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Clemson ready to stay on course against struggling Louisville

Jan 7, 2023; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA;  Clemson Tigers guard Chase Hunter (1) shoots against Pittsburgh Panthers forward Blake Hinson (2) during the first half at the Petersen Events Center. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Clemson will look to extend a number of streaks — and Louisville will attempt to halt a few of its own — on Wednesday when the Atlantic Coast Conference rivals meet in South Carolina.

The Tigers (13-3, 5-0 ACC) are off to their best start in conference play since 1996-97. They have won five in a row overall and all eight games played at home heading into Wednesday’s encounter at Clemson.

The Cardinals (2-14, 0-5), conversely have lost five straight games overall and all three contests on the road this season.

Chase Hunter scored 17 points to lift Clemson to a 75-74 win over Pitt on Saturday. Hunter Tyson recorded his fourth consecutive double-double by collecting 15 points and 10 rebounds versus the Panthers, and PJ Hall added 12 and 10, respectively.

“We’ve got a lot of homegrown talent, PJ Hall, Hunter Tyson, Chase Hunter, three guys who have been in our program for a long time,” Tigers coach Brad Brownell said. “(They) know how we do things, how we compete (and) they’ve gotten better and better.”

Hunter scored 10 points in Clemson’s 70-61 loss to Louisville last season. El Ellis scored 11 points and Jae’Lyn Withers added 10 for the Cardinals in that contest.

Ellis, who boasts a team-leading average of 17.8 points per game, scored 20 points and added eight assists in Louisville’s 80-72 setback versus Wake Forest on Saturday.

Mike James received ACC Rookie of the Week honors on Monday, two days after he drained five 3-pointers and finished with a season-high 24 points.

Thanks to Ellis and James, the Cardinals nearly overcame a 22-point deficit before falling short versus the Demon Deacons. Just don’t tell that to Louisville coach Kenny Payne.

“Moral victories? I don’t want them,” Payne said. “I want us to play better the whole game. I just told the guys, ‘Don’t find new ways to lose — fight.’ I don’t care if they may have more talent than us. Fight. Fight every second you are out on the floor.”

–Field Level Media