Iowa and playing one of the nation’s top teams on Saturday (8 p.m. Fox). While the showdown with the Hawkeyes this week is in Iowa City, the later season return match in Bloomington was announced as a sellout last Wednesday.

Banner #4 – Bracketology updates

New bracketology was released for both the men’s and women’s teams. The women’s side continues to sit in a great position to begin March Madness at home for the third straight season with a NET inside the top 20. ESPN’s Charlie Creme has them as a four-seed hosting Fairfield.

As for the men, their path is considerably less rosy. After the results this week, they no longer lead the conference and are not Joe Lunardi’s automatic bid anymore. As a result, they are outside of his field now. With a NET of around 100, they have a lot of work to do if they do not want to rely on winning the league tournament to participate in March Madness.

Banner #5 – Assembly Call and Podcast on the Brink

Inside the Hall and the Back Home Network had several new shows this week. ITH’s Podcast on the Brink had Bozich and Corazza discussing the season to this point.

Meanwhile, the Back Home Network was on air nearly every day this week. Assembly Call had postgame episodes after Nebraska and Ohio State as well as AC Radio on Thursday. Also, Doing The Work was on following the Illinois and Michigan victories.

Crimson Cast was live again during the contest with the Cornhuskers. Finally, Xs & Joes looked at coaching tenures.

Banner #6: Hoosier Roundup

• Volleyball had a huge week of good news as the strong momentum for the program continued. First off, head coach Steve Aird received a contract extension. Also, on the court, the team announced the return of one of their best players, Morgan Geddes, and added a top transfer.

• Women’s soccer coach Erwin van Bennekom was also rewarded with an extension after the Hoosiers’ first postseason appearance in a decade. They also added a new assistant to the staff and signed five players for 2024.

• Men’s soccer announced the return of star midfielder Patrick McDonald, who is bypassing the pros after being drafted for one more season in Bloomington. In addition to that, former Hoosier goalie Trey Muse has made it back to the MLS. His successor between the pipes in Bloomington, Roman Celentano, was invited to Team USA’s camp along with Aiden Morris, who played at IU during the 2019 season.

• Expectations for baseball are as high as they have been in a decade following last year’s run to the NCAA tournament regional championship. They return most of that squad, including now sophomore phenom Devin Taylor, who was named a preseason All-American.

• Wrestling finished third at the Southern Scuffle.

Thanks for your continued support for The Assembly Call and Inside the Hall. We’ll be back next weekend with a new roundup.

Now go enjoy yourself a 6-banner Sunday.

Aaron (Ari) Shifron
Assembly Call Contributor

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