Purdue beats Ball State 66-56Purdue guard Terone Johnson (0) shoots over Ball State forward Majok Majok in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in West Lafayette, Ind., Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2012. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) -- A.J. Hammons scored 15 points to help Purdue defeat Ball State 66-56 on Tuesday night.
Terone Johnson scored 14 points, D.J. Byrd and Ronnie Johnson scored 11 each and Jacob Lawson added six points and 11 rebounds for the Boilermakers (5-6). Purdue had lost two straight and was coming off an 81-68 loss to Notre Dame.
Purdue struggled to shake the Cardinals, but a late run put the game away. A loss would have guaranteed the Boilermakers a losing nonconference record.
Jesse Berry scored 22 points and Marcus Posley added 12 for the Cardinals (5-5).
Purdue led 27-21 at halftime despite making just 11 of 31 shots in the first half. The Boilermakers made 12 of 21 after the break. Purdue held Ball State to 35 percent shooting and forced the Cardinals into 17 turnovers.
Ball State's other game against a Big Ten opponent was a 101-53 loss to Indiana.