CLEMSON 81, PURDUE 70
MELBOURNE, FL. — Clemson forced 22 turnovers and shot just under 50 percent from the field, and the Tigers scored 23 points in the final nine minutes to move past Purdue in the championship game of the 2020 Space Coast Challenge.
The Tigers (2-0) got 24 points from Aamir Simms, with Nick Honor scoring 17 points and Jonathan Baehre adding 11 points.
Clemson saw its first-half lead dwindle to nothing, but a 12-2 run pushed them back ahead, 58-48, when Al-Amir Dawes sank a jumper with 9:02 to go. The Tigers remained in control the rest of the way, going up 15 points for their biggest lead (73-58) on a dunk from Clyde Trapp with 2:30 remaining.
The Boilermakers (1-1) played strong for a stretch in the second half — Zach Edey scored for Purdue, pulling his team within 44-41 with 13:59 left in the second half, and Trevion Williams followed with a layup at 13:22; the comeback was complete when Sasha Stefanovic hit a 3-pointer, and it was 46-46 with 12:42 to go.
Clemson used an 11-0 run in the first half to move ahead 24-13, with Simms scoring seven points in that stretch. A Trapp jumper pushed the Tigers ahead 32-19 at 3:58 for their biggest lead in the half. Purdue did make a late push, getting within 34-27 at the 2:02 mark on a dunk from Aaron Wheeler.
The Boilermakers, who were without guard Eric Hunter Jr. for the second straight game, also had to play without freshman Jaden Ivey, who scored 12 points Wednesday. Brandon Newman scored 18 points, Zach Edey added 17 points and eight rebounds, and Isaiah Thompson closed with 12 points. Purdue had a 37-24 lead in rebounds.
The all-tournament team consists of: Darius McGhee (Liberty), Tolu Smith (Mississippi State), Zach Edey and Brandon Newman of Purdue, Nick Honor of Clemson, and tournament MVP Aamir Simms of Clemson.