OMAHA, Neb. -- Even when Doug McDermott isn't doing his thing, Creighton proved Saturday it can take control of a basketball game in the balance.
McDermott, an All-American junior forward, scored 25 points and grabbed nine rebounds, and No. 16 Creighton defeated Indiana State, 79-66, on Saturday at Century Link Center.
But McDermott was on the bench with three fouls when Creighton (14-1, 3-0 in the Missouri Valley Conference) turned a three-point deficit into a five-point lead midway through the second half.
"I've said it all along, Doug's a fabulous player," said Creighton coach Greg McDermott, the player's father. "But we're more than a one-man show."
Guard Ethan Wragge, a 43.6 percent 3-pointer who is Creighton's first player off the bench, replaced McDermott and made two 3-pointers during the five-minute stretch McDermott watched from the sideline.
"Ethan Wragge would start for every other team at our level, and a lot of teams above our level," Greg McDermott said. "He's that good.
"When you have a season like we're having, you have to have guys like that who are willing to check their ego at the door and embrace their role and understand how he's really important to what we do."
Wragge's second 3-pointer gave Creighton a 56-51 lead, part of a 16-2 run that ended with McDermott back on the court and the Bluejays enjoying their first double-digit lead of the day.
"It's awesome," Doug McDermott said. "I had that third foul, a couple of tough plays there, but I knew Ethan would come in and do his thing. It's exciting to watch that."
In a game that featured nine ties and 10 lead changes, Indiana State (9-5, 2-1) led by as many as seven points early in the second half, but couldn't withstand Creighton's charge.
"We didn't have enough today for an unbelievably talented team, very well-coached, as well-coached as anybody in the country," Indiana State coach Greg Lansing said.
"We were hanging around in there, hanging on by the skin of our teeth, but we just didn't do the things we needed to, really, at either end of the court to beat an outstanding team."
McDermott, who averages 22.9 points and 7.1 rebounds, picked up his third foul with 13:42 remaining, and Creighton trailing, 44-41.
With McDermott on the bench, 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, which was seeking its first 3-0 start in conference play since 2007-08.
Indiana State held its last lead, 51-49, on Odum's jumper with 10:50 remaining, but Creighton scored the next seven points and never trailed again.
Creighton center Gregory Echenique, who had 16 points and nine rebounds, scored four straight points, including a slam dunk on a lob pass from Grant Gibbs, and 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 3-pointer to give Creighton a 61-52 lead.
Two free throws by McDermott gave the Bluejays their first double-digit advantage, 63-53, with 6:13 remaining.
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 an 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 3-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. ... Creighton's guards combined for 22 assists and six turnovers.