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After first loss, No. 18 Clemson out to rebound vs. Queens


Wounded after its first loss of the season last weekend, No. 18 Clemson aims to bounce back Friday when it hosts Queens.

Clemson (9-1) fell five spots in the AP Top 25 poll this week after losing on the road at Memphis last Saturday 79-77. The visitors went cold in the second half, making just 2 of 12 shots from behind the arc. Clemson also committed 15 turnovers while forcing Memphis into just six. And in a two-point loss, five missed free throws proved decisive for Clemson.

It was, however, another game where Clemson got a solid performance out of Ian Schieffelin. It was the fourth time in the last five games that the junior forward has grabbed double-digit rebounds and the third straight game he scored in double figures. Schieffelin finished with 11 points and 11 boards against Memphis.

“I mean, I’m thankful the ball comes my way sometimes, and I make it come my way sometimes. And in the game, I have a lot of rebounds. So, whatever I’m doing, it’s been working. I have no idea,” Schieffelin said. “I always know I’m grabbing rebounds, but I’m never thinking like, ‘I’m grabbing 17 rebounds.’ It’s kind of the flow of the game and what I do. It’s just natural and how it goes.”

Schieffelin’s 9.7 rebounds per game rank second among all Atlantic Coast Conference players this season. He’s a big reason why Clemson grabs 38.1 rebounds per game as a team, fourth-best in the ACC.

PJ Hall has stepped up for Clemson on the boards, too, grabbing a career-best 7.1 rebounds per game. Hall also scored 21 points against Memphis.

Hall had the opportunity to leave Clemson, either via the NBA Draft or the transfer portal, after a strong junior season where he was voted to the All-ACC team. But he chose to return.

“I really love it here,” Hall said. “I didn’t want to leave. It would have had to have been, you know, ‘We’re taking you in the first round’ or something of that nature and even that might not have gotten me out of here.”

That decision has been important for the Tigers’ success this season, as Hall averages a team-leading 20.2 points per game.

Queens (6-7), based just up I-85 from Clemson in Charlotte, is in its second season as a Division I program. The Royals compete in the Atlantic Sun Conference after moving up last season from the South Atlantic Conference. Queens went to the Division II Final Four in 2018, and last year went 18-15.

The Royals are coming off back-to-back losses, falling at home to Appalachian State last week and on the road at Mercer on Tuesday. In the loss at Mercer, Deyton Albury led the way with 17 points. AJ McKee leads the team in scoring with 17.2 points per game.

“Knowing Queens coming up, it was small,” McKee told the Charlotte Observer earlier this season. “I want to be a part of the history that makes it big. So, when we people ask about Queens University of Charlotte, they get AJ McKee.”

Queens’ head coach is Grant Leonard. After a winning campaign in his first year at the helm, he was rewarded with a four-year extension in May.

–Field Level Media

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