Clemson hangs on, Louisville drops sixth straight

In the end just another loss. Better but a similar result, Clemson beating the University of Louisville basketball team 83-70 Wednesday night in South Carolina.

At times UofL played well. But again turnovers were the main culprit, along with a bevy of missed defensive assignments.

Clemson (14-3, 6-0) goes into Saturdays game hosting Duke as the surprise leader of the Atlantic Coast Conference. Louisville (2-15, 0-6) will host North Carolina at the KFC Yum! Center at 2 p.m. the same day.

A lot of UofL’s  mistakes were self inflicted. Jae’ Lyn Withers twice let the ball go off his hands out of bounds. El Ellis made mistakes but played 40 minutes. Sidney Curry couldn’t guard consistently in the post.

Another game with more turnovers , 21, than assists 10. Clemson scored 18 points off those miscues.The Cardinals did make nine of 20 3-point attempts and shot 40.7 percent overall from the floor. Mike James led the Cards with 17 points, Ellis added 12 but shot four of 16 from the field and had five assists. J.J.Traynor added nine points and five rebounds continues off the bench.

Withers had 11 points but turned the ball over three times in 21 minutes.

“You can’t have those mistakes against good teams like Clemson,” said coach Kenny Payne. “I feel like we’re getting better but we have to have more resistance. I liked the second half. When we got back in the game, we got the ball in the paint, we got to the basket on drives.”
Payne was unhappy with the lapses that cost this team. It usually happens once or twice a game. “It lasts for four, five, six minutes then we find ways to get it back. But it cost us.

“If you get tired that’s why I’m conditioning you to play through the fatigue. It’s not punishment. I’m trying to get you to play through it. Don’t lay in it. Go play. Be disciplined in what you do. Don’t try to get it all back on offense.”

Louisville jumped to a quick 16-7 lead early but trailed 40-28 at halftime. The Cards got within seven points late but Ellis shot an air ball three and the Tigers rebounded and the rally was over.

“We can’t have starters not give us anything,” said Payne. “We get nothing out of the three man. I told them this is the best team in our league and look at what we did.”

All too familiar.

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Ed Peak

Ed Peak has covered UofL sports since 1973, as a student reporter, as a correspondent for the Courier-Journal, a freelancer for the Associated Press and United Press International, as well as ScoreCard, Fox Sports and CBS radio.

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