CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) Joe Girard III had a good feeling about joining Clemson after his long career at Syracuse. So far, it has gone even better than he could've hoped.

Girard scored 24 points, hitting four 3-pointers, and the 18th-ranked Tigers pulled away early to close nonconference play with a 93-58 victory over Radford on Friday night.

Girard, had 17 points in the opening period and 12 of those during a 28-9 game-changing run as the Tigers (11-1) took control for good.

Girard leads Clemson with 38 3-pointers, hitting close to 45% of his shots behind the arc, to give his team a reliable outside threat with post players like PJ Hall and Ian Schieffelin operating down low.

Girard acknowledged that nothing's guaranteed when you switch campuses, no matter how promising your visit was. But he's found it easy to blend with his new program.

“Quite honestly, it feels like I've been here for five years,” Girard said. “These guys have been the best teammates I could've asked for and it kind of makes playing fun.”

Clemson is having a lot of fun this season, its only stumble a 79-77 loss at No. 19 Memphis earlier this month. The Tigers lead the Atlantic Coast Conference in the NET rankings, a key component for NCAA Tournament resumes, at No. 12.

“It's been a lot better than I could've asked for,” he said.

Girard's four threes gave him 335 for his career, moving him to fifth in the ACC in that category.

“That's crazy. I didn't even realize that," teammate PJ Hall said to Girard when asked about the milestone.

Radford (10-5), coming off a last-second 66-65 win at West Virginia on Dec. 20, could not hold up against another power conference opponent and fell to 0-5 against Clemson.

Hall added 17 points and Chase Hunter 16 for the Tigers, who'll jump back into Atlantic Coast Conference with their next game at Miami on Wednesday night.

Kenyon Giles led Radford with 17 points.

Radford, behind Giles' 12 points in the first 10 minutes, stayed close and trailed 21-14 after DaQuan Smith's bucket with 9:47 left in the half. Clemson answered with the dominant run to the half for a 49-23 lead to put things out of reach.

The Tigers led by 43 points in the second half and held Radford, which came in averaging 74.6 points, to its second- lowest output this season.


Radford: The Highlanders are 0-3 against ranked opponents this season, previously losing to then-No. 19 North Carolina and then-No. 24 James Madison last month. But without injured forward Justin Archer, hurt in the win at West Virginia, Radford could not matchup with Clemson.

Clemson: The Tigers close their nonconference schedule they way they drew it up in the preseason with 10 of 11 victories. Early losses a year ago to struggling opponents like South Carolina and Loyola-Chicago likely kept Clemson out of the NCAA Tournament.


Clemson coach Brad Brownell spent part of his afternoon before the game tuned in to the football team's wild, 38-35 last second win over Kentucky in the Gator Bowl. Brownell and football coach Dabo Swinney have been a model of stability at Clemson, Swinney leading his team since 2008 and Brownell joining the school for the 2010-22 season. “It was a great day,” Brownell said with a smile. Football “had 'em all the way.”


Radford: Opens Big South Conference play at home against High Point on Wednesday night.

Clemson: Returns to ACC play Wednesday night at Miami.

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