Big men Trevor Booker, Raymond Sykes and Jerai Grant made the strategy pay off in an 81-49 Clemson victory.
Booker scored 17 points, grabbed six rebounds and blocked four shots. Sykes added 14 points and seven rebounds. Grant had eight points, seven rebounds and five of Clemson's 14 blocked shots.
"A big point of emphasis for us was to establish the inside game," Purnell said.
Terrence Oglesby also scored 17 points for Clemson, off to its fourth straight 6-0 start under Purnell. Anthony Jones scored a game-high 20 points for Savannah (4-1).
Booker and Sykes combined to take only eight field-goal attempts Saturday in Clemson's 71-70 victory at Charlotte.
Savannah outscored Clemson 17-3 at the start of the second half to cut a 22-point halftime deficit to 44-36 with 14:40 remaining. But Clemson finished with a 31-9 run to put the game away.
Part of our strength is to wear you out and impose our will," Purnell said.
Clemson scored nine of the game's first 11 points en route to a 41-19 halftime lead.
Clemson finished with a 47-28 rebounding edge.
Booker's two easy baskets capped an 11-0 Clemson run that gave the host Tigers an early 29-13 lead.
Clemson shot 50.8 percent (31 of 61) from the field while Savannah connected on just 32.8 percent (19 of 58).