OMAHA, Neb. -- Doug McDermott scored 25 points and grabbed nine rebounds, and No. 16 Creighton defeated Indiana State, 79-66, on Saturday at Century Link Center. In a game that featured nine ties and 10 lead changes, Creighton (14-1, 3-0 in the Missouri Valley Conference) assumed control of the game midway through the second half with McDermott, a junior All-American forward, on the bench. McDermott, who averages 22.9 points and 7.1 rebounds per game, picked up his third foul with 13:42 remaining, and Creighton trailing, 44-41. With McDermott on the bench for more than five minutes, the Bluejays outscored Indiana State, 15-7, to take the lead for good. Manny Arop and Jake Odom each scored 13 points for Indiana State (9-5, 2-1). The Sycamores were seeking their first 3-0 start in conference play since 2007-08. Indiana State led by as many as seven points in the second half, and held its last lead, 51-49, on Odum's jumper with 10:50 remaining. Creighton scored the next seven points and never trailed again. Gregory Echenique scored four straight points, including a slam dunk on a lob pass from Grant Gibbs, and Ethan Wragge hit a 3-pointer from the left corner for a 56-51 lead. McDermott returned with 8:32 remaining and scored on a driving layup 20 seconds later, and after a timeout, Jahenns Manigat hit a three-pointer to give Creighton a 61-52 lead. Two free throws by McDermott gave the Bluejays their first double-digit lead, 63-53, with 6:13 remaining. Echenique had 16 points and nine rebounds, and Austin Chatman added 13 points for Creighton. Creighton closed the first half on a 6-0 run over the final 1:48 to forge a 27-27 tie. Echenique scored on a backboard-rattling jam with 8:07 remaining to give Creighton a 20-16 lead, its largest of the half. But the Bluejays went the next 6:19 without a field goal, as Indiana State made a 11-1 run to take a 27-21 lead. Arop scored on a reverse layup, and after McDermott's free throw, Arop swished a fade-away jumper to start a 9-0 run, capped by Dawon Cummings' 3-pointer from the corner that prompted a Creighton timeout. Creighton committed five turnovers during its scoring drought, which ended when McDermott scored inside with 1:48 remaining. He added another layup with 1:10 left, and Chatman's jumper with 17 seconds remaining in the half forced the tie. McDermott opened the second half with five quick points to put Creighton up by three, but Indiana State responded with back-to-back three-pointers by Arop and Odum to spark a 10-0 run that gave the Sycamores their largest lead, 39-32. NOTES: Indiana State lost its 14th straight game in Omaha and fell to 0-10 all time at Century Link Center. ... Gregory Echenique had three of Creighton's four blocked shots in the final 2:49 of the first half. ... The sellout crowd of 17,694 was the fifth-largest in Creighton's home history. ... Indiana State shot 50 percent on 3-pointers, dropping the Sycamores to 7-1 this season when they're shooting at least 36.4 percent on 3-pointers.
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- Doug McDermott