CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) Aamir Simms had 16 points, Al-Amir Dawes added 15 and Clemson turned up the defense to beat No. 25 Louisville 54-50 and break a three-game losing streak Wednesday night.
It was a much needed lift for the Tigers (10-4, 4-4 Atlantic Coast Conference), who were ranked as high as No. 12 this season until dropping their past three by an average of 24 points
The prospects of ending it against the Cardinals (10-4, 5-3) and their dynamic scorer Carlik Jones seemed slim, too, with Louisville averaging better than 70 points.
However, Clemson clamped down throughout the contest and held Jones, an 18-point a game scorer, to just 11 points on 4-of-14 shooting. He missed five of his six attempts from behind the arc.
Hunter Tyson’s jumper with 7:34 left put the Tigers up for good while Louisville couldn’t buy a bucket as it missed six of its next seven shots.
When Dawes connected for his fourth 3-pointer of the game with 2:51 left, Clemson had its biggest lead of the game at 49-41.
Louisville closed to 49-45, but Simms converted a three-point play to build back the lead.
The Cardinals, who shot 32%, had their fewest points in a game this season.
Louisville came in hoping to stay in that next tier behind Virginia, perfect so far in the league at 7-0. The Cardinals bounced back from two straight defeats with a win over Duke this past Saturday and hoped to carry that momentum into Clemson.
But the Tigers have won the past two meetings here including a 77-62 drubbing over then-No. 5 Louisville a season ago.
This game was originally set for March 3 until both team has to postpone contests with Boston College this week (Clemson on Tuesday, Louisville this coming Saturday) because of coronavirus concerns within the Eagles program. So the ACC sent the Cardinals South and freed up the March date for potential make up games for both teams.
THE BIG PICTURE
Louisville: Perhaps the Cardinals should look at not playing at Clemson. It was the fourth straight defeat for Louisville on the road against the Tigers. Their only win here came in Dec. 1973.
Clemson: What to make of the Tigers this season? They’ve rallied in the second half of all four of their ACC victories this season including against ranked opponents in Florida State and Louisville, the last after getting outplayed in the second halves of sizeable defeats to Virginia, Georgia Tech and the Seminoles.
Louisville: Hosts Georgia Tech on Monday.
Clemson: At Duke on Saturday. —
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