Evans leads No. 5 Louisville to 85-67 win over UT Martin

Dana Evans made 9-of-18 shots, including 4-of-9 3-pointers to lead Louisville, which shot 42 percent from the floor.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Dana Evans scored 26 points to lead No. 5 Louisville to an 85-67 victory over UT Martin on Sunday

The Cardinals (4-0) used an 18-3 run over the final 6:58 of the first half to take a 40-27 halftime lead and break away from a solid Skyhawks squad playing their first game of the season. Evans, a preseason All-American, scored 10 of her points during that spurt.

The senior guard made 9-of-18 shots, including 4-of-9 3-pointers to lead Louisville, which shot 42 percent from the floor. She sat after three quarters and finished just two points shy of tying her career high set last year against Oklahoma State.

Freshman Hailey Van Lith and junior Kianna Smith scored 10 each for the Cardinals.

Louisville never saw its lead dip below 10 points and led by as many as 21 in the second half.

Chelsey Perry, last year’s Ohio Valley Conference player of the year, scored 26 for the Skyhawks, who shot 41.2 percent and committed 19 turnovers. Dasia Young added 12.

BIG PICTURE

UT Martin: The Skyhawks, preseason favorites to defend their OVC championship, didn’t take the Cardinals to double overtime like they did last year at home, but they still gave Louisville fits at times, especially early. It’s unlikely the Skyhawks will face a tougher opponent until March as the Cardinals outrebounded them 43-35 and outscored them 40-24 in the paint.

Louisville: Playing less than 48 hours after their rout of DePaul, the Cardinals were probably due for a bit of a letdown. While they struggled offensively early, the Cardinals defense helped spark the decisive run. Depth helped too as the Cards bench outscored UT Martin’s 36-5.

UT Martin travels to Birmingham on Tuesday to play Samford.

Louisville opens Atlantic Coast Conference play Wednesday, travelling to Duke.