WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - Purdue freshman center A.J. Hammons scored 15 points to help offset an inspired performance by Lafayette native Jesse Berry as the Boilermakers fended off Ball State 66-56 in a college basketball contest Tuesday night at Mackey Arena.
Berry, the Cardinals leading scorer, led all scorers with 22 points as the Cardinals stayed within striking distance of the Boilermakers until the final seconds of the game.
"It felt good to come back and play at Mackey Arena and it is not an easy place to play and the crowd really gets in to it," said Berry. "They played well tonight and limited us on what we wanted to do on offense and they made good plays. I had a lot of people here. My family came and my friends from high school came and I had not seen them in awhile.
Terone Johnson added 14 points for the victorious Boilers, which improved to 5-6 on the season and snapped a two-game losing streak.
"That is what we need and even in the next practices," said Purdue senior D.J. Byrd. "Even with the little break we get we need to treat them like games and really try to get better because the Big Ten because in the Big Ten season that is where the big boys play. There are a lot of teams in the Big Ten this year that are really strong and are in the top 25 and have good coaches and good players. We have to take it upon ourselves to do our role and our job.
Byrd and Ronnie Johnson added 11 points apiece. Sophomore forward Jacob Lawson grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds.
The Boilermakers don't play again until after Christmas, when they host William & Mary Saturday, December 29.
The Cardinals are now 5-5 on the season. Purdue improves to 5-6.
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