West Lafayette, IN (Sports Network) - A.J. Hammons led the way with 15 points as the Purdue Boilermakers coasted to an 81-67 victory over the Western Illinois Leathernecks in the first round of the College Basketball Invitational at Mackey Arena.
Ronnie Johnson added 14 points for Purdue (16-17), which will take on Santa Clara in the next round. Rapheal Davis chipped in 12 points and five rebounds while Terone Johnson tallied 10 points and five assists.
Don McAvoy paced WIU (22-9) with 16 points and Remy Roberts-Burnett added 15 points to go along with five assists. Adam Link and Michael Ochereobia netted 12 points each in the setback.
The first half was closely contested as Purdue took a narrow, 37-34, lead into halftime after it shot 53.6 percent from the field. The Leathernecks stayed close by hitting on 56.5 percent of their field goal tries including 4-of-7 from beyond the arc.
The Boilermakers pulled away in the second stanza as they sank 6-of-7 from 3- point range.
Purdue is now 5-0 all-time against the Leathernecks.