LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Freshman Dre Davis scored a career-high 21 points and the backcourt duo of David Johnson and Carlik Jones combined for 35 as the Cards beat Western Kentucky 75-54 in the Wade Houston Tipoff Classic.
Charles Bassey led WKU with 13 points, 15 rebounds and 5 blocks. They actually led the game 25-17 when Luke Frampton drained a three with 9:02 left in the first half.
The Cards responded with a 12-0 run and would trail again. It was 32-29 at the half.
A Bassey slam brought WKU within 40-35 with just over 15 minutes left, but the Cards answer came from freshmen. Bardstown High grad J.J. Traynor hit a triple and then Davis scored on the baseline.
Collins High grad and 2020 Kentucky Mister Basketball Dayvion McKnight got the Toppers within four at 45-41 and Davis answered with a three.
WKU turned the ball over 21 times.
“Give Louisville credit, you know, I said after watching them play the other night, they’re really good team, they got that backcourt is as good as any backcourt in the country in Jones and Johnson and they were really good tonight,” WKU head coach Rick Stansbury said. “So give them credit, I thought they played exceptionally well and made plays at critical times when they had to. You know it kind of wasn’t the same team I watched for three games out in South Dakota, for what reasons, I have no ideas.”
WKU falls to 2-2 after finishing second in the Bad Boy Mowers Crossover Classic last week in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. They fell 70-64 to #15 West Virginia in the Championship game.
The Cards improve to 4-0.
“For our guys to come out and face a team that you know probably will lose their entire starting lineup, you know whether to the draft or all seniors, we got freshmen and sophomores and we’re down four players right now. I told our group I couldn’t be more pleased with what the game meant to them,” UofL head coach Chris Mack said.
Carlik Jones had 18 points for the Cards and David Johnson added 17 points, 6 rebounds and 8 assists.
UofL is scheduled to face UNC Greensboro (1-1) on Friday at 2 p.m. in the KFC Yum! Center.
WKU announced late on Tuesday that a scheduled game against Little Rock on Friday has been canceled.