Jaime Echenique scored 18 points as Wichita State topped Clemson 63-55 Sunday in a second-round NIT matchup at Clemson’s Littlejohn Coliseum.
No. 6 seed Wichita State improved to 21-14 and advanced to a third-round game at No. 1 seed Indiana on Tuesday night.
Clemson, the No. 2 seed, concluded its season 20-14.
Echenique, a junior center, made 7 of 8 shots from the floor and missed his career high by one point.
Senior forward Markis McDuffie added 16 points for the Shockers while senior guard Samajae Haynes-Jones had 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Graduate guard Marcquise Reed was the lone Clemson player in double figures with 18 points.
Wichita State built a 29-24 halftime lead behind Echenique’s 10 points and poor shooting by the Tigers, who made just 8-of-23 shots from the floor, including only 1-of-5 from 3-point range.
The Shockers then opened the second half with a 7-0 run to build a 12-point lead and led by as many as 13 before Clemson staged a late comeback. The Tigers closed to within three points, 58-55, with 1:20 remaining, but McDuffie connected on a 3-pointer that barely beat the shot clock with 34 seconds left. Dexter Dennis then sank two free throws with 12.2 seconds left to clinch the win.
Wichita State got off to a 1-6 start in the American Athletic Conference, but came on strong at season’s end and has won eight of its last nine games.
Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall, who is from nearby Greenwood, S.C., and is former head coach at nearby Winthrop, won his 500th career game last week in the Shockers’ NIT opener at Furman.
Clemson shot just 28.3 percent from the floor (15 of 53), including a 14.3 percent effort (2 of 14) from 3-point range. The Shockers shot 43.6 percent and made 8-for24 on 3-pointers (33.3 percent).
—Field Level Media