Clemson Downs LaSalle, 81-69

Junior point guard Edward Scott and senior forward Jamar McKnight combined for 38 points and both registered career highs in leading Clemson to an 81-69 victory over LaSalle in the second round of the Paradise Jam in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. The Tigers improved to 2-0 for the season, while LaSalle fell to 1-1.

Clemson will now meet the winner of the Miami (FL) vs. Alabama-Birmingham game on Tuesday evening at 7:45 PM. The Miami (Fla) vs. UAB contest was to be played Monday night following the Clemson game.

This marks the first time since 1998-99 that Clemson has begun the year with consecutive victories. Tuesday the Tigers will attempt to win a three-game regular season tournament for the first time since December of 1980 when Clemson won the Rainbow Classic with consecutive wins over Louisiana Tech, Indiana and Hawaii.

Scott scored 25 points on the night, seven more than his previous high of 18 set against Penn State during his freshman year. McKnight added 13 points on 5-9 shooting, one higher than his previous high of 12 set last season against Western Carolina.Ray Henderson was also in double figures with 10 points and he was the team's leading rebounder with eight. Chris Hobbs and Tony Stockman added eight points apiece for the Tigers, who played 10 players, all of whom scored.

LaSalle, who was playing Clemson for the first time since the two teams met in the 1990 NCAA Tournament, was led by junior forward Rasual Butler, who had 26 points on 10-23 shooting. Rasheed Quadri, a freshman guard from Boston, MA, added 19 points and 12 rebounds.

Clemson jumped out to a quick start and led 19-7 just six minutes into the game. Jamar McKnight scored seven points in the streak, and his three-point shot gave Clemson the 19-7 lead. Clemson continued to push the ball up the floor and expanded the advantage to 21 points at 39-18 with six minutes left in the half. It was a balanced performance for the Tigers, who made 13 of their first 18 shots from the field.

LaSalle cut the lead to 44-31 by halftime, then sliced the margin to five at 54-49 with 10 minutes left. But that was as close as Billy Hahn's team could get. Scott hit a clutch three-point basket with just two seconds on the shot clock with 1:30 left to give Clemson a 10-point margin. The Tigers then made seven of 10 free throws down the stretch to win by 12 points.

Clemson played most of the game without Tony Stockman, the team's top scorer in the opening win over Morris Brown. Stockman suffered a bruised right knee in the first half, then attempted to come back in the second. But, two minutes into the second half he had to come out of the game. His status for Tuesday's game is unknown.

"Edward Scott got us off to a great start," said Head Coach Larry Shyatt. "He pushed the ball up the court with great confidence and made a couple of shots in the first half. He did a great job when Tony Stockman went out with an injury.

"LaSalle came back in the second half, give them credit, they will win some games in the Atlantic 10 this year. The difference in the game was our aggressiveness early. We came out with great emotion, went after second shots and got after it on defense.

"Most importantly we kept our poise down the stretch. We might have lost this game last year and the year before. But, we kept our composure in the last five minutes. Top Stories