The Tigers committed a season-high 26 turnovers, made just 50 percent of their free throws and guard Shawan Robinson continued his shooting woes as Alabama-Birmingham won 78-66 in a first-round game of the Rainbow Classic Tuesday night at the Sheriff Center in Honolulu.
UAB's win snaps Clemson's five-game winning streak as the Tigers fall to 7-2 on the season. The Blazers improve to 6-2.
Clemson, which entered the game averaging just 17.5 turnovers a game, had 16 turnovers in the second half alone. The 26 turnovers by the Tigers led to 35 UAB points.
"Their full-court pressure is what really bothered us," Clemson coach Oliver Purnell said. "We even turned it over 94 feet from our basket. We just put too much pressure on our defense."
The turnovers helped UAB go on an 18-4 run in the second half that erased a four-point Tigers lead. When the run was over, the Blazers held a 59-44 lead with 8:30 left to play.
When the Tigers did hold onto the ball, they found the scoring tough, shooting just 42.2 percent from the field. But that's not the worst of it.
For the fourth straight game, Robinson's outside shooting was abysmal. He was just 1-of-13 from the floor, including 0-for-7 from 3-point range. Over his last four games, Robinson has made 7-of-39 shots overall and is a horrid 3-of-22 from beyond the arc.
"Obviously Shawan is a guy we depend on to score from the outside," Purnell said. "He just seemed to be tentative and indecisive in the first half and he never got it going. He has to be decisive. When he's struggled out of the box, he's struggled the rest of the game."
But Robinson wasn't the only one that had it tough for the Tigers. As a team, Clemson was just 7-of-14 from the free throw line. Meanwhile, the Blazers were 18-of-22 from the charity stripe.
However, Tigers freshman guard Cliff Hammonds continued his stellar play. He led Clemson with 20 points, while hitting 5-of-8 from 3-point range. Also, forward Sharrod Ford got his 15th double-double of the year by getting 16 points and 13 rebounds.
The Tigers trailed by eight in the first half, but Hammonds' shooting eventually gave them a six-point advantage before going into halftime ahead 37-33.
Twin brothers Donnell Taylor and Ronnell Taylor paced UAB with 26 and 13 points respectively.
Clemson plays at 6:30 p.m., today, against the loser between Southern California and Indiana State.
|Officials:||Bert Smith, Rick Hartzell, Ron Zetcher|