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The Journal Gazette

Wednesday, February 06, 2013 11:07 pm

Indiana State shuts down No. 16 Creighton, 76-57


Doug McDermott couldn't score, and his Creighton teammates couldn't get comfortable.

It certainly was an unusual night.

One of the country's top players scored only eight points, and the nation's best-shooting team finished with a season-low point total as unranked Indiana State rolled past No. 16 Creighton 76-57 on Wednesday in a game that wasn't even that close.

"I didn't think Doug was as active and moved as well as he has moved in some other games," Creighton coach Greg McDermott said, talking about his son. "I thought he got stuck on the block some and didn't get out of there. They were very good defensively and for whatever reason Doug lacked a little bounce in his step tonight."

And it showed.

The star forward, who was averaging 24 points per game, managed only eight in the first half on 3-of-9 shooting and was shut out in the second half when he took only one shot. Just one Bluejays player, backup Will Artino, reached double figures. He finished with 13 points.

Without McDermott on top of his game, Creighton looked rather ordinary and nothing like the team that was leading the nation in field goal percentage (52 percent) and was in the top 10 in scoring (79 points per game).

Rather, the Bluejays looked befuddled and bewildered all night as their three-game winning streak came to an end on a night when they finished with seven fewer points than their previous season low, a loss at Wichita State.

"It's the best (defense) we've seen this year," Greg McDermott said. "They kept us in front of them and they didn't really expose themselves when they did help. They outrebounded us on the backboard, and I'll have to take a look at the tape, but I thought some of our shots were ill-advised."

The Sycamores took full advantage.

Jake Odum finished with 22 points, five assists and four steals, and unlike Doug McDermott, Odum had plenty of help. R.J. Mahurin made three 3-pointers and finished with 17 points. Manny Arop, the transfer from Gonzaga, scored 13 points and grabbed seven rebounds.

"I don't know if we can play any better," Indiana State coach Greg Lansing said. "We played well at both ends of the floor. I know Creighton didn't play very well, but our guys followed the game plan perfectly and we really gave them a run, and I still think that's one of the best teams in the country."

It sure was hard to tell on a night nobody will soon forget in Terre Haute.

Indiana State (15-8, 8-4 Missouri Valley Conference) earned the school's 1,400th victory, beat a Top 25 team at home for the first time since upsetting Butler in December 2006 and watched Odum, a local kid, become the 35th member of the school's 1,000-point club. Creighton also was the highest-ranked team to come to town since then-No. 12 Tulsa visited on Feb. 2, 1985, and the Bluejays went home with their most lopsided loss all season.

Yet the most important part might be this: Indiana State has won three of its last four to move within one game of the league-leading Bluejays (20-4, 9-3).

How did the Sycamores do it?

With good, old-fashioned, in-your-face basketball.

At times, Indiana State was virtually flawless.

Odum scored 16 points, dished out four assists and shot 5 of 6 from the field during the first half, when the Sycamores didn't even commit a turnover. They finished with only five.

About the only thing that didn't go right for Indiana State was that Odum finished two assists short of No. 400, but nobody was going to quibble about that, especially the students who meandered onto the floor at game's end and shared some hugs with the Indiana State players.

"I said it a couple times out there and Manny did also about finishing the game off," Odum said. "Earlier in the season, we didn't quite finish games. We let teams battle back and a team like Creighton, you can't let them get going."

They didn't.

The Sycamores took control with runs of 12-2 and 7-2 late in the first half to take a 35-24 halftime lead and never gave Creighton a chance in the second half.

Mahurin opened the second half with a four-point play, the fifth of his career. After a dunk from Creighton, Odum answered with a layup and a jumper. Devonte Brown then scored on a layup and Mahurin closed out the 13-3 spurt with another 3 to give the Sycamores a 48-27 lead.

Indiana State extended the lead to 70-42 with 4:36 to go, and Creighton never cut the deficit to single digits in the second half.

"That's the leading offense team in the country and we really played well against them," Lansing said. "We wanted to make it awfully difficult for them to get an easy look, take a contested shot and only give them one. They only had six offensive rebounds. I know they didn't play their best but our defense was awfully locked in tonight and that was by every guy they played."