Milwaukee Kansas rather enjoyed its break from the Big Eight schedule Tuesday night.
"Playing against teams from other conferences keeps you fresh. You get to see how different conferences do things. It's like a preview of the NCAA Tournament," Kansas forward Alonzo Jamison said after scoring 12 points in the Jayhawks' 85-61 pasting of Marquette at the Bradley Center.
"It was a nice change. It got our minds off the Big Eight for a day," said freshman center Greg Ostertag, who accumulated five points, four rebounds and two blocks in 12 minutes. His presence also helped slow Warrior 7-footer Jim McIlvaine, who tallied a game-high 15 points.
"I wouldn't mind two or three non-conference games like this. You get tired of beating on each other sometimes," coach Roy Williams said.
AFTER A slow start, the Jayhawks sure beat on 11-7 Marquette, a member of the Great Midwest Conference. KU led by just one, 24-23, with 2:51 remaining in the first half, but made an 11-0 run in the next minute and 14 seconds for a 35-24 halftime lead.
Kansas' flurry was helped greatly by a technical on Marquette coach Kevin O'Neill at the 2:11 mark. Steve Woodberry hit a pair of free throws, and Ben Davis scored on the ensuing possession. Adonis Jordan stripped McIlvaine and fed Woodberry on an alley oop at 1:30, capping the 11-0 burst.
The Jayhawks started the second half by outscored Marquette, 16-8, to put it away. Hence, the technical foul seemed to be the game's pivotal play.
"It gave us more of a cushion," Williams said.
Yet. . .
"I DON'T THINK it was the turning point of the game," guard Rex Walters said. "But it did give us a comfortable lead. Steve hit those free throws and we're up 10 or 11. We played a lot better on offense after that," Walters said.
Walters hit three of five three-pointers and scored 13 points and was one of five KU players to score in double figures. Adonis Jordan led Kansas with 12, Jamison and Woodberry added 12 each and Davis had 10.
O'Neill's technical was whistled by Big Eight official Willie Sanchez because the Marquette coach left the coaches box. At the time, O'Neill was disputing a no-call on Eric Pauley's block of an Amal McCaskill shot.
"I can't publicly comment on officiating or they'll suspend me. I did it once. I can't do it again," said O'Neill.
Comment, no. Explain, yes.
"He said I was out of the box. I said I was out one step," O'Neill said. "I got hit by a crack-back block. I said I didn't think it should have been a technical. He (Sanchez) said it should. You know who won that argument."
THE JAYHAWKS started slowly, hitting just three of their first 10 shots. They finished the first half at 47.8 percent from the field and shot 51.9 for the game. Marquette hit 44.2 percent overall.
"I was impressed with our defense for 40 minutes," said Williams, whose Jayhawks forced 22 turnovers while committing 18. "Offensively, I've said our big guys have got to step up. We didn't score many points, but we did get Damon (Key, two points in 18 minutes) in foul trouble."
The Warriors lost two players to injury. Tony Miller left with a wrist injury having scored just four points, and a sprained ankle sidelined Ron Curry with just five tallies.
"If Miller plays the rest of the game, we lose by 17 instead of 24," O'Neill said.