Posted November 12, 2012 on
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Cody Zeller kept No. 1 Indiana in control throughout the first half Monday night. Remy Abell gave the Hoosiers the other big scorer they needed in the second half, and it came just in time for the Hoosiers to fend off pesky North Dakota State 87-61.
Zeller finished with 22 points and nine rebounds, while Abell scored a career-high 14, including seven straight during the run that finally turned the game. Freshman Jeremy Hollowell had 14 points for the Hoosiers in the first round of the Progressive Legends Classic.
To Hoosiers fans, it was almost unsightly.
The energy that persisted throughout Friday night's season opener just didn't exist in the second game of the season. And while Indiana still had a solid rebounding advantage, it wasn't' as dominant against a team picked to finish second in the Summit League.
The bigger problem: fouls.
North Dakota State (1-1) wanted to challenge Indiana's shots at any cost. The price was a constant parade to the free-throw line, and for about 25 minutes, the plan worked remarkably well. With Indiana's outside shooters struggling early, the Hoosiers (2-0) couldn't use their up-tempo, inside-out game to pull away.
But Abell, Hollowell and Zeller changed the equation with one big scoring flurry.
After the Bison cut the deficit 48-38 when Mike Felt hit a 3-pointer with 15:55 to play, the Hoosiers offense finally got in sync.
Hollowell started the decisive run by completing a three-point play and making two more free throws. Abell followed that with another free throw and a layup. Zeller scored on a layup and a breakaway dunk to make it 60-43.
Indiana still wasn't finished. Will Sheehey added a 3, Abell made two more 3s and closed out the run with a putback that made it 71-51. The Bison never threatened Indiana again.
North Dakota State was led by Marshall Bjorklund with 16 points while Felt had 11.
It looked like the Hoosiers might overcome their sluggish start much earlier.
Zeller and Jordan Hulls started the first big spurt midway through the first half. Zeller made two free throws, Hulls hit a 3-pointer, Zeller then made 1 of 2 free throws and Hulls hit another 3 to give Indiana an 18-9 lead. And when Indiana extended the lead to 24-13, it looked like it would be easy.
But North Dakota State answered with five straight points to cut the lead to six and trailed 42-29 at halftime.
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Cody Zeller was ill on Monday night, but his on court performance didn’t reflect it. IU’s star sophomore scored 22 points as No. 1 Indiana rolled past North Dakota State. The Minute After » Notebook: Abell stays perfect » Video: Crean, players react » Photo Gallery »
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