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Welcome to Paradise: Clemson in the Virgin Islands – Friday

Nov. 19, 2010

Friday featured the first round of the Paradise Jam, and it proved to be a successful afternoon for the Clemson basketball squad. The Tigers jumped out to an early lead on Long Beach State and never looked back, notching a 69-55 win over the 49ers to advance to the winner’s bracket. Clemson next plays at 6:00 PM on Sunday, Nov. 21 against Old Dominion.

Clemson did a number of things well in the win over Long Beach State. First of all, the Tigers shot over 50 percent from the field for the third straight game. Most importantly, Clemson hit 10 out of 17 shots from three-point range for a season-best 59 percent. Six different players hit a three-point goal, including Andre Young who led the team with four makes. One of his makes was a patented, clutch jumper from the 5-foot-9 junior. He took an inbounds pass from Tanner Smith and hit a three while fading away to send the Tigers into the half with a 13-point advantage.

It was eerily similar to the three he hit last March to send Clemson into the locker room with momentum over Georgia Tech on Senior Day at Littlejohn Coliseum.

Speaking of Smith, he apparently enjoys playing against Long Beach State. In two career games, he has posted a career-high 17 points in both. He shot the ball well, converting on 4-of-7 field goals, 2-of-3 from long range, and 7-of-7 from the charity stripe. That was a far cry from the 1-of-6 anomaly versus Western Carolina a week ago.

One of the keys to the game was slowing down 49ers point guard Casper Ware, a junior who went for 20 points and 10 assists against Clemson last season in the 76 Classic. Ware struggled to 3-of-11 shooting for just seven points. One of Long Beach State’s other stars, T.J. Robinson, had a monster game with 25 points and 15 rebounds in the loss last year to the Tigers. It looked like Robinson was headed for that kind of night in the first half when he had nine points and six rebounds. However, the Tigers adjusted at the half and Robinson was held scoreless in the second frame. Brownell credited his defense during his postgame interview with the Clemson radio network.

Clemson and Old Dominion have played three times on the hardwood, with the Tigers claiming the last two victories during a home-and-home in 2006 and 2007. The win at 2006 was the clincher at the Cox Communications Classic on ODU’s home floor. The Monarchs defeated Saint Peter’s 59-52 on Friday.

On Saturday, the team gets a break from the tournament action and will partake in a snorkeling tour. will be on hand to document the experience, so you’ll want to check back on the Web site late in the afternoon for photos and stories. Go Tigers!