Jones leads No. 3 Louisville to 76-44 win over Clemson
CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) — Jazmine Jones tied her career high with 17 points and No. 3 Louisville followed up its win over No. 2 UConn with a 76-44 victory at Clemson on Saturday.
The Cardinals (21-1, 8-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) had little time to celebrate or savor their victory over the Huskies — they had lost 17 straight against UConn until Thursday night’s 78-69 victory — before traveling to Clemson.
Louisville shook off a sluggish first half to pull away, using a 32-6 run that began late in the second quarter and stretched into the final period to cruise to its seventh straight win this season and sixth in a row over the Tigers (14-8, 5-4).
Jones matched the best output of her career, accomplished twice before, including in a victory over North Carolina. She made seven of nine shots and became the top offensive threat for Louisville as leading scorer Asia Durr struggled to find her shot.
Durr, who scored 24 points against UConn, was just 5 of 16 from the field for 12 points in this one. Not that it mattered much, as Clemson could not overcome Louisville’s defensive pressure.
Clemson missed 19 straight shots during one stretch at the end of the second quarter and into the fourth as the Cardinals turned a tight game into a runaway.
Louisville and Durr came out fast with 18 straight points in the first quarter — Clemson gave up 18 in a row early in a 101-63 loss to No. 5 Notre Dame on Thursday night — to go up 18-4 less than seven minutes in. Durr had two 3-pointers and eight points during the run.
The Cardinals made seven of 10 shots during the run, while forcing five turnovers and holding the Tigers to 0-of-7 shooting during the charge.
But unlike against the Fighting Irish two days ago, the Cardinals could not keep their big lead as Clemson went on a 23-10 run over the next 10 minutes to draw within 28-27 on Tylar Bennett’s basket. That’s when Louisville found its offense once, scoring the final seven points of the half.
The surge continued into the third quarter as Louisville held Clemson to 0-for-12 shooting in the period.
Kobi Thornton led Clemson with nine points, none in the second half.
Dana Evans had 15 points for Louisville while Kylee Shook had a career-high 15 rebounds.
Louisville: The Cardinals have a chance to reach No. 1 in the next ranking, given their UConn victory. They certainly showed a steadiness and ability to move on from success that should serve them well in the postseason.
Clemson: The Tigers had been one of the ACC’s top surprises, winning five of their first six league games before losses in the past week to No. 7 North Carolina State, No. 5 Notre Dame and third-ranked Louisville.
Louisville plays host to Syracuse on Thursday night.
Clemson heads to Wake Forest on Thursday night.
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