St. Mary’s built a 12-point first-half lead in the first round of the NCAA West Regional Thursday, but Clemson came back to win, 83-70, at Boise State Pavilion.
The victory sent Clemson (19-10) into a second-round game against No. 1 Arizona Saturday.
The Gaels (25-5) had a 33-21 lead with just under six minutes to play in the first half, largely because of guard Al Lewis, who scored 21 points in the first half, making four of six three-point shots. He finished with 26.
But with St. Mary’s center Dan Curry on the bench with two fouls late in the first half, Clemson started to come back. By halftime, the Gaels’ lead was only six points.
In the second half, Clemson’s inside pair of Elden Campbell and Dale Davis--both of whom committed two fouls in the first half--took over. Davis, who did not score before halftime, finished with 18 points. Campbell had just four points at halftime but finished with 20. Campbell also blocked four shots, several of them down the stretch as St. Mary’s tried to rally.
Clemson tied the score, 50-50, on a three-pointer by freshman David Young, who scored 19 points.
A technical was called on the St. Mary’s bench as coaches argued a foul call. Young made both free throws, then added another three-pointer on the awarded possession.
Clemson, which has beaten Duke, Georgia Tech and North Carolina this season, now gets a crack at the No. 1 Wildcats.
“I like the idea of going out and playing No. 1,” Clemson Coach Cliff Ellis said. “Who wouldn’t relish it?”
DePaul 66, Memphis State 63--Terence Greene’s two free throws with nine seconds left enabled the Blue Demons to hold off the Tigers.
Memphis State’s Elliott Perry missed a three-pointer at the buzzer. Perry also had a chance to tie it with 16 seconds left, but missed the second of two free throws.
Stanley Brundy, former Crenshaw High School player, scored 20 points for DePaul (21-11).
Rodney Douglas scored 16 for Memphis State (21-11).