LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) -- For a guy who was too sick to practice the
day before, Mario Chalmers had quite a night.
Coming off the bench, the freshman guard fueled an 11-0 run at
the end of the first half Thursday night that carried Kansas to a
73-56 victory over New Orleans.
"Some guys play a little better when they are ill," said
Kansas coach Bill Self. "Maybe the game slowed down for him a
little bit. He made some plays that sparked us and really changed
After Russell Robinson's 3-pointer, Chalmers sneaked in to steal
the inbounds pass and hit a layup.
Then he blocked a New Orleans shot and fed to Julian Wright for
a score, then blocked another shot and converted the basket
Chalmers wound up with eight points and five assists.
"The game should have been cracked open earlier than it was,"
said Self. "But we have a way of making things interesting."
The Jayhawks had 10 blocked shots, four off the school record,
but played carelessly at times while committing 18 turnovers. They
outscored New Orleans 28-16 in the paint.
James Parlow had 16 points for New Orleans and Wayne Williams
"Coach said we needed to play 40 minutes of basketball tonight
and we only played 36," said New Orleans guard Jamie McNeilly.
"We had a lot of turnovers and they capitalized on them."
The Privateers (2-8), who have been playing their "home" games
in Texas because of Hurricane Katrina, will finally get to play an
almost true home game on Saturday. Since construction was delayed
at their Human Performance Center, the game against Tulane will be
moved to the Alario Center in Westwego, on the west bank of New
"I think a lot of guys are tired and drained," Williams said.
The Privateers haven't been back to New Orleans in four months,
said coach Monte Towe.
"It's going to be great," Towe said. "We won't be on our home
floor, but it will be nice to be back in New Orleans."
Kansas struggled most of the first half until Chalmers fueled
the 11-0 run in the final minutes that thrust the Jayhawks into a
34-19 lead at intermission. They then stretched the run to 17-0 in
the opening minutes of the second half en route to their fifth win
in six games.
After Darnell Jackson's bucket put the Jayhawks in front 44-23
in the second half, Williams scored eight unanswered points himself
as the lead shrank to 46-34 on a 3-pointer by McNeilly.
"We didn't embarrass ourselves, but we didn't get the win,
either, so I am disappointed," Towe said.
The night got off to a painful start for veteran game official
Ted Hillary. He was struck on the shoulder on the opening tip-off
and crumbled to the floor for several minutes. He finally got up
and went ahead and worked the game.