TERRE HAUTE — The realistic hope for Indiana State’s men’s basketball team going into its game against No. 16 Creighton was to get a win – by whatever method or whatever margin necessary – and get itself back into the Missouri Valley Conference race.
It was clear not too long after halftime that the Sycamores had vastly surpassed realistic expectations and had broken into the realm of fantasy.
Only it wasn’t a fantasy. The Sycamores imposed their will on the Bluejays in a sublime 76-57 victory in front of 8,345 delirious fans at Hulman Center in one of the best Sycamore performances in recent memory.
“I’d like to frame that one. I don’t know if we can play any better. We played awfully well at both ends of the floor, especially defensively. They didn’t play well, but we had a lot to do with it,” ISU coach Greg Lansing said.
Jake Odum led ISU with 22 points and set the Sycamores’ aggressive tone from tipoff. R.J. Mahurin had 17 points and Manny Arop added 13.
The mark of ISU’s performance wasn’t just in who scored, but who didn’t. The Sycamores worked magic on both ends of the floor, but the alchemy began with their defense, which completely sapped the energy out of the Bluejays.
Creighton – which leads the nation in field goal percentage and averages 79 points per game – was completely stymied. It's previous low point total this season was 64.
None of the Bluejays starters reached double-figure scoring. All-American Doug McDermott was held to eight points – his second-lowest output of the season and worst in a MVC game by a six-point margin.
McDermott didn't score at all in the second half.
Gregory Echenique, who scored 16 in Creighton’s 79-66 win on Jan. 6, was also held to eight points.