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Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Rapid reaction: Clemson 70, UAB 52

By Brian Bennett

DAYTON, Ohio -- The first half of the First Four has wrapped up. Here's a quick recap of Clemson's 70-52 win over UAB in Tuesday's nightcap at University of Dayton Arena.

Turning point: Probably the moment the NCAA selection committee decided to put UAB in the field. Seriously, the Blazers were outmatched from the start against a Clemson team that didn't boast a glittering résumé either. Clemson jumped out to a 25-7 lead, grew the edge to 20 points in the second half and never let UAB get closer than eight points after the opening five minutes.

Key stat: Clemson completely owned the paint, with a 24-point edge in that area in the first half alone. It finished with a 40-12 advantage. The Tigers shot 58 percent on 2-point field goals for the game. UAB, meanwhile, had little else going for it except the 3-point shot. The Blazers hit 12 3s, which was more than the rest of their made field goals (six) and free throws (four) combined.

Star player: Jerai Grant. The son of Harvey and nephew of Horace did his family proud by scoring 22 points and grabbing eight rebounds. He was 10-of-16 from the field, and UAB had no answer for the Clemson big man.

What's next: The Tigers advanced to play East Regional No. 5 seed West Virginia in Tampa on Thursday. That's not a bad matchup for Clemson, which will look to be the first team to win a second game after starting the opening round in Dayton.