Chase Hunter leads to Sweet 16

Despite a near late-game collapse, Clemson basketball handled No. 3 seed Baylor 72-64 Sunday at FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee, to advance to the Sweet 16 for the fifth time in program history.

The sixth-seeded Tigers (23-11) carried their momentum from their 21-point win over New Mexico on Friday to take care of the Bears (24-11) behind stout defense and timely scoring.

Clemson will face No. 2 Arizona (27-8) in the Sweet 16 on Thursday in Los Angeles.

Clemson defied the statistics and doubters again in a master class. It built a 35-25 lead at halftime behind Chase Hunter’s impressive offense, including a double-clutch running 3-pointer at the buzzer, and remained in control for most of the rest of the game. Baylor never led but did cut the lead to two in the final minutes.

Hunter recorded 20 points and six assists, and Joseph Girard III added 13 points.

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Here are two takeaways from Clemson’s first second-round win since 2018.

Clemson basketball delivers with PJ Hall, Ian Schieffelin in foul trouble

Hall received his second foul with 6:16 left in the half, and Schieffelin got his second with 4:25 remaining, forcing both to sit for the rest of the period.

Even without their leading scorer and rebounder, the Tigers went on a 10-5 run to end the half with a 35-25 lead. The crucial run featured two free throws from Girard, a dunk from Chauncey Wiggins and two 3-pointers from Hunter. Baylor’s offense was stunted by Clemson’s defensive length, which complemented its offense that carved up the Bears in transition.

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