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NCAAs in Memphis: No. 6 Seed Clemson Cruises Against No. 11 Seed New Mexico

Clemson's PJ Hall drives to the basket in the first half of their game against New Mexico.
Clemson's PJ Hall drives to the basket in the first half of their game against New Mexico.

The No. 6 seed Clemson Tigers defeated the No. 11 seed New Mexico Lobos 77-56 in game two of Memphis' NCAA tournament first round action.

"I just thought we played at a very high level, super competitive spirit, togetherness, toughness," said Clemson Coach Brad Brownell.

Clemson, who enters the contest 21-11, returned to FedExForum for the second time this season. The Clemson Tigers fell to the Memphis Tigers in mid-December. Since, Clemson has solidified itself among the top of the ACC. Clemson is led by senior big man PJ Hall.

New Mexico comes into the NCAA tournament after winning the Mountain West tournament. The Lobos, under head coach Richard Pitino, finished the season 26-9. The Lobos are led by Jaelen House and Jamal Mashburn Jr.

Despite the distance, New Mexico fans traveled well, outnumbering the Clemson supporters in attendance.

At the first break in the action, Clemson led 11-7. Both teams were able to score fairly easily.

New Mexico's bigs struggled to keep Ian Schieffelin and PJ Hall from scoring in the paint.

After a UNM flagrant, the Tigers extended their lead to nine points. New Mexico could not buy a stop in the first ten minutes, and, at the under-12, Clemson led 25-11.

Clemson continued to force their will inside, and their length seemed to give New Mexico fits.

Jaelen House made a diving steal attempt with six minutes to go in the half, energizing the New Mexico crowd and forcing a Clemson timeout.

The Lobos got some stops before the under-four timeout and cut their deficit to 36-23.

At the half, Clemson led 42-28. The Lobos showed signs of life after an abysmal start, but Clemson's length continued to give them issues. PJ Hall led the Tigers with 12 points.

Clemson pushed its lead right back to 20 points thanks to an impressive 9-2 start to the second half.

Like in the first half, New Mexico's defense helped them take the momentum. The Lobos responded to Clemson's run with seven straight points.

At the under-12, Clemson's led 54-40.

Once again, the Tigers regained full control of the contest after a UNM run, pushing the score to 64-45.

Jaelen House, New Mexico's leading scorer, fouled out with more than six minutes remaining in the contest.

Clemson cruised the rest of the way, advancing to play No. 3 seed Baylor on Sunday.

"We heard a lot of talk about that New Mexico was going to beat us, but we were just focused on us," said Clemson guard Chase Hunter. "We came out with some fire and intensity.

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