6-Banner Sunday: IU beats Iowa, but falls flat against Penn State

  • 02/04/2024 7:13 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 time on the court started well but ended badly this week. The Hoosiers played twice at home and it was one step forward and two steps back with a win over Iowa and a loss to Penn State.

In other news, women’s basketball beat Northwestern and Maryland, new Bracketology, and several episodes from this week’s shows were released. We will, as usual, conclude with a look at other Indiana sports led by a couple of noteworthy headlines in the football program.

In a brief story, the Big Ten made the future basketball scheduling format official.

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

• Hoosiers snap losing streak with Iowa win
• IU falls flat against Penn State
• IU women beat Northwestern and Maryland
• Bracketology updates
• Weekly podcasts
• 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 – Hoosiers snap losing streak with Iowa win

Iowa was one of two conference teams (Northwestern is the other) IU coach Mike Woodson had never beaten. That changed Tuesday when the Hoosiers pulled out their most gritty win of the 2023-24 season.

Despite injuries to Malik Reneau and Xavier Johnson, Indiana played tough for all 40 minutes. While the contest was close late, Anthony Leal had the best game of his IU career with 13 points and Gabe Cupps hit a go-ahead 3-pointer in the final two minutes. In the end, the Cream and Crimson pulled out a 74-68 victory which was sealed by a late Kel’el Ware dunk. Ware was terrific in his return from injury with 23 points.

Afterward, Woodson spoke, Inside The Hall had a Photo Gallery, Ryan Corazza wrote a Minute After and Film Session, Alex Bozich penned Five Takeaways, and Amanda Foster put together a column about overcoming injuries. Also, Assembly Call had their postgame email and polls as well as a Film Room.

Banner #2 – IU falls flat against Penn State

Just when it looked like the Hoosiers had righted the ship against Iowa, it all went badly on Saturday against the Nittany Lions. After IU built an 11-point first-half lead, everything fell apart. PSU got red-hot from 3-point range and ran away with an 85-71 win as Indiana left the court to a smattering of boos.

Reneau returned to the court with 16 points, while Ware led with 25. However, Johnson was still out and the Hoosiers hit just five shots from long range compared to Penn State’s 12.

Afterward, Woodson spoke, Inside the Hall had a Photo Gallery, Corazza wrote a Minute After, Bozich penned Five Takeaways, and William McDermott wrote a column about the team’s systematic problems.

With the results this week, the team is 13-9 overall. They also sit at 5-6 in the league with nine regular season contests left. Indiana heads to Columbus to play an Ohio State squad on Tuesday that has struggled (7 p.m. Peacock). Then, next Saturday, they will see the biggest challenge of the season when they head to Mackey Arena to play arch-rival Purdue (8 p.m. FOX).

Banner #3 – Women defeat Northwestern and Maryland

The women took to the court twice last week. After their recent hot play, Indiana entered the top 10 for the first time since the season’s opening week. The team proved they were worthy of the ranking as they pounded struggling Northwestern last Sunday 100-59. On Wednesday, IU went to Maryland and picked up their first-ever win in College Park 87-73. While this Terps squad is not on par with the previous ones, it was still an impressive victory in a hostile environment.

All-American Mackenzie Holmes was named among the top 20 finalists for the Wooden Award, which goes to the top player in women’s college basketball. She scored 27 and 23 points in the above two wins and is closing in on Tyra Buss’ all-time school record for points.

The squad returns to action today when they face co-Big Ten leader Ohio State in Columbus (noon FS1). They return home Thursday for a matchup against postseason-bound Michigan State (7 p.m. Peacock).

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 15. ESPN’s Charlie Creme has them as a three-seed hosting 14-seed Grand Canyon. The other game in Assembly Hall would see six-seed Syracuse and 11-seed Texas A&M. The two winners would face off in Bloomington for a shot at the Sweet 16.

As for the men, their path is considerably less rosy as they sit well outside the field per bracketology by both ESPN’s Joe Lunardi and Assembly Call’s Andy Bottoms. With a NET of around 100, they have a lot of work to do and will almost certainly have to rely on winning the league tournament to participate in March Madness.

Banner #5 – Weekly podcasts

Inside the Hall and the Back Home Network had several new shows this week. ITH’s Podcast on the Brink had Corazza on to discuss the win over the Hawkeyes.

Meanwhile, the Back Home Network was on multiple times this week. Assembly Call had postgame shows after Iowa and Penn State. The contest against the Nittany Lions was also the annual meet-up in Bloomington for the show, as they did a live program with hundreds of people at the Upstairs Pub afterward.

On Thursday, AC Radio had an episode. Also, Doing The Work was on following the Northwestern and Maryland games and will be on again later Sunday after Ohio State. Finally, X’s and Joes discussed national championship winning trends.

Also, in a program not produced by ITH or Back Home Network, Woodson had his Monday radio show last week. It discussed the loss to Illinois and previewed Iowa.

Banner #6 – Hoosier Roundup

• Recent IU football linebacker Cam Jones made the Super Bowl as part of the Kansas City Chiefs. Also, the information for the April 18 spring game was announced.

• Men’s Soccer announced their spring exhibition schedule and added two impact transfers.

• Top-10 swimming and diving knocked off ranked Louisville and Wisconsin to complete a perfect regular season. They also had an athlete named to the upcoming summer Olympics.

• No. 15 Water Polo had a perfect week, knocking off St. Francis, Long IslandMarist, and Harvard to remain undefeated in 2024.

• Men’s Tennis knocked off Ball StateBellarmine, and Marquette. They also nabbed a top-25 recruiting class for 2025.

• Women’s Tennis fell to Yale and West Virginia.

• Women’s Golf was knocked off by Kentucky in match play.

• Track and Field competed at the Meyo Invitational in South Bend.

Now go enjoy yourself a 6-banner Sunday.

Aaron (Ari) Shifron
Assembly Call Contributor

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