On today’s edition of Banner Morning:
• Rob Phinesee takes a step forward
• Romeo leads the away again
• Another strong defensive performance leads the way
Welcome Hoosier fans to this Wednesday edition of Banner Morning — your daily rundown of IU basketball news and notes.
I’m Michael Dugan, filling in for Jerod Morris, the day after IU defeated Penn State.
In team news …
The Hoosiers snuck out of the Bryce Jordan Center with a win. They didn’t put Penn State away, but they didn’t give the game away either.
Indiana was up by 11 with just over three minutes to go, before Rasir Bolton scored seven straight points to bring the game within two possessions before a Josh Reeves free throw made it one possession. Al Durham made a free throw of his own to put the Hoosiers up 4 with less than 30 seconds to go, but it was Bolton again on the other end to bring Penn State within two.
Evan Fitzner had a chance to almost put the game away, but missed his first of a one-and-one attempt at the line, and Penn State had a chance to tie it. But, thanks to some great defense by Rob Phinesee and a steal by Justin Smith, Indiana did just enough to come out on top.
It wasn’t necessarily pretty, but Indiana is 2-0 in the Big Ten with two really close wins
Catch some of that analysis and a whole lot more on the postgame show.
In player news …
Romeo was the team’s leading scorer once again. He played 34 minutes, hit a pair of three pointers, and finished with 17 points and added 6 rebounds. Juwan Morgan couldn’t really find his groove, but played a tough game and ended with 10 points and 6 boards.
But, to me, Phinesee was the one who stood out, especially down the stretch. He had a couple of great defensive possessions in the end, including one that ended with a pretty impressive bucket from, you guessed it, Rasir Bolton.
But his contributions went beyond the box score. You could see him coming out of his shell a bit, being more aggressive on drives, using his vision to find open guys, and finishing at the rim. He even hit his first three-pointer since the Arkansas game, which came at a good time for the Hoosiers. If he can be more aggressive with the ball and finding his shots, the Hoosiers’ offense will open up a sizeable amount. Hats off to that performance, Rob.
Now let’s go around the horn and get some reaction to Indiana’s win …
Alex Bozich of Inside the Hall dissects how the Hoosiers hung on, mainly behind another solid defensive performance in holding Penn State to well under a point per possession, the eighth time Indiana has done so this season.
Zach Osterman of the Indy Star wrote about how the freshmen took over the game, how the rebounding effort helped charge the Hoosiers to victory, and how Indiana remained calm despite starting the game 1-11 from the field.
For the links mentioned in this edition of Banner Morning, visit assemblycall.com.
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Jerod will be back tomorrow with a Thursday edition of Banner Morning. Until then, keep your elbows in and your eyes on the rim, and go Hoosiers.