Indians scored the first four points of the second half, but NSU used a layup by Damon Jones to cut the IU lead to 59-50 with 10:37 to go. IU would then go on an 8-0 run, capped by a triple by sophomore Verdell Jones III to make it 67-50 a minute later.
Jeremiah Rivers dished out 10 assists, and reserves Derek Elston (12 points) and Dumes (11 points) also contributed for the Hoosiers (3-3), who never trailed in the contest. Indiana made 34 of 44 free throws, with Watford and Creek each making 7 of 8 from the foul line. Twelve players scored for the Hoosiers.
"We finished this game with a defensive and rebounding mindset, not an offensive mindset, added Crean. "I think that's real good growth for us. We thought they were very good. We were not disappointed or shocked. They had more players. The players they had last year are older. They are committed to a style of play, you can see it. It was a great test for us."
Devon Baker came off the bench to score 14 points for the Demons (2-2). Another reserve, Will Pratt scored 10 for Northwestern State, whose starters scored just 21 points.
Indiana led by as many as 24 points and shot 48 percent from the field in the game. IU won the battle of the boards, 40-36 and improved to 3-0 at home this season and 36-0 at home in November since the 1984-85 season.
The Hoosiers will host #25 Maryland in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge at 7:30 p.m., Tuesday on ESPN2.