MEN'S BASKETBALL: Boilers blow by Cards in Wooden Tradition
No. 4 Purdue defeats Ball State 69-49 at Conseco Fieldhouse
INDIANAPOLIS – Playing a top-25 team didn't go any better the second time around this season for Ball State University.
No. 4 Purdue University routed Ball State 69-49 Saturday at Conseco Fieldhouse in the Wooden Tradition. The Cardinals fall to 3-5 this season, including a 69-48 loss to No. 23 Butler University in Muncie.
Ball State never got into the flow of the game, hampered by early foul trouble. In the first five minutes, the Cardinals picked up six fouls, while Purdue's defense prevented Ball State from getting into a groove.
"In the first half we might have been a little rattled," center Jarrod Jones said. "They had a lot of ball pressure in the front court to keep us from pushing the ball up."
The Boilermakers (10-0) held the Cardinals to 15 first-half points and led by 23 at halftime. Taking advantage of the numerous fouls, Purdue forward Robbie Hummel had 13 points at the break.
"They really had a game plan to come out and be physical with us," the junior Hummel said. "If you drive on them, you can draw some fouls and we were able to do that. It was key to us."
Hummel finished with a game-high 19 points and nine rebounds. Center JaJuan Johnson added 16 and eight.
Coach Billy Taylor said the referees had no impact on the outcome of the game, but he and the Cardinals were clearly displeased with some of the calls. Purdue took advantage, shooting 75 percent from the free throw line and keeping starters Malik Perry, Randy Davis and Pierre Sneed off the court for significant stretches.
In their absence, senior forward Terrence Watson scored a career-high 12 points for Ball State, eight of which coming in the second half. Taylor was pleased with the senior's defense against Hummel in the second half.
"He provided a lot of energy," Taylor said. "He was definitely more urgent on defense and more of a presence for us, which we really need. We need Terrence playing at that level every game, and then we have a chance to be a pretty good ballclub."
Jones led the Cardinals with 16 points and eight rebounds, a big improvement from last season's matchup when the center had four points and six boards.
The pair prevented Purdue from running away with another victory. Watson said Ball State didn't want to just roll over.
"The urgency to keep fighting and wanting to win against a great team," he said. "You can't just give up on teams like that."
The Cardinals fared better than the Boilermakers' previous two Mid-American Conference opponents. Purdue defeated the University at Buffalo 101-65 and knocked off Central Michigan University 64-38.
"They're not ranked No. 4 in the country by accident," Taylor said. "I've watched a lot of film on Purdue and seen them run away from teams. I was proud of our guys for continuing to fight."