Three Takeaways From IUWBB's 84-57 Loss Vs. Iowa
Hoosiers Dominated By Top Opponent For Second Time This Season
Assembly Hall Where Indiana Indiana Plays Their Home Games
The Assembly Call is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support our work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
Hoosiers Again Struggle In Spotlight
Whether it be travel issues or the lack of Grace Berger, IU has not performed in the spotlight in 2023-2024 as they did in 2022-2023.
Last season when the Hoosiers competed in a big game, they thrived and shot up the rankings to no. 2 nationally as they defeated multiple top teams all season. As a result, they got unprecedented local and national attention.
Fast forward to 2023-2024 and the two times Indiana has had the nation paying attention, they have been dominated. Whether it was being demolished by Stanford 96-64 early in the season or Saturday night’s 84-57 loss, IU has not lived up to the moment when the lights are brightest.
To be clear, this does not mean the Hoosiers cannot win the Big Ten or advance even deeper in the NCAA Tournament. After all, their run to the Elite Eight during the COVID season with little fanfare until March, is the ultimate example that being in the spotlight matters little.
While Indiana is still a really good team, there has been griping from certain aspects of the fan base that the squad is not getting enough respect. After tonight, it is clear the ranking of between 10-20 that IU has been given most of the season, is accurate. This ranking is not a slight, and many programs would be thrilled with it. However, Hoosier Nation needs to recognize the elite top-five team of last year, and number one seed in March Madness is not in the cards in 2024.
This does not mean the Cream and Crimson won’t host the NCAA Tourney in Assembly Hall for the third straight season. They have an excellent chance this will indeed happen, but with a three or four seed as they did two seasons ago. In many ways, the record and performance are more a mirror of two years ago, and not 2022-2023.
However, this is not a bad thing. Before last season, any Hoosier fan would be thrilled with where the team is at. It is more of a reality check that the loss of Berger has diminished the success ever so slightly.
Hoosier’s Shooting Still A Problem On The Road
After finally solving their shooting issues on the road at Nebraska, Hoosier fans might have hoped it was here to stay. However, this was not the case as the percentage was once again woeful, going just 23-54 overall and 5-20 from long range. Even Mackenzie Holmes struggled at times in the post hitting just 6-13 despite leading her squad with 16 points.
The Hawkeyes, on the other hand, made 15 shots from deep which is a 30-point difference between the sides and represents more than the final margin. Generally, the Hoosiers are one of the better squads from downtown but that was not the case Saturday, and the main reason for the demolition.
Caitlin Clark Got Hers, But It Was Her Supporting Cast That Made The Difference.
Iowa star Caitlin Clark had her normal outing with 30 points. For any other player, this would be a great night. However, for her it is merely a given as she ended up right around her average.
When it comes to Clark, “holding her” to these numbers is all that can be expected. However, the issue for IU on Saturday was the defense on everyone else. Molly Davis who came in averaging under six points a game torched Indiana for a season-high 18 points with several wide-open shots. Also, veterans Gabbie Marshall and Kate Martin scored in double figures. The 40 points combined from this trio was where the game was won for the Hawkeyes.
Despite the blowout, this season is far from over, as the Hoosiers still sit at 14-2 overall and 5-1 in the league with a rematch against Iowa in sold-out Assembly Hall next month. However, IU’s next game is Wednesday at 8 pm on Peacock against much-improved Minnesota as the team has a good chance to get back on track.
The postgame show with Jeff Marlow and Kathy Amos can be seen here: