CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) — Hailey Van Lith sensed No. 4 Louisville needed a lift. She was more than ready to deliver in the Cardinals’ latest victory.
Van Lith had a career-high 34 points, including 16 in the decisive third quarter, as Louisville won its 10th straight over the Tigers 93-71 on Thursday night.
Van Lith got the Cardinals going after Clemson had rallied from 12 points down to tie things at 44 in the third quarter.
“Offensively, I thought we were a little stagnant,” Van Lith said. “We needed someone to make reads, get shots up and get hot. My shot’s been feeling good, so I thought, ‘Why not?’”
Van Lith put Louisville ahead to stay with a tiebreaking 3-pointer, then added 13 more points in the period as the Cardinals (20-2, 10-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) reached the 20-win mark for the 12th straight season.
Van Lith finished 13-of-16 shooting overall and made all six attempts from behind the arc.
“I’m not really surprised about the 3-point percentage, but I’m really happy with my pullups and incorporating other shots into my game,” said Van Lith, a sophomore from Wenatchee, Wash.
Clemson coach Amanda Butler said her team couldn’t stop Van Lith’s on-target attack.
“Whenever she looked at the rim, points came up instantly on the scoreboard,” she said.
Louisville had opened a 12-point lead in the second quarter, yet Clemson (7-15, 1-10) tied things at 44 on Amari Robinson’s three-point play shortly after halftime.
That’s when Van Lith got the Cardinals going. She broke the tie with a 3-pointer, then followed with a layup. Two minutes later, Van Lith added another 3 for a 10-point edge. She tacked on a three-point play and by the time Van Lith canned her fifth 3-pointer, the Cardinals were rolling, up 70-54 with 34.1 seconds to go in the third period as coach Jeff…