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Robinson, Tigers look for first ranked win of season against Louisville

Thomas Gilbert
Clemson forward Amari Robinson (5) will look to continue her recent successes against No. 13 Louisville on Thursday night.

The Clemson women’s basketball team (8-9, 1-4 ACC) will face the No. 13 Louisville Cardinals (15-2, 4-0 ACC) on Thursday night at Littlejohn Coliseum.

Head coach Amanda Butler and her squad are coming off of a heartbreaking loss up north, where they blew an 11-point lead going into the fourth quarter against Syracuse in an 83-82 thriller. The Tigers are on a four-game losing streak with an eager drive to snap it against a quality opponent.

One of the most notable takeaways from the loss was the performance of Amari Robinson. The senior forward dominated the Orange and had a career night, scoring a career-high 37 points in the contest. It was the second time that Robinson notched more than 30 points in a game this season, which could happen once again against the Cardinals in a pivotal matchup on Thursday. The forward is averaging 18.2 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.1 steals per game.

The Tigers are also a team that takes advantage of playing at home. Clemson has only lost one home game this season — a six-point loss to the No. 22 Florida State Seminoles. With attendance in their favor, look for the crowd to play as a factor in the matchup.

Despite the clamor behind the highly-rated Cardinals squad, it is not Clemson’s first time playing a quality opponent. The Tigers have played four top 25 opponents this season already, with only one game being a loss of more than 10 points: the No. 1 South Carolina Gamecocks. The team remains in games for all four quarters, making them a constant threat to take down any team at any time, no matter how big.

The Cardinals are coming into this game hot, however. They are the only team in the loaded ACC not to have had an in-conference loss yet. Since a tough 24-point loss to the UConn Huskies a month ago, Louisville has won five straight games, with four being ACC opponents.

Leading the charge for Louisville is guard Kiki Jefferson, who averages a team-high 12.2 points as well as grabbing 4.1 rebounds per game. Forward Olivia Cochran averages 11.8 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.6 steals a night for the Cardinals. Three other players average 8 points or more, showing that Louisville has plenty of ways to get points on the board.

Tipoff is set for 7 p.m., and the game will be broadcast on ACCNX.

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Griffin Barfield
Griffin Barfield, Asst. Sports Editor
Thomas Gilbert, Senior Photographer
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