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Memphis welcomes No. 13 Clemson after long road trip

memphis-welcomes-no.-13-clemson-after-long-road-trip

No. 13 Clemson will look to keep its undefeated streak alive when it hits the road to take on Memphis on Saturday afternoon.

Clemson (9-0) is fresh off a 74-66 victory over TCU in the Hall of Fame series in Toronto, Canada, last Saturday.

Clemson held a slim 36-35 lead over the Horned Frogs at halftime, but a 21-7 run midway through the second half helped the Tigers create separation from Jamie Dixon’s team, which was 7-0 entering the matchup.

Joseph Girard III led Clemson with 21 points, while PJ Hall tallied 17 and Ian Schieffelin recorded 14 points and nine rebounds. RJ Godfrey added a team-high 10 rebounds and four points off the bench.

“Really proud of our team,” Clemson coach Brad Brownell said. “We knew that we had a chance to have a really good team this year if the guys just came together and stayed coachable and hungry, and they’ve done that. Obviously, Joe has been a big part of it.”

Girard was 3 of 8 from behind the arc, which moved him into seventh place on the ACC’s all-time 3-point list with 325 career treys. Hall leads the Tigers in points (20.1 per game) and blocked shots (2.3 per game).

Girard, who transferred to Clemson after four seasons with Syracuse, topped 20 points for the third time this season. He’s the Tigers’ second-leading scorer at 15.1 points per game, but he also ranks second on the team in assists (3.4 per game) and leads Clemson in minutes played per outing (31.8).

“He’s done an unbelievable job of assimilating with our team,” Brownell said. “Our guys have welcomed him with open arms and made him feel like he’s a big part of it.”

Memphis (7-2) enters the matchup with Clemson having won two straight despite playing one of the toughest early-season schedules in the country.

Memphis won at Missouri, beat Michigan, won at then-No-20 Arkansas, lost to Villanova in the Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament and lost at Ole Miss. Undaunted, the Tigers rebounded by winning back-to-back road games at VCU — in overtime — and at then-No. 21 Texas A&M.

Following the win over the Aggies, which concluded a six-game road trip, head coach Anfernee Hardaway is looking forward to getting back to the friendly confines of home.

“We’re excited because we know what we just accomplished,” Hardaway said. “But man, it’s out sixth game on the road, we’re kind of exhausted. It will be nice to get back home.”

Veteran forward David Jones has been Memphis’ best player. He leads Memphis in minutes (31.6), points (20.1), rebounds (6.6) and steals (2.4) per game.

Alabama transfer Jahvon Quinerly, who is fresh off a season-high 24-point performance against the Aggies, is second behind Jones in minutes (30.9) and scoring (13.3) per game. But he leads Hardaway’s team in assists (4.8 an outing) and is shooting a team-best 86.1 percent (31 of 36) from the free-throw line.

–Field Level Media

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