PJ Hall made a layup on the first possession of the game but then aggravated his injured foot on Clemson’s next offensive trip, providing an ominous start to a game that didn’t go the Tigers’ way.
Louisville jumped out to an 11-4 lead in Hall’s absence, but Clemson battled back to take a 22-21 lead on a 3-pointer by Al-Amir Dawes with 4:44 remaining in the first half. Hall did not return to the game after his early exit.
The Cardinals took a 28-27 lead to the break and stretched the lead to as many as nine early in the second half. The Tigers gradually narrowed the gap, however, and led with as little as seven minutes left after another Dawes three gave them a 53-52 lead.
After that, is was all Louisville.
The Cardinals went on a 15-3 run over the next six minutes, ultimately notching a 70-61 win.
Noah Locke scored 15 points off the bench to lead Louisville. Cardinals star Malik Williams made his return to action and chipped in 12 points, while El Ellis added 11.
Dawes led the Tigers with 18 points off the bench on six made threes. Naz Bohannon scored 11 points and Chase Hunter 10, but Clemson simply didn’t have enough firepower without its star player in Hall.