Chris Jones did it again.
The University of Louisville senior guard scored 20 of his 22 points in the second half for the second consecutive game as the Cardinals survived in the first ACC home game in school history, a 58-52 win over Clemson.
No. 5 Louisville trailed 22-18 at halftime after hitting just 6-for-27 from the field, but Jones hit all three of his three-point field goals and was 7 of 9 from the free-throw line in the second half for the Cardinals.
Terry Rozier added 15 points, six rebounds and four assists for the Cardinals, while Wayne Blackshear chipped in 11 points. Montrezl Harrell was hampered by two fouls early in the first half and had just six points and six rebounds.
Clemson is now 8-6 on the season and U of L is 14-1 and 2-0 in ACC play.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
It has to be Jones again. He didn't shoot it as well as Sunday and he didn't have 10 assists like he did against Wake Forest, but he was the difference.
Clemson narrowed it to four points on three occasions and he hit big shots, including one time with back-to-back three-pointers after it was 44-40.
Jones was only 6 of 17 from the field but hit 7 of 9 free throws down the stretch and was going after loose balls and steals all the way until the final horn.
It's a game where he wasn't great but still another step in the right direction.
RUN OF THE GAME
After hitting just six field goals in the first 20 minutes, the Cardinals started the second half by knocking down six of their first 10 shots.
It was a 17-0 run that got them back ahead and gave the team some needed energy.
Rozier and Jones were key in the run, while Harrell had two slam dunks and two free throws during the surge. He didn't score again the rest of the night.
THEY SAID IT
U of L coach Rick Pitino
“The message I tried to get to the team at halftime was, ‘Guys the championship team understood styles and you don’t’,” Pitino said. “Just take tonight, Syracuse beat Georgia Tech 46-45 and I said that’s because Georgia Tech plays a certain style. I said Clemson has been No. 1 or No. 2 the last five years in the ACC holding teams to under 60 points a game.
“I told them we had to be the better team. We don’t understand styles and we didn’t understand it was going to be a dogfight.”
A FEW TIPS INS
****The Cards improved to 4-0 all-time against Clemson, including 3-0 at home. It was the first meeting between the schools since U of L won 74-68 in 2006 at Freedom Hall.
****Rozier reached double-figures in scoring for the 14th time in 15 games this season finishing with 15 points overall. He has scored 15 or more points 10 times this season, including eight straight games overall.
****Harrell now needs just 32 points to become the 66th player in school history to reach the 1,000-point mark for his career.
****Sophomore Mangok Mathiang finished with a team-high nine rebounds, his highest total since pulling down a career-best 11 rebounds against Marshall on Nov. 21.
UP NEXT . . .
Louisville will hit the road for one of the toughest games in ACC play on Saturday at North Carolina. The Cardinals play the Tar Heels at 2 p.m. in the Dean Dome.