Clemson beats Auburn

Rod Hall tied his career-high with 20 points to lead Clemson to a 72-61 victory over Auburn on Sunday.

It was the second straight victory for Clemson (6-3), which moved to a perfect 3-0 over Southeastern Conference opponents after defeating LSU and Arkansas earlier this season.

Clemson used an 11-2 run early in the second half and take control over Auburn (3-5), which lost its third straight. Auburn got as close as 64-59 down the stretch, but KT Harrell missed a 3-pointer and Hall followed with a driving layup to extend Clemson's lead.

Hall, a senior, added one more foul shot to match his career best points total set last year in a win over North Carolina State.

Demarcus Harrison added 19 points while Jaron Blossomgame had 12 points and 10 rebounds for Clemson.

Cinmeon Bowers had 17 points and 14 rebounds to lead Auburn.

Auburn had cut Clemson's 12-point first half lead to 29-27 on Tahj Samsid-Deen's four-point play with 19:06 left. That's when Clemson took over with a decisive run. Josh Smith scored four points while Hall and Harrison each had baskets in the surge.

Clemson came in hoping for another SEC win while Auburn wanted to end a two-game stretch that included an embarrassing home loss to Coastal Carolina and coach Cliff Ellis — who had coached both these Tiger teams to NCAA tournaments — in its last outing.

Auburn came in with some fortification after 7-foot-2 Trayvon Reed and 6-foot-8 Alex Thompson were added to Bruce Pearl's roster Friday. Plus, Antoine Mason was back from an ankle injury that cost him the past six games.
Mason, a graduate transfer who was second nationally with a 25.6-point average at Niagara, was part of an ice cold shooting first half for Auburn.

Auburn made only eight field goals in the opening half and just 3 of 13 on 3-pointers. And Clemson built a 29-17 lead after Landry Nnoko's basket with 2:10 left in the period.

That's when Auburn's active defense — it matched its season's best in a game with 10 first-half steals and forced 14 turnovers — took over to close the half on a 6-0 run and trail 29-23.

Clemson also struggled to find its shot, going just 1 of 10 from behind the arc the first 20 minutes. Clemson finished 2 of 14 on long-range shots.

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Auburn: In 19 previous seasons as a head coach, Bruce Pearl had never faced Clemson.

Clemson: The team's five starters are all averaging over double-figure scoring. The Tigers bench is averaging about 18 points a game.

UP NEXT
Auburn opens a five-game homestand against Winthrop on Wednesday.

Clemson plays at South Carolina on Friday.

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