Omaha, NE – Doug McDermott tallied a game-high 25 points to go with nine rebounds as 16th-ranked Creighton used a second-half surge to down Indiana State, 79-66, on Saturday.
Greg Echenique totaled 16 points and nine boards for the Bluejays (14-1, 3-0 MVC), winners on eight in a row since their lone loss to Boise State. Austin Chatman contributed 13 points and nine assists.
"We did a good job of controling the tempo, especially in the first half," Creighton coach Greg McDermott said.
Manny Arop and Jake Odum each scored 13 points for the Sycamores (9-5, 2-1), who opened up conference play with victories against Illinois State and Northern Iowa. Justin Gant had 12 points in a losing cause.
Arop's triple gave Indiana State a 49-46 edge with almost eight minutes played in the second half, but Creighton came right back with its own burst, effectively sealing the outcome.
Ethan Wragge connected from long distance to tie the score, Echenique connected on consecutive shots and Wragge was good again from beyond the arc for a 56-51 contest. It was a 61-52 advantage with 7:24 on the clock after a Jahenns Manigat trey capped a 15-3 run.
A free throw from Jake Kitchell was the only answer, then McDermott made two from the line and added a layup for a 65-53 game with five minutes left.
Gant's triple, plus a three-point play from Odum closed the gap to 68-61 less than two minutes later, but Avery Dingman hit a three-pointer and McDermott was true once more from the charity stripe to make it 73-61.
Creighton then sealed the victory at the free-throw line by making all six attempts.
The game was tight early on, with the hosts only able to gain a pair of four- point leads before momentum shifted.
After McDermott's free throw left the Bluejays up 21-18, ISU went on a 9-0 run to take a six-point lead on a Dawon Cummings trey with 3:16 left in the half, but Creighton scored the final three buckets, two from McDermott, to forge a 27-27 deadlock at intermission.
The Sycamores came out firing in the second half, going up 39-32 on a Gant layup roughly 2 1/2 minutes in, but the Jays responded with a brief burst for a 40-40 tie on a trey from Wragge.
Creighton has won four in a row against ISU, and leads the all-time series 53-24 ... The hosts shot a sizzling 61.5 percent (16-of-26) in the second half and finished with 55.1 percent (27-of-49) efficiency from the floor ... Indiana State shot 7-of-14 from beyond the arc, but just 43 percent overall.