Chase Hunter sank two free throws with three seconds remaining to give Clemson a 77-76 win over UAB on Friday in the first round of the Asheville (N.C.) Championship.
Trailing by nine points with just under seven minutes remaining, the Tigers (2-0) rallied to advance to the championship game on Sunday. They will meet Davidson, which defeated Maryland 64-61 on Friday.
Eric Gaines had a semi-open look from 3-point range in the last second, but his miss sealed a loss for the Blazers (0-2). UAB will oppose the Terrapins on Sunday in the consolation game.
P.J. Hall led the Tigers with 27 points on 11-of-18 shooting from the floor and produced game highs with nine rebounds and three blocked shots. Hunter contributed 16 points for Clemson, and Ian Schieffelin added eight points.
Gaines paced the Blazers with 18 points while teammate Efrem Johnson scored 17 points, with both of them hitting three 3-pointers. Alejandro Vasquez added 11 points.
UAB finished with a 39-26 rebounding edge and a 34-22 advantage on points in the paint. Clemson shot 49.1 percent from the floor to the Blazers’ 46.7 percent.
A Schieffelin three-point play started the Tigers’ second-half comeback, and 3-pointers from Hunter and Chauncey Wiggins led to a 67-67 tie with 5:27 to go.
Clemson soon went up by five, but treys from Johnson and Gaines gave UAB a 73-72 edge with 52 seconds left.
Hall’s three-point play with 29 seconds to play put the Tigers up by two, but Johnson replied by sinking a go-ahead 3-pointer with nine seconds left.
Will Shaver then fouled Hunter to set up the winning foul shots.
–Field Level Media
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