Clemson is 6-0 in the ACC. That’s a line that was written and voiced for the first time ever Wednesday night after the Tigers fought off Louisville 83-70 in Littlejohn Coliseum. The 6-0 start betters the 5-0 run by the 1996-97 team that reached the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. The Tigers also have won their last 10 regular season ACC games.
Clemson trailed early by 9 at 16-7 but turned up their defense forcing 8 turnovers and outscoring the Cardinals 33-12 the rest of the half to lead 40-28 at halftime. Louisville made just 4 of their last 14 shots in the half.
Clemson maintained a comfortable second half lead most of the way. The Cardinals did close to within 6 points twice, the last time at 76-70 with 1:12 to play. But PJ Hall scored a layup and a free throw, and Hunter Tyson and Chase Hunter each hit a pair of free throws to kill off any threat of a Louisville rally.
The second half was plagued by fouls and free throws. 30 fouls were called in the second half alone, 41 for the game. The Tigers, the ACC’s top free throw shooting team, hit 16-19 from the line in the second half while the Cards were 13-17. There was so much fouling, Clemson had just 6 field goal attempts for the final eight minutes of the game and made 4 of them compared to 14 made free throws.
Tyson continued his All-ACC level of play with his 9th double-double of the season with 28 points and 11 rebounds. He had half of the Tigers’ 8 three pointers. Chase Hunter followed with 13 points and he tied his career high with 7 rebounds.
Clemson is now 14-3 overall and will attempt to get to 7-0 in the ACC against Duke at home Saturday afternoon. Louisville falls to 2-15 and 0-6 in the ACC.