Xavier's shooting touch is back
The Muskies didn't lift a ton from deep, but they shot 4-8 from behind the arc in the first half on the way to 6-15 on the game. The big men are capable of scoring when given even a little bit of room in the paint, and forcing opposing defenses to respect the three ball is a good way to achieve that. If X shoots even reasonably from behind the arc, they're dangerous. If they get back to shooting like they did early in the year, they can play with anyone in the conference.
The depth chart has flipped
James Farr had been a persistent starter for most of the year, but Trevon Bluiett opened the game at the four tonight. When it came time to dip into the bench, first Jalen Reynolds and then Sean O'Mara came off the pine in the first half to work the paint while James stayed planted. Farr didn't get in until the 12:31 mark in the second half that James finally got into the game.
Xavier can finish teams
The Muskies allowed a three-point basket to end the first half that cut the lead to 28-25. From there the Musketeers went 19-6 in the first ten minutes of the second half to effectively bury the game. Combined with the 23-9 that Xavier ended the first half on and the Muskies pieced together a 42-15 run in 22:34 to end Marquette's meaningful participation in the game. That's the kind of performance Xavier needed, and they'll be carrying a lot of momentum into the St. John's game this weekend.