INDIANAPOLIS (AP) Kam Jones scored 28 points and Tyler Kolek made a successful return from an oblique injury, helping No. 2 seed Marquette rally for an 87-69 victory over No. 15 seed Western Kentucky in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday.

The Golden Eagles (26-9) trailed 43-36 at halftime, but they overwhelmed the Hilltoppers in the second half. They used a 15-2 run to open an 87-67 cushion on the way to their second consecutive first-round NCAA victory.

Jones scored 18 in the second half. Kolek finished with 18 points and 11 assists in his first game since Feb. 28.

Next up for Marquette is the Florida-Colorado winner on Sunday in the second round of the South Region. The Golden Eagles are going for the program's first Sweet 16 berth since 2013.

Tyrone Marshall scored a career-high 21 points for WKU (22-12), which seized momentum from Marquette midway through the first half in its first NCAA appearance since 2013.

Jones made 5 of 10 from long range and 10 of 16 overall, and Kolek was 7 of 13 with a pair from long range. Those 3s came on his first two shots, adding to the boost he provided with his presence alone.

Marquette was up 28-19 with 7:52 left in the first half when Western Kentucky started to take over. Kentucky transfer Dontaie Allen entered and quickly sank consecutive 3s 42 seconds apart, and Marshall added two as the 'Toppers surged into the break.


AP March Madness bracket: and coverage:

Copyright 2024 STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.