LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Kianna Smith scored 17 points and No. 2 Louisville, after waiting out a late delay caused by COVID-19 protocols, beat Clemson 70-45 on Sunday.
The game was supposed to begin at noon. But less than 90 minutes before the scheduled tip-off, Louisville announced the start had been pushed back two hours.
A subsequent Atlantic Coast Conference statement attributed the delay “as a result of a player undergoing further testing.”
Louisville began the game with just seven players available, with regular starters Olivia Cochran and Elizabeth Balogun not among them. They came out during the first quarter and the Cardinals eventually had 11 of its 12 players ready.
Smith bounced back after scoring a season-low five points Thursday in a win at Virginia Tech. Elizabeth Balogun added a season-high 14 for Louisville (10-0, 3-0 ACC).
The Cardinals, who went 23 days between games last month because of COVID-19 issues within the team, had a home game last Tuesday against North Carolina postponed because of virus issues within the Tar Heels. Louisville had originally been scheduled to visit Florida State on Sunday, but that game was scrubbed a week ago because the Seminoles are under COVID protocols.
The Cardinals used a 15-2 run to build a 49-30 lead with 3:16 left in the third quarter. Clemson missed all 19 of its 3-point shots in the game.
The Tigers (8-4, 3-4) were led by Hannah Hank’s 11 points. Clemson made only one of his 20 shots in the fourth quarter.
Clemson: The Tigers have yet to win in 2021. Sunday marked their third straight loss and fourth in six games. Those defeats have come by an average margin of 13.8 points.
Louisville: The Cardinals got an unexpected test after Dana Evans, the ACC’s leading scorer, drew two quick fouls in a 1:01 span late in the first quarter. She sat out the entire second quarter, and there were times where she was missed, including the final 3:24 of the first half. She finished with 10 points.
Clemson travels to Florida State on Sunday.
Louisville hosts Boston College on Thursday night.
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