Clemson head coach Oliver Purnell could get used to this.
After watching his team fall behind by 12 points with 11:23 remaining in the first half, the Tigers went on a 16-0 run and never trailed again en route to a surprisingly easy 19-point road win against Miami Sunday night at BankUnited Center in Coral Gables.
David Potter scored all seven of his first-half points during the run, while K.C. Rivers added five. In addition, the 16 Clemson points came in just over two and half minutes of actual game time.
The 25th-ranked Tigers would go on to lead 38-30 at halftime and were never ahead by less than five in the second half in the win.
Miami rallied to work the margin to 52-47 with just over 12 minutes remaining in the game, but consecutive three-pointers by Terence Oglesby and Rivers put the game out of reach.
"I thought we moved the ball well from side to side and our pressure took its toll on them and we wore them down," Purnell said afterwards.
Rivers led the Tigers with 28 points on 10-of-15 shooting (4-of-8 from three-point range) while Trevor Booker grabbed a team-high 16 rebounds.
"This year he's been on our leader," Purnell said of Rivers, who came into the game averaging 13.5 points per contest. "He's been our tough guy. Tonight he did a good job on McClinton, who's a great player and also did a great job offensively."
All-American candidate Jack McClinton led the Hurricanes with 20 points, but the majority of his looks came once the game was out of reach.
Jerai Grant led Clemson off the bench with nine points on 4-of-6 shooting, including scoring seven points in a 90-second stretch in the second half after Trevor Booker left the game with four fouls while the game was still in doubt.
With the win the Tigers improve to 12-0 overall and 1-0 in ACC play. Clemson is now 44-0 in games played before Dec. 22 over the past four years.
The win also helps Clemson keep pace with No. 3 Pittsburgh for Division I's best record so far this season. Pitt stayed perfect by winning at Florida State earlier Sunday.
"We've still got a long road ahead of us, but this is just the start of our journey," Rivers said. "This team here is capable of doing good things and I think we will do good things down the road."
Clemson is off for the next nine days before returning to action Dec. 30 at archrival South Carolina.
The Tigers' next ACC game isn't until Jan. 10, when they host N.C. State.
NOTES: Miami beat Clemson 75-72 last year in Coral Gables. ... K.C. Rivers grabbed his 600th career rebound in the 19-point win while also more than doubling his scoring average of 13.5 points. ... Terence Oglesby scored all 17 of his points in the second half. ... Clemson connected on 13-of-18 (72 percent) free throws while Miami made just 12-of-27 (44 percent). ... The Tigers forced 16-first half turnovers to turn an 11-point deficit into a 38-30 halftime lead. ... Miami ended the game with 22 turnovers to Clemson's 13.
Tigers Pound Miami
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