The Dukes (5-9) closed the first half on an 8-2 run and took their largest lead, 39-27, after a Charles Cooke layup early in the second half.
Ball State (2-8) surged back within one after two Jesse Berry 3-pointers with a Majok Majok layup in between. James Madison responded with a three-point play by Cooke and baskets from Curry and Taylor Bessick with 2:33 remaining.
The Cardinals cut the deficit to three after two Zavier Turner free throws, but couldn't connect on their next three 3-point attempts. The Dukes hit four of their last six free throws to seal the win.
James Madison shot 50 percent from the field. Andrey Semenov had 16 points for the Dukes.
Majok and Berry each scored 18 points for Ball State.