No. 13 Louisville opened regular season play on Friday night at the KFC Yum! Center against Missouri Valley Conference foe Evansville.
Jaylen Johnson recorded his first career double-double with 19 points and 14 rebounds to lead the Cardinals, who used a late first half run to spark a 78-47 win over the Purple Aces.
Favored by more than three touchdowns against Evansville, the Cardinals found themselves trailing the visitors by six and getting an ear full from Hallf of Fame head coach Rick Pitino during a timeout midway through the opening frame.
The Cardinals responded with a flurry of points and tight defense to break the contest open by way of a 20-0 run that lasted for nearly eight minutes. A free throw from Evansville's Jaylon Brown was his team's lone point during the final nine minutes of the first half as the Cardinals built a 43-27 advantage at the break.
Three Cardinals finished in double figures, with Donovan Mitchell adding 15 points and Anas Mahmoud with 10 points.