Over the summer, Ronny Thompson’s resignation from Ball State led to ugly rumors and accusations from both sides.

Wednesday night, Ronny’s brother John Thompson III left Indiana with something ugly of his own – a narrow victory over an undermanned and undersized Ball State.

Thompson’s No. 5 Hoyas (3-0) jumped out to a 13-point half time lead but had to hold off the scrappy Cardinals (0-3) for a 57-48 win in Worthen Arena.

Up 42-26 midway through the second half, it looked as though the Hoyas would run away with the game, but with two minutes remaining, Ball State had cut the lead to 51-45. The Cardinals took advantage of the Hoyas’ 12 turnovers to cut the gap but could not get it closer than six at any point as Georgetown hit six of eight free throws in the final minute to capture its first road win of the season.

Ball State, which needed two new walk-ons to field a 10-man roster, had no one taller than 6-foot-4 to match up with Georgetown’s 7-foot-2 senior center Roy Hibbert. The Cardinals’ junior forward Anthony Newell, who stands at 6-foot-5 and was Ball State’s leading scorer coming in, was out with a crack in his left foot. Still, Hibbert attempted 10 shots, his lowest number of the young season.

The preseason all-American went 2-of-7 from the free throw line, and as a team Georgetown missed nine of their 17 attempts from the charity stripe.

“Free throws and turnovers hurt us,” Thompson said after the game, according to the Associated Press. “We’ve got to take care of that. I don’t think we were flustered. We just didn’t execute the way we were supposed to.”

With Ball State in a zone for most of the evening to contain Hibbert, Georgetown settled for three point attempts. But the Hoyas, who entered the game shooting 42.2 percent from beyond the arc, hit just 7-of-25 from three point land.

Junior guard Jessie Sapp had 11 points for the Hoyas – Sapp and Hibbert have both scored in double figures in all three of Georgetown’s games. Sophomore forward Vernon Macklin, on the other hand, was held scoreless for the second time in three games.

Ball State got 16 points from senior guard Peyton Stovall and 11 from freshman guard Melvin Goins.

Despite the distinct size advantage for the Hoyas, Ball State hauled in 10 offensive rebounds to Georgetown’s nine.

“This is the first real game we’ve been in,” Thompson said, according to the AP. “If we want to be a good team, we have to show significant improvement. But it’s good to have learning experiences and walk away with a win, as opposed to walking away from learning experiences in the past without a win.”

Last season, Georgetown had an early season learning experience when unranked Old Dominion handed it the program’s first loss in McDonough Gymnasium since 1982. The Hoyas have a chance for revenge next Wednesday when they travel to Norfolk, Va. for a match up with the Monarchs.

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