Indiana handled North Dakota State in their second home contest of the season 87-61. The game lacked flow and consistency as NDSU was able to make the game primarily a half court contest to slow down the high-flying Hoosiers. But the No. 1-ranked Hoosiers were able to adjust and came away with their second win of the season.
Remy Abell might not have been the leading scorer, but his points had a huge impact on the Hoosier squad. He scored eight of his 14 points consecutively in the second half to help the Hoosiers seal the deal against the Bison.
Abell has not missed a shot all season.
“I’m out here to play my role and do my job,” he said. “When I get called off the bench, it’s my job to be an offense defense guy.”
Sophomore Cody Zeller was dominant under the basket for the Hoosiers. He scored 22 points and pulled down nine rebounds for the Hoosiers. The big man is currently first on the preseason Wooden All-American list.
Zeller said that he is more comfortable on the court this year.
“This year I kinda know how things go, and I’m more comfortable,” he said.
Despite stellar performances from Zeller and Abell, the win was not necessarily pretty. North Dakota State attempted to slow down the speedy Indiana offense from the get-go and had the Hoosiers out of sorts for most of the first half. The team did not get into a steady rhythm until the second half and had a few defensive breakdowns underneath the basket early.
Junior Marshall Bjorklund for the Bison put up 16 points against the Hoosiers. He was able to find gaps in the defensive coverage underneath for easy layups and went six-for-six from the charity stripe.
“We didn’t want to leave our post players by themselves,” Coach Crean said about the Bison offense. “They put a lot of pressure on us, the way they moved the ball under the basket.”
This was the first game of the Progressive Legends Classic and Indiana will face its next opponent, Sam Houston State, on Thursday.