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Clemson backcourt leads Tigers past Seminoles

William Stehn
Clemson guard Joseph Girard III dribbles into the paint in the Tigers’ game against Florida State in Littlejohn Coliseum on Feb. 24, 2024.

Despite PJ Hall logging his fewest minutes in a game this season, Clemson’s backcourt came through against Florida State on Saturday night, defeating the Seminoles 74-63 in Littlejohn Coliseum. 

While the Seminoles came within five points down the stretch of the game, Clemson (19-8, 9-7 ACC) ultimately held onto its lead for the game’s final 35 minutes and came away with the 11-point victory.

Getting in foul trouble early, Hall only managed to see the court for 16 minutes, his lowest number of minutes in a game since Nov. 26, 2022, when he played 14 minutes against Cal. That said, Joseph Girard III, Chase Hunter and RJ Godfrey made up for Hall’s lack of playing time and combined for 52 points.

Girard led the way for the Tigers, scoring a team-high 24 points on 5-for-12 shooting and 4-for-11 from beyond the arc. The former Syracuse transfer converted on all 10 of his free throw attempts, six of which came in the game’s final two minutes to help put the game away.  

Hall finished with 7 points and two rebounds and picked up four fouls. Providing relief for his foul troubles, Godfrey had one of his best games of the season, finishing with 12 points, six rebounds, two blocks and two steals against the Seminoles (14-13, 8-8 ACC).

“I thought RJ was terrific. Maybe his best game at Clemson, and we certainly needed it,” Clemson head coach Brad Brownell said. “Certainly, his athleticism, speed and finishing around the rim was big-time.”

“I wanted to come in and play with energy,” Godfrey said. 

Hunter, meanwhile, poured in 16 points, three of which came off a 3-pointer as time expired in the first half to give the Tigers a 10-point lead heading into the break. 

“I think Chase has really played very well here lately,” Brownell said. “Some of it is shot-making. He was playing okay earlier; he just really wasn’t making any shots the first half of the conference season. Now, he’s making more shots.”

With the win, Clemson defeated Florida State for the teams’ fourth consecutive matchup for the first time in program history.

Clemson’s defense had one of its best showings of the season Saturday, as the Tigers forced 12 turnovers and held Florida State to 36.9% shooting from the floor. The Tigers also had nine blocks on the night, with Hall and Godfrey both having two. 

The Tigers will be back in action on Feb. 27 when they host Pittsburgh in hopes of climbing the ACC standings as March approaches.

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About the Contributors
Justin Robertson
Justin Robertson, Associate Editor
William Stehn
William Stehn, Asst. Photo Editor
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