CINCINNATI (Ticker) -- Cincinnati shook off some rust as it completed the "pre-Flight" portion of its schedule.
Jason Maxiell scored 20 points and Field Williams added 17 as the 16th-ranked Bearcats avoided a letdown due to a 14-day layoff for a 79-56 victory over Clemson.
Cincinnati (5-0) played for the first time since December 2 due to its hectic exam schedule. The Bearcats also played for the final time before heralded Florida transfer James White becomes eligible.
White, nicknamed "Flight," was forced to sit out the first semester due to NCAA transfer rules. He actually was eligible to return for Wednesday's game but was forced to serve a one-game suspension for participating over the summer in a sneaker company's tour.
"We have a hard time without James out there with the pressure," Cincinnati coach Bob Huggins said. "James sees the floor well well and knows where the ball is supposed to go."
The Bearcats had little trouble avenging their 58-51 road loss to the Tigers last season. Maxiell scored nine points as Cincinnati dominated in building a comfortable 47-25 halftime cushion.
Maxiell added eight rebounds and five blocks to spearhead Cincinnati, which limited Clemson to 34.5 percent (19-of-55) shooting from the floor.
"We were a little rusty at the beginning," Maxiell said. "But after all the practicing against each other, we were ready to play someone else."
Clemson (4-4) took an early 8-2 lead before Cincinnati got its transition game untracked. The Bearcats outscored the Tigers, 35-11, seizing a 37-19 advantage on Williams' 3-pointer with just over five minutes left before halftime.
Cincinnati forced 25 turnovers, continuing a trend for Clemson, ranked last in the Atlantic Coast Conference in that department. Vernon Hamilton, taking over for departed senior point guard Edward Scott, committed seven miscues.
"Once they hit us with that first blow, we didn't respond well and started to unravel," Tigers coach Oliver Purnell said. "It was a Bearcat kind of game that they have been very successful at over the years."
Hamilton pulled Clemson within 68-56 with a 3-pointer with just under nine minutes left. Williams answered with his third and final 3-pointer of the game to trigger seven straight points that provided some breathing room.
The Bearcats also got 14 minutes off the bench from center Robert Whaley, who had arthroscopic knee surgery on December 3 before a quick recovery. Whaley, who usually starts, finished with four points and four rebounds.
Olu Babalola was the only Tiger in double figures with 13 points.