55
TF 10
FINAL
End
2nd
ESPN
Sat Feb. 16
12:00pm
BONUS
56
TF 7
ML: +176
LVILLE -4.5, O/U 131.5
ML: -207
CLEM
LVILLE

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No. 16 Louisville avoids late disaster, beats Clemson 56-55

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) Five days after watching a 23-point second-half lead disappear, No. 16 Louisville found itself on the brink of another calamity on Saturday.

The Cardinals beat Clemson 56-55, but they led by seven with 17 seconds remaining, and the Tigers had two chances in the final seconds to walk off the court with a win.

Louisville snapped a two-game losing skid, but the final seconds stirred echoes of those games, including No. 2 Duke's memorable comeback on Tuesday, in which the Cardinals (18-8, 9-4 Atlantic Coast Conference) saw double-digit second-half leads evaporate. It was also reminiscent of Virginia's miracle last March, when the Cavaliers scored five points in the final 0.9 seconds to beat the Cardinals.

''Down the stretch again, we have to figure out ways to close games better,'' first-year Louisville coach Chris Mack said. ''I told our team mental errors and physical errors cannot be tolerated in winning time.''

Steven Enoch's free throw gave Louisville a 56-49 lead. Marcquise Reed hit a 3-pointer to cut the deficit to four, and then the Tigers forced a held ball and a subsequent turnover that led to another 3 by Reed, making it a one-point game with 3.5 seconds left.

After a Louisville timeout, Jordan Nwora tried to inbound the ball to Dwayne Sutton, who fell. The ball went right to Reed in the lane, but Nwora blocked his driving floater. John Newman III got the offensive rebound, but his fadeaway jumper missed just before time expired.

Louisville led 48-41 with 3:40 to go after a 3-pointer by Christen Cunningham, but Elijah Thomas scored the next six points for Clemson to cut the lead to one. Thomas, a senior forward, had a chance to give the Tigers the lead, but he missed two free throws with 1:17 left.

''You think about the ones you didn't make, but Marcquise jumped up and made some to give us the one-possession game,'' Clemson coach Brad Brownell said. ''It's unfortunate, because our kids competed so hard today and they probably deserved a little better.''

Nwora got fouled on a dunk on Louisville's ensuing possession, and after the sophomore's three-point play it seemed like the Cardinals would escape, albeit not nearly in such dramatic fashion.

Cunningham, a graduate transfer, scored 16 of his 18 points in the second half to rally the Cardinals, who trailed by seven early in the second half.

''Obviously, we could've finished better, we could've closed better, but it's a lot better feeling today than it was Tuesday,'' he said.

Louisville was held to a season-low 19 first-half points thanks to shooting a season-worst 29.6 percent in the half. While Clemson wasn't much better at 37 percent, the Tigers took a four-point lead at the break thanks to a 3-pointer just before the buzzer by Clyde Trapp.

Thomas led the Tigers (15-10, 5-7) with 15 points. Reed had 13 points and 12 rebounds.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

With the loss to Duke earlier in the week, the Cardinals are still likely to drop when the next Top 25 comes out on Monday. However, Saturday's win should keep them from falling near the bottom of the poll.

BIG PICTURE

Clemson: The Tigers dictated play with their physicality inside and defense. Clemson held the Cardinals to season low in points, shooting percentage (35.2) and offensive rebounds (three). They could not keep it up for the entire game, as Louisville used an 11-2 run to take the lead for good with 5:59 remaining, but they still had a chance for an upset in the closing seconds.

Louisville: After losing three of their previous four, the Cardinals looked anything but great. The Cardinals' play in the closing seconds is something Mack needs to address immediately.

UP NEXT

Louisville travels to Syracuse Wednesday night.

Clemson hosts No. 17 Florida State on Tuesday night.

---

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Key Players
Min. Per Game
Pts. Per Game
Ast. Per Game
Reb. Per Game
Field Goal %
Three Point %
Free Throw %
  Offensive rebound by John Newman III 1.0
  Marcquise Reed missed jump shot, blocked by Jordan Nwora 1.0
  Bad pass turnover on Jordan Nwora, stolen by Marcquise Reed 2.0
+ 3 Marcquise Reed made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Elijah Thomas 2.0
  Lost ball turnover on Dwayne Sutton, stolen by Elijah Thomas 7.0
+ 3 Marcquise Reed made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Clyde Trapp 9.0
+ 1 Steven Enoch made 2nd of 2 free throws 16.0
+ 1 Steven Enoch made 2nd of 2 free throws 16.0
  Steven Enoch missed 1st of 2 free throws 16.0
  Personal foul on David Skara 16.0
  Defensive rebound by Steven Enoch 19.0
Team Stats
Points 55 56
Field Goals 22-57 (38.6%) 19-54 (35.2%)
3-Pointers 6-13 (46.2%) 6-19 (31.6%)
Free Throws 5-7 (71.4%) 12-14 (85.7%)
Total Rebounds 42 29
Offensive 10 3
Defensive 29 25
Team 3 1
Assists 8 8
Steals 5 5
Blocks 2 3
Turnovers 17 12
Fouls 17 12
Technicals 0 0
15 PTS, 7 REB, 2 AST
18 PTS, 2 REB, 5 AST
12T
away team logo Clemson 15-10 233255
home team logo 16 Louisville 18-8 193756
Team Stats
away team logo Clemson 15-10 69.2 PPG 38.3 RPG 12.2 APG
home team logo 16 Louisville 18-8 74.5 PPG 40.6 RPG 13.4 APG
Key Players
14
E. Thomas F 13.1 PPG 7.8 RPG 1.4 APG 62.3 FG%
1
C. Cunningham G 9.8 PPG 2.2 RPG 4.9 APG 46.9 FG%
Top Scorers
E. Thomas F 15 PTS 7 REB 2 AST
C. Cunningham G 18 PTS 2 REB 5 AST
38.6 FG% 35.2
46.2 3PT FG% 31.6
71.4 FT% 85.7
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
E. Thomas 15 7 2 6/12 0/0 3/5 4 21 1 1 5 2 5
M. Reed 13 12 2 5/18 3/5 0/0 2 39 2 0 2 3 9
S. Mitchell 12 2 1 4/13 2/5 2/2 0 35 1 0 0 0 2
D. Skara 4 2 0 2/2 0/0 0/0 5 23 1 0 1 1 1
A. Simms 2 9 1 1/5 0/2 0/0 1 32 0 0 4 3 6
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
E. Thomas 15 7 2 6/12 0/0 3/5 4 21 1 1 5 2 5
M. Reed 13 12 2 5/18 3/5 0/0 2 39 2 0 2 3 9
S. Mitchell 12 2 1 4/13 2/5 2/2 0 35 1 0 0 0 2
D. Skara 4 2 0 2/2 0/0 0/0 5 23 1 0 1 1 1
A. Simms 2 9 1 1/5 0/2 0/0 1 32 0 0 4 3 6
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
C. Trapp 7 4 2 3/3 1/1 0/0 0 25 0 0 3 0 4
J. Newman III 2 2 0 1/2 0/0 0/0 1 10 0 0 0 1 1
J. White 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 1 3 0 0 0 0 0
T. Jemison 0 1 0 0/2 0/0 0/0 3 12 0 1 1 0 1
H. Tyson - - - - - - - - - - - - -
L. Davis - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Baehre - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. William - - - - - - - - - - - - -
P. Fox - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 55 39 8 22/57 6/13 5/7 17 200 5 2 17 10 29
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
C. Cunningham 18 2 5 6/11 2/3 4/5 1 38 2 0 2 0 2
J. Nwora 11 4 0 4/13 0/5 3/3 4 31 3 2 6 1 3
D. Sutton 4 2 0 2/9 0/2 0/0 1 34 0 0 1 0 2
M. Williams 4 7 0 1/4 0/1 2/2 2 18 0 1 0 0 7
K. Fore 2 1 0 1/3 0/1 0/0 0 18 0 0 0 1 0
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
C. Cunningham 18 2 5 6/11 2/3 4/5 1 38 2 0 2 0 2
J. Nwora 11 4 0 4/13 0/5 3/3 4 31 3 2 6 1 3
D. Sutton 4 2 0 2/9 0/2 0/0 1 34 0 0 1 0 2
M. Williams 4 7 0 1/4 0/1 2/2 2 18 0 1 0 0 7
K. Fore 2 1 0 1/3 0/1 0/0 0 18 0 0 0 1 0
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
D. Perry 8 2 0 3/4 2/3 0/0 1 16 0 0 1 0 2
S. Enoch 6 8 0 1/7 1/2 3/4 3 22 0 0 0 1 7
R. McMahon 3 1 3 1/3 1/2 0/0 0 21 0 0 2 0 1
V. King 0 1 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 2 0 0 0 0 1
A. Agau - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Griffin - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Redding - - - - - - - - - - - - -
W. Rainey - - - - - - - - - - - - -
W. Battaile - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 56 28 8 19/54 6/19 12/14 12 200 5 3 12 3 25