CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) PJ Hall didn't like losing and he made sure No. 18 Clemson would not have to endure another frustrating few days thinking about defeat.

Hall scored 20 of his 27 points in the opening half as the Tigers bounced back from their first loss of the season with a 109-79 victory over Queens on Friday night.

“It was really kind of a professional approach,” Hall said. “That's what coach was getting on us all week, making sure we weren't taking this for granted.”

Joe Girard III and RJ Godfrey added 19 points each - a career-best for Godfrey - for Clemson, which lost 79-77 at No. 23 Memphis last Saturday to end its perfect start to the season.

It didn't take long for the Tigers (10-1) to gain control in their first-ever meeting with Queens (6-8) of the Atlantic Sun Conference with a 33-9 run over the final seven minutes of the opening half for a 69-36 lead at the break.

“Our first half offense was ridiculous,” Clemson coach Brad Brownell said as his team shot 71.1% (27 of 38). “With 16 assists, one turnover, some of the shotmaking was outstanding.”

It was the most points Clemson has scored in a game in Brownell's 14 seasons.

Queens, which averages 80 points a game, stuck close to the Tigers much of the first half and was down just 36-27 after Bryce Cash's 3-point play with 7:25 left before halftime. That's when Clemson closed with its back-breaking run.

Hall, a senior, had the highest scoring first half of his career on 8-of-10 shooting. Girard, the Syracuse transfer, had 16 points in the period with three 3-pointers. Both sat for much of the second half as Clemson maintained the sizeable edge.

Godfrey surpassed his previous best of 12 set earlier this season in a win over Winthrop.

BJ McLaurin and AJ McKee had 18 points apiece to lead Queens, which finished with five scorers in double figures.

“They're relentless in their style,” Brownell said of Queens. “They just keep coming at you.”


Queens: The Royals are in their second season of a four-year transition to college basketball's top classification. They'll need to find a way to win on the road, having lost all six true road contests this season.

Clemson: The Tigers, who lead the ACC in the NET rankings, were expected to dominate overmatched Queens and they did. That hasn't always been the case during Brownell's tenure including last year where early losses to South Carolina and Loyola Chicago helped keep the 23-win team out of the NCAA Tournament.


Brownell compared his team's fast start to Clemson's first half in its second-round NCAA Tournament contest with Auburn in 2018, when it opened a 43-19 lead by halftime on the way to their last appearance in the Sweet 16. “You have a couple of those halves a year,” he said. “It's good to see the ball go in the basket for a lot of guys.”


Queens goes from one ranked ACC opponent to another, playing at No. 21 Duke on Dec. 30.

Clemson takes on Radford on Dec. 29.


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