WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) Terone Johnson scored 16 points and A.J. Hammons overcame a sore right knee to finish with 14 points Saturday, leading Purdue past pesky William & Mary 73-66.
The Boilermakers (6-6) won their second straight to reach the .500 mark before starting Big Ten play. They barely avoided a fourth loss this season to a non-BCS conference school after an 11-day Christmas break.
William & Mary (7-4) was led by Marcus Thornton with 21 points and Tim Rusthoven with 16 points and six rebounds. The Tribe dropped to 1-5 all-time against Big Ten schools.
Purdue struggled to put the game away until a late surge. Each time it looked like the Boilermakers were about to pull away, the Tribe came right back.
But Jacob Lawson broke a 58-58 tie with a layup with 7:46 to go, and the Boilermakers outscored William & Mary 13-8 the rest of the way.
That excitement from the Redskins OTAs has reverberated across the country and made him the feature of NBC Sports' Chris Simms QB School series. There, the current NFL analyst and former NFL quarterback made big comparisons to the No. 15 overall pick Haskins to Super Bowl champion Ben Roethlisberger.
Simms was enthralled with the skillset that Haskins possesses and his potential. Citing his arm talent and the small mechanics of the 22-year-old, Simms thinks he has all the tools to be a top-tier NFL QB.
"He reminds me a lot of a big Ben Roethlisberger with his style of football play. [Haskins] arm is special, there's no doubt about that," Simms said.
Comparing a rookie QB to a two-time Super Bowl winning quarterback that has made six All-Pro teams is not too shabby. Roethlisberger has thrown for over 54,000 yards in his career with 363 touchdowns across his NFL career. They both wear No. 7, both played their college ball in Ohio, and both are known for their ability to hurl a football down the field.
Some of the strong qualities of Haskins that Simms highlighted were his tight and quick arm motion, his controlled body rotation, and the accuracy down the field. At the same time, he pointed out that Haskins has a tendency to drop his elbow on passes, forcing his passes to sail high.
"[Haskins] has Big Ben Roethlisberger-type talent and I know he's already wowed some people down there in Washington in his first few practices."