CLEMSON, S.C. — Knocking off a team ranked inside the top 5 of both polls for the second time on the season, the Clemson University men's basketball team upset No. 5 Louisville at Littlejohn Coliseum on Saturday. The Tigers put together a dominant defensive performance and led for the vast majority of contest en route to collecting an emphatic 77-62 victory over the Cardinals.
Shooting 51 percent from the floor, Clemson (13-12, 7-8) was quite efficient on the day. The Tigers also netted nine 3-pointers and made 18-of-23 free throws. Louisville (21-5, 12-3) finished with a shooting percentage of 34.8 and connected on six treys to go along with its 39 rebounds. The Tigers, who pulled down 34 rebounds, amassed 16 points off turnovers and recorded 22 points in the paint. Furthermore, Clemson boasted a lead for 38:40 of action.
John Newman III manned the charge for the Tigers with a career-high 23 points. Newman made the most of his offensive opportunities, going 7-for-9 on field goal attempts and a perfect 7-for-7 on free throw attempts. The seven free throws marked a new career high for Newman, who also hauled in six rebounds. Tevin Mack went 6-for-9 from the field and attained five boards. With 14 points in the contest, Mack surpassed the 1,000-point mark for his career. He has produced 50 double-digit scoring performances in his career. Aamir Simms registered 13 points, six assists and four rebounds, and Clyde Trapp notched 10 points and nine boards.
Clemson raced out to a commanding lead, going up 18-5 just under seven minutes into the game after stringing together a 14-0 run. Louisville was held scoreless for 6:36 during that stretch. Limiting the Cardinals to 15.6 percent shooting in the first half, the Tigers boasted a sizable 31-14 advantage at halftime. Newman sparked Clemson with 11 points through 20 minutes of play, driving to the hoop for several hard-fought baskets.
Louisville did not score over the course of the final 3:14 of the first half and went on to trail by double digits for the entire second half. Thanks to a 10-0 run, the Cardinals were able to pull within 11 with 11:02 remaining. Soon afterward, Simms and Newman built Clemson's lead back up to 18 via 3-balls on back-to-back Tiger possessions. Clemson led by as many as 21 points, and Newman put a bow on the win with a thunderous breakaway dunk off an inbound pass with 1:24 left in the game. Once the final buzzer sounded, Clemson students celebrated the 77-62 upset victory by rushing the court.