CLEMSON, S.C. — Sharrod Ford scored 20 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and blocked five shots to lead Clemson to an 80-73 victory over Ohio State on Wednesday night in the ACC-Big Ten Classic.
Olu Babalola returned from a two-game suspension with 17 points and eight rebounds for the Tigers (3-1). Cliff Hammonds and Shawan Robinson added 14 points apiece. Robinson also had a game-high eight assists.
Former Clemson standout Tony Stockman led Ohio State (5-2) with 22 points. Stockman, who transferred to the Buckeyes after the 2001-02 season, scored 16 of his 22 points in the first half even though he was booed just about every time he touched the basketball. He finished 4 of 5 from behind the arc.
Ivan Harris had 15 points, all of them coming from 3-point range and Brandon Fuss-Cheatham added 14 for the Buckeyes, who were 15 of 25 from 3-point range and have made 32 shots from behind the arc in their last two games.
The Tigers took a different tact, pounding the ball inside to Ford. Clemson outrebounded Ohio State 37-27 and outscored the Buckeyes by 15 points at the free throw line.
Trailing 65-60 with less than five minutes remaining, the Tigers went on an 8-0 run to take a 68-65 lead with 3:52 left.
Robinson hit two free throws with 36.7 seconds remaining and Clemson went ahead 74-67. The Tigers made 8 of 10 from the line in the final minute.
Clemson closed the half with a 10-1 run to cut Ohio State’s lead to one at 36-35.
Wednesday night’s victory was extra sweet for Tigers coach Oliver Purnell. Purnell, a former head coach at Dayton, agreed to a two-year extension on his contract. The contract calls for a yearly base salary of $150,000 and guarantees at least $550,000 per year in additional outside income.
“One of the major factors in rebuilding a program is stability,” Purnell said. “This contract extension is a testament to Clemson’s commitment to the men’s basketball program.”