LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) Dana Evans had 19 points, Elizabeth Balogun and Elizabeth Dixon combined for 25 points and 17 rebounds in their Louisville debuts, and the No. 9 Cardinals pulled away from Western Kentucky 75-56 Tuesday night in the opener for both teams.
Balogun and Dixon, Atlantic Coast Conference All-Freshman team selections at Georgia Tech before transferring last spring, jump-started a Cardinals squad moving on from the departures of consensus All-America Asia Durr, guard Arica Carter and forward Sam Fuehring. Balogun had 15 points, including three 3-pointers in the first quarter as Louisville made its first seven shots. Dixon added 13 rebounds, 10 rebounds and a block.
Evans took over from there with 15 second-half points, including three 3-pointers. Bionca Dunham added 10 points while Jazmine Jones had 10 assists, eight points and eight boards to help the Cardinals shoot 49% and stay ahead of their in-state rivals.
Sherry Porter had 15 points, Dee Givens 13 in the second half and Whitney Creech 10 for the Hilltoppers, who shot just 33% (19 of 57) from the field but were within 10 early in the fourth.
Western Kentucky: Shooting was a struggle all night for the Hilltoppers. Solid rebounding helped them stay within reach through three quarters before being edged 40-37 in that category, but they couldn't keep up with the Cardinals in the final 10 minutes.
Louisville: The Cardinals never trailed but didn't dominate as in past seasons as they unveiled a different lineup. The result was still the same as veterans Evans, Dunham and Jones meshed with ''The Two Elizabeths'' to spread the ball around and gain the rebounding edge on WKU.
Louisville has two more games this week but got a good start toward staying in the top 10 with a hard-fought non-conference win.
Western Kentucky visits Mercer on Friday.
Louisville faces another in-state school when it hosts Murray State on Friday.
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