LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Clemson University men’s basketball fell to the No. 6/5 Louisville on Saturday, 80-62.Louisville (17-3, 8-1) shot the ball well on the day, garnering a 48.1-percent shooting mark from the floor. Clemson (10-9, 4-5) was 34.4 percent on field goal attempts and knocked down 11 3-pointers. The Cardinals benefited from an 18-of-22 performance at the free throw line.
Louisville also outrebounded Clemson 41-29 and connected on 12 3-balls. The Tigers forced 12 turnovers and racked up 28 points off the bench.
Playing for the first time since an ankle injury sidelined him in November, Alex Hemenway was an X-factor off the bench for the Tigers. The freshman scored a season-high eight points, all of which came in the second half. Chase Hunter, another Clemson freshman, netted a pair of 3-point shots in his 8-point outing. Clyde Trapp was the leading scorer for the Tigers with 11 points to go along with his three assists, and Clemson’s Tevin Mack, who scored six points, corralled a team-high eight rebounds. Darius Perry manned the charge for Louisville with a game-high 19 points on 7-of-12 shooting.
The contest was competitive early on, as a 3-pointer by Clemson’s John Newman III at the 13:51 mark of the first half made the score 11-9 in favor of Louisville. However, the Cardinals proceeded to outscore the Tigers 20-0 over the course of the next 5:43 of play. Louisville capped off that barrage by taking a 31-9 lead with 8:22 on the game clock.Late in the first half, Hunter knocked down his aforementioned treys on back-to-back Clemson possessions, cutting the Tigers’ deficit to 16 points.
The Cardinals, who shot 65.5 percent from the floor in the opening 20 minutes of action, led 47-26 at halftime, though, and maintained their advantage throughout the second half. The Tigers trailed by as many as 26 points in the second half but did not give in, as Hemenway sparked a turnaround that saw Clemson pull to within 13 points down the stretch. Ultimately, Louisville was able to hold off Clemson.