Clemson had an 18-3 run over the last 6:46 of the first half and then got 14 points from guard Nick Honor in the second half to pull away from Morehead State in a rare Monday afternoon basketball game at Littlejohn Coliseum in Clemson.
The Tigers (6-1, 0-1 ACC) beat the Eagles, 66-51, in the first Monday noon tip in Clemson history.
The game was moved to Monday from its original Tuesday date to help give the players on both teams an extra day off to go home for the Christmas Holiday.
Besides Honor’s 14 points, the Tigers also got 12 points from Al-Amir Dawes and Aamir Simms. Dawes scored nine of his 12 points in the first half, while Simms got eight of his 12 in the second half. Honor was 5-of-6 from the field, including 4-for-5 from three-point range.
Both Dawes (4-for-9) and Honor had four threes each in the win.
The Tigers shot 38 percent from the field overall, but they were 10-of-27 (37 percent) from beyond the arch. Though Morehead State shot 47 percent from the field, it made just 7-of-22 threes (32 percent).
The Clemson defense smothered the Eagles all afternoon, forcing 21 turnovers overall. The Tigers turned the ball over just 11 times. They had a 21-14 edge off turnovers.
The Tigers led by as many 24 points in the second half. That was a 57-43 lead with 9:17 to play following a three-pointer from Honor. They led for 33 minutes and 51 seconds in the game.
Clemson used an 18-3 run over the final 6:46 of the first half to gain control of the game. The Tigers forced eight turnovers during that run while holding Morehead State to no field goals during the same span.
After falling behind 16-14 following a 6-0 run by the Eagles (4-6), Alex Hemenway and Dawes each hit a three-pointer to bookend the run, giving Clemson a 32-19 half time lead. Overall, the Tigers forced 13 first half turnovers, including a steal and dunk by Clyde Trapp to kind of display how the last 6:46 of the first half went.
Clemson will be back in action on Dec. 29 when it hosts No. 21 Florida State at Littlejohn. The game is set to tip at 7 p.m.
It is time to get ready for another great Clemson Christmas. The best collection of Clemson ornaments and other fine gifts are available at Clemson Variety & Frame