CLEMSON, S.C. (AP)Aamir Simms scored 18 points as Clemson ended a four-game losing steak with a 68-39 victory over Jacksonville on Friday night.
Curran Scott, a graduate transfer from Tulsa, added a season-high 15 points for the Tigers (6-5), who had not tasted a win since defeating TCU 62-60 nearly four weeks ago.
Simms helped Clemson get off to a fast start and keep steadily extending their lead over Jacksonville (7-7).
Clemson needed to get going in hurry after falling to four consecutive Power Five conference opponets and Simms stepped up as the Tigers opened a 13-6 lead as he, Johnny Newman III and Tevin Mack all hit 3-pointers.
When Jacksonville tightened things to 15-12, the Tigers again got going from long range with a 17-8 run that included another 3 each from Simms and Scott. When Al-Amir Dawes hit a bucket from behind the arc, Clemson was up 32-20 with less than five minutes left in the opening half.
Kevin Norman scored Jacksonville’s first 10 points in the opening five minutes. He was held scoreless by Clemson the rest of the period as the Tigers took control.
Things continued going Clemson’s way in the second half as Jacksonville could not overcome the team’s tight defense.
The Dolphins shot less than 18% (5-of-28) the final 20 minutes and made only one of 14 3-pointers taken in the period.
Jacksonville missed its final 10 shots and was held scoreless the final 7:56 of the game.
Jacksonville was without senior starter – and Ohio State transfer – in 6-foot-10 David Bell, who was limited in shoot around because of several bumps and bruises, according to the team.
Norman led the Dolphins with 16 points.
Jacksonville: The Dolphins need all their pieces to contend against Clemson, the team’s lone Power Five Conference opponent this season. Without Bell, the Tigers were able to take charge underneath with Simms.
Clemson: The Tigers got a boost with the return of point guard Clyde Trapp after a serious knee injury. Trapp had four points in 12 minutes. If he can stay healthy, he’ll be an experienced hand heading into the meat of the Atlantic Coast Conference season.
Jacksonville has a 10-day break before playing South Carolina State at home on Dec. 30.
Clemson plays the third game of a five-game homestand against Yale on Sunday.
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