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.
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.