Indiana State no match for No. 19 Creighton
Indiana State refused to let the nation's second-leading scorer take over the game.
It was everyone else for No. 19 Creighton that ended up hurting the Sycamores.
Creighton made seven of its first 10 3-point shots and never trailed in a 75-49 victory in front of 17,411 on Saturday. Doug McDermott tied a season low with 12 points, but Ethan Wragge, Josh Jones and Jahenns Manigat powered the Bluejays early.
''Those are the guys on the perimeter that we really wanted to guard, and we didn't when we needed to,'' Indiana State coach Greg Lansing said. ''We let them get going. We got off to a decent start, and a couple of those 3s went and it deflated us a little bit. ''
The win was the eighth in a row for the Bluejays (18-2), who improved to 8-1 in the Missouri Valley Conference. Indiana State fell to 11-9 overall and 2-7 in league play with a third consecutive loss and seventh in nine games after a 9-2 start to the season.
McDermott, averaging 23.8 points per game coming in, tied a season low with 12 points. He did, however, grab 11 rebounds for his MVC-leading seventh double-double of the season.
With McDermott facing double-teams in the post, Wragge, Jones and Manigat knocked down two open 3s each in the first half. Wragge and Manigat both had back-to-back 3-pointers during a 17-5 run that gave Creighton a 29-15 lead.
''It was nice to see the scoring throughout the whole team for once instead of just having a couple of guys go with big numbers,'' Wragge said. ''It really showed other opponents that if you take away one of our options, we have a bunch of guys that can come in and score.''
The Jays had 13 players score, eight with six or more points, and got 36 points from their bench, including 18 in the first half.
Creighton shot 56 percent from the field (14 of 25) and 64 percent from 3-point range (7 of 11) before the break. Antoine Young's runner at the buzzer gave the Jays a 42-25 lead at the half.
The margin grew after the intermission.
''I think Creighton is as good as anyone we've played, including Vanderbilt early in the year,'' Lansing said. ''They're very unselfish. They defend. They compete. They've got a lot of weapons. And they may have the best IQ of any team I've seen in a long time.''
Led by five from Grant Gibbs, the Jays had assists on 17 of their 24 field goals. And they held the Sycamores, the lowest-scoring team in the conference, to 33 percent shooting (16 of 49).
Indiana State's final total of 49 points was its second-lowest of the season and 15 points below its season average.
''I was pleased with our defense,'' Jays coach Greg McDermott said. ''We took away what we needed to take away. They had to take tough shots, and they had a hard time scoring around the rim.''
Dwayne Lathan had 15 points for the Sycamores to lead all scorers, but Indiana State lost its 13th straight game at Creighton. Its last win in Omaha came in January 1999.
''Hats off to a tremendous Creighton team,'' Lansing said. ''I've been around the league every year that I've coached, and that is as good a Valley team as I've seen.''