Louisville coach Rick Pitino said he 'warned' his guys a game like this was coming; Cards drop a road game at Clemson 66-62

GREENVILLE, S.C. - University of Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino speaks after the Cardinals 66-62 loss to Clemson on Sunday afternoon. Pitino said he "warned" his team a game like this was coming.

The University of Louisville men's basketball team raced to a 13-2 record this season using offense.

The Cardinals have been hitting from outside, driving to the basket, getting all kinds of points off the bench and using a wide array of weapons to put teams away early in the season.

But Rick Pitino said he warned his team they needed to get better on defense.

"I knew this type of game would happen sooner or later," Pitino said. "I've been trying to warn our guys about it, that they've got to have their defense every single night, and they haven't. We got burned because of it."

The Cardinals were burned in the way of a 66-62 loss to Clemson. The Tigers led for the entire second half as the Cardinals hit just 24 of 68 from the field and were 3 of 23 from the three-point line - missed 16 in a row to start the game.

U of L also turned the ball over and fouled 29 times, leading to 44 Clemson free-throw attempts.

"We missed some open (shots), but this basketball team has relied on their offense to win, and there's going to be nights when the other team slows down play and you don't get any shots and you don't get any breaks and you've got to rely on your defense," Pitino said.

Louisville is now 13-3 on the season and 2-1 in ACC play, including a win on the road at North Carolina State.

"In this league, it's very tough to win on the road," Pitino said. "Clemson's playing very good basketball right now. Give them credit.

". . . . We give them all the credit for this victory. We don't blame ourselves for the loss. We got beat by a better team tonight."

Clemson led by as many as 14 points on several occasions but had to hang on in the end.

The Tigers led 64-58 when Jaylen Johnson scored underneath and was fouled. He missed the free throw, but Quentin Snider snagged the rebound and Trey Lewis added two free throws with 5.5 seconds left.

Clemson then made two free throws on the other end to seal the victory.

Louisville seniors Damion Lee and Trey Lewis combined to shoot 5 of 31 from the field. Chinanu Onuaku led the Cardinals with 14 points and 10 rebounds before fouling out.

Up next for Louisville is Pittsburgh on Thursday night at 9 o'clock in the KFC Yum Center.


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