(WAVE) - Clemson (10-4, 4-4 ACC) held UofL leading scorer Carlik Jones to a season low 11 points and held the Cards to just 32% shooting from the field in a 54-50 win on Wednesday night.
Jones also scored 11 in a win at Pittsburgh on December 22, but came in averaging 22.3 points per game over the last four games.
“You know Clemson, at one point, a couple of weeks ago, was the #1 defensive team in the country and they didn’t do that by luck,” UofL head coach Chris Mack said. “They really keyed in on him. They had guys in the lane when he got the ball there, and they bodied him and rode him and put hands on him and he’s got to be able to play through contact, but you give Clemson a lot credit. They had a plan and they executed that plan defensively.”
A Samuell Williamson jumper gave the #25 Cards (10-4, 5-3) a 22-21 halftime lead. They scored the first four points of the second half to increase the lead to five, but Clemson answered.
Al-Amir Dawes scored five straight to tie the game.
Jones did hit one three-pointer, a shot that gave the Cards a 29-26 lead. He finished 4-14 from the field and 1-6 from three.
With the game tied at 37, Clemson went on a game deciding 12-4 run to seal it.
Up 46-41, Dawes hit a triple and when the Cards climbed within 49-45, Amir Simms scored in the paint and drew a foul. He completed the three-point play to extend the lead to seven. Simms finished with 16 points, 9 rebounds and 4 assists. Dawes scored 15.
UofL finished 18-57 (32%) from the field, 5-24 (21%) from three, and just 9-16 (56%) from the free throw line.
David Johnson was 0-3 from three. He finished with four points and five turnovers.
“I thought David played for the first time in awhile, really sped up,” Mack said. “As evidenced by a few of the turnovers that were unforced, just on a catch. Some of the things he did last year as a freshman, he sort of reverted to tonight. I got confidence in David, that’ll be a one game thing. He’ll turn it around, he’s a terrific player.”
The Cards are off until Monday when they host Georgia Tech (7-5, 3-3) at 2 p.m. in a game that was postponed on January 9.