Ball State Defeats No. 21 Purdue, 72-52

Updated 12/20/1999
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- In the hierarchy of Indiana college basketball, Ball State isn't supposed to beat Purdue.

Tell that to Theron Smith.

The freshman forward from Auburndale, Fla., had 16 points and 11 rebounds Saturday night to lead Ball State to a 72-52 win against No. 21 Purdue. The Boilermakers ranked 21st in the ESPN/USA Today Top 25 Poll, while the Associated Press placed Purdue No. 24.

"I can't explain how great it feels to accomplish something like this," Smith said. "I think it was important for me to stay calm and play hard, especially in a game and in an arena like this. Everyone played hard and we are all so excited."

The Cardinals broke the game open in the first five minutes in the second half with a 13-4 run to take a 40-29 lead with 15:09 remaining. Purdue cut the deficit to nine with 13:41 remaining on a dunk by Greg McQuay, but never got closer.

Ball State never looked back as it rolled up two 21-point leads in the final two minutes.

"Going into the contest we had a lot of respect for Purdue,'' BSU head coach Ray McCallum said. "We knew we had to handle their defensive pressure. That was the key. Our guys have worked very hard for something like this. They're just satisfied with the recognition this win can bring."

Ball State outshot the Boilermakers, hitting 28-of-64 from the field for 44 percent. Purdue made 22-of-64 for 34 percent. The Cardinals also outrebounded Purdue, 49-39.

"They deserved to win. They outrebounded us a bunch," Purdue head coach Gene Keady said. "We have no excuses. Men will handle this and come back and get better and win. Whimperers will come back and blame someone else. I hope we don't do that."

Sophomore Lonnie Jones added 13 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for Ball State. The 6-foot-11 center also blocked five shots.

"We had contributions from a lot of people tonight," McCallum said. "I think Lonnie made a statement and was a factor on the floor. Theron Smith seemed to get every key rebound in the second half. Mickey Hosier and Duane Clemens played an outstanding game. I can point to anyone on our roster and they all contributed. That's what we need to be successful."

Clemens finished with 11 points and six assists, while Hosier added eight points for the Cardinals.