Bloomington, Ind. • Cody Zeller and his teammates were not themselves Monday night.
The 7-foot center had an excuse he was sick. His teammates looked like they caught the same bug.
Fortunately, the Hoosiers found a remedy at halftime.
Zeller, Remy Abell and Jeremy Hollowell turned the game with a second-half run that finally allowed No. 1 Indiana to pull away to an 87-61 victory over pesky North Dakota State in the first round of the Progressive Legends Classic.
"Your fundamentals, your technique, all your experiences, all those things are really, really important, but there's nothing bigger than energy and toughness. It's got to be there constantly," Indiana coach Tom Crean said. "Once we got that figured out tonight and we had some guys that figured it out from the beginning, but we didn't have a team of guys that figured it out from the beginning, and once we did, I thought we played pretty well."
It just took so long for the Hoosiers (2-0) to find that winning combination.
This was the kind of game that had given Indiana problems in previous seasons. Fans, and perhaps Indiana's players, figured those struggles were over since the Hoosiers (2-0) reclaimed their spot on top of the college basketball world.