CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) Shawnta Dyer had taken on a bigger role the past few weeks. No surprise that's led No. 9 Louisville to more success.
Dyer came off the bench to score a season-high 20 points and snag eight rebounds in the Cardinals' 81-49 victory at Clemson on Thursday night. The 6-foot-1 senior has only scored in double figures seven times this season, but three have come in the past five games with Louisville winning four in that stretch.
Dyer has provided a big boost with her offense and defense.
''I was really proud of her,'' Cardinals coach Jeff Walz said. ''She does what she has to do, she's not going to get beat. No one's going to blow by her because she's got pride.''
She showed that at Littlejohn Coliseum, scoring three quick inside baskets as Louisville (21-3, 9-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) led 21-5 in the first 8 minutes. When Clemson cut the lead to 31-21 over the next 10 minutes, Dyer was again part of Louisville's response with a bucket as the Cardinals scored the last eight points of the half.
That surge was part of a 19-2 run that straddled both halves and put Louisville out front to stay.
Dyer said Louisville's worked on starting fast in ACC play, a lesson that finally showed up against the Tigers (9-16, 1-11).
''In ACC play in the first half we've been kind of down and haven't had the kind of play we wanted to have,'' she said. ''We needed to show we had the mentality to push it in the first half. It's great.''
The Cardinals finished with four players in double figures. Mariya Moore had 15 points and eight assists, Sara Hammond had 12 points and eight rebounds, and Myisha Hines-Allen added 10 points.
Dyer was two points shy of her career best, set against Seton Hall two years ago.
Nikki Dixon and Shelbie Davenport scored 10 points apiece to lead Clemson, which couldn't handle Louisville's ACC-leading defense and lost its 11th straight. The Tigers have lost 72 of their past 73 games against ranked opponents.
Clemson opened 1-0 in ACC play before this current run. Coach Audra Smith said her team gave up too many offensive rebounds and silly fouls underneath to the Cardinals.
''We're still working,'' the second-year coach said. ''It's not over yet.''
Louisville, averaging 75 pointers per game, was coming off a 48-35 victory over Pittsburgh on Sunday. However, the Cardinals didn't have any offensive troubles against the Tigers, hitting 10 of their first 15 shots to build their 16-point lead over the first 8 minutes.
Clemson clawed back to get the lead down to 10, before the Cardinals extended their advantage to 39-21 at halftime.
The charge continued in the second half, Louisville eventually building a 39-point midway through the period.
The Cardinals had 18 offensive rebounds for the game, just one fewer than Clemson's total rebound total.
Louisville locked down on Dixon, holding her to 3-of-8 shooting to finish five points fewer than her team-leading average.
Louisville point guard Jude Schimmel had a perfect game. She made both field-goal attempts, including one from long range, and hit two foul shots for seven points. She also had seven assists in 24 minutes.
Clemson's Nikki Dixon surpassed Tiger all-time great Barbara Kennedy-Dixon to move into first place on the school's career made free throws list. Dixon, a senior, has made 417 in her four seasons.
Louisville: The Cardinals, as the ACC's newest member, haven't played Clemson since 1993 when both schools were at the UNLV Tournament. Louisville is 4-0 all-time against the Tigers.
Clemson: The Tigers are closing in on the program's longest losing streak of 12 straight defeats accomplished twice, the last time when they lost the final 11 games of the 2005-06 season and the opener the next year.
Louisville: Hosts No. 17 North Carolina on Sunday
Clemson: At No. 7 Florida State on Feb. 19