OMAHA, Neb. -- A 16-2 run midway through the second half was enough for Creighton to defeat a pesky Indiana State team on Saturday afternoon, 79-66, before a sold-out crowd of 17,694 fans at CenturyLink Center Omaha.
Ranked 11th by the coaches and 16th by the Associated Press, Creighton improved to 14-1 (3-0 MVC) for the first time since 2002-03. Indiana State had a three-game win streak snapped and dropped to 9-5 (2-1 MVC).
Creighton's second-half flurry began not long after star Doug McDermott was sent to the bench after his third foul with the Jays trailing 44-41. ISU went ahead 51-49 with 10:49 to play before consecutive scores by Gregory Echenique helped CU retake the lead at 53-51. After an ISU turnover, Ethan Wragge drained a three-pointer. ISU stopped the run with a free-throw and McDermott checked back in with CU up 56-52 and 8:36 left. The All-American then went to work, scoring six of the game's next 10 points during a 9-1 spurt that left the Jays up 63-53 and less than six minutes to play.
ISU would cut the deficit to single-digits at 68-61 with 3:21 left, but Avery Dingman hit a three-pointer and returned the Jays lead to double-figures the rest of the way.
Neither team was able to build a substantial lead in a closely-contested, slow-paced first half. Indiana State used a 9-0 run to go up 27-21 late in the half, only to see CU score the final six points to go into the locker room deadlocked at 27-all. McDermott led CU with 12 points and six rebounds at half, while Echenique had five points, six rebounds and three blocks.
For the afternoon, McDermott led all players with 25 points and nine rebounds, while Echenique dominated the paint and tallied 16 points, nine rebounds and four blocks. Also in double-figures with 13 points and nine assists was Austin Chatman. Creighton shot 55.1 percent from the field (27-49), including 11-of-22 from three-point range (50 percent), and were 14-of-19 at the line (73.7 percent). Creighton won the glass, 33-25, including 19-8 after the break.
Indiana State was paced by 13 points each from Jake Odum and Manny Arop, while Justin Gant finished with 12 points. ISU shot 43.1 percent from the floor, making half of its 14 three-point attempts, and were 15-of-24 at the line.
Creighton stays at home and will host Drake on Tuesday at 7:05 pm.
NOTES: Creighton has started 14-1 for the fifth time in program history, and first time since 2002-03 ...Creighton has won 14 straight games in Omaha over Indiana State, including seven straight games by double-figures ...Creighton has started 3-0 in the MVC for the sixth time since 1977-78, and first time since 2003-04 ...Creighton had not trailed in its past three home games vs. Indiana State, and the Sycamores have still never led in the final seven minutes in any of its 10 trips to CenturyLink Center Omaha ...Creighton is 12-0 this season when outrebounding the opposition ...Creighton has won its last 23 games in which its been ahead of tied at halftime ...Doug Mcdermott moved from 40th to 37th in MVC history on the all-time scoring list. He now owns 1,728 career points.
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