MELBOURNE, Fla. — Aamir Simms scored 24 points, Nick Honor added 17 points and a career-high four steals and Clemson beat Purdue 81-70 on Thursday night to win the four-team Space Coast Challenge.
Jonathan Baehre scored 11 points for Clemson (2-0) and Al-Amir Dawes added 10 points. The Tigers, who held Mississippi State to 42 points on Wednesday, forced 22 Purdue turnovers – including 13 Clemson steals.
Zach Edey had 17 points, eight rebounds and two blocks for Purdue (1-1). Isaiah Thompson and Brandon Newman added 15 points apiece.
Baehre hit a 3-pointer and then a jumper to spark a 10-0 run that made it 58-48 when Dawes made a jumper with 9:02 left. Newman answered with a 3 to pull the Boilermakers within seven but they got no closer.
Freshman Jaden Ivey did not play for Purdue. The 6-foot-4 guard scored 12 points, but injured his right foot in Wednesday’s 77-64 win over Liberty.
Simms, who averaged 13.0 points and 7.2 rebounds as a junior last season, played just eight minutes before he fouled out with just four points on 1-of-5 shooting and one rebound in a win over Mississippi State on Wednesday.
Baehre, a 6-foot-10 senior, transferred from UNC-Asheville following 28-point, 14-rebound performance in the Bulldogs’ season-ending loss to Southern California in the first round of the 2018 NIT. After suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament in May of 2019 with Clemson, Baehre played in just two games last season before re-tearing the same ACL last February.
Purdue was not ranked in the AP preseason Top 25 poll for the first time since the 2014-15 season.