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Xavier Comes Close, but Ultimately Falls to Marquette, 87-82: Recap

NCAA Basketball: Marquette at Xavier Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports

Xavier opened the game strong, keeping pace with Marquette for the first two and a half minutes despite not making a field goal.

Once the Musketeers hit one, they managed to keep hitting them. They missed only three shots in the first nine minutes, going 8-11 from the field and 2-2 from three-point range.As a result they had a 22-18 lead with 10:40 left in the first half, when the first timeout was taken.

The hot streak continued after Paul Scruggs hit a deep three with 9:11 left that forced a Marquette timeout, and made the score 28-21 Xavier.

Xavier went cold after that, only scoring two points as Marquette scored nine. The game was tied 30-30 with 5:53 remaining in the first half. A three-pointer from Quentin Goodin broke the scoring drought for Xavier and gave them a 33-30 lead.

The two sides battled hard the rest of the first half, and went into the break tied at 39-39.

Xavier came out on fire to start the second half, making five of six shots and taking a 53-44 lead with 15:50 left in the game. They would lead by 11, 58-47, before a 6-0 Marquette run trimmed the lead down to five, 58-53, with 11:43 remaining in the game.

It was a back-and-forth battle for the next four and a half minutes, with neither team able to pull away or gain ground. Xavier led 67-61 with 7:22 left in the second half.

An 8-0 Marquette run allowed them to take the lead with 3:55 left in the game, as Xavier failed to score for over three minutes. Marquette kept extending their lead, getting it up to 81-72 with 59.5 seconds left.

Free throws from Tyrique Jones brought Xavier back within three points, 83-80, with 9.6 seconds left. It wasn’t enough however, as Xavier fell to Marquette 87-82.

Scruggs and Jones finished tied for the team high in scoring with 21 points each. Scruggs led the team in assists and steals, with five and three each respectively. He also had a block.

Jones led the team in rebounding with 11 while also chipping in a steal and a block.

Naji Marshall had a strong outing, scoring 16 points, grabbing three rebounds, getting a block and a steal and hitting two three-pointers, while also playing strong defense.

Goodin also finished in double-figures with 10 points, in addition to getting three rebounds, three assists, a block and a steal.