Xavier survived a furious rally by Seton Hall to win their third straight, 70-69.
Xavier started the game by getting the ball inside, with Tyrique Jones and Zach Hankins combining for 12 for Xavier’s first 16 points. Xavier led 16-12 with 13:28 left in the first half as a result.
The Musketeers strayed from this in the next few minutes, shooting multiple long threes. None went in, but they were able to grab an offensive board on one and still scored. They led 21-18 with 10:51 to go in the first half.
Xavier made their first two shots outside the paint in the following four minute war, with Ryan Welage and Naji Marshall knocking sown threes on consecutive possessions to help Xavier lead 29-24 with 7:19 left in the first half.
Seton Hall responded with an 8-2 run to take a 32-31 lead with just over five minutes left in the first half, led by a four point play from Myles Powell.
Xavier took the lead back not long after the timeout, when Jones blocked a shot and scored on the other end to give Xavier a 33-32 lead with 4:27 remaining in the first half.
Seton Hall scored four straight to take a 36-33 lead, but an 11-0 run for Xavier put them up 44-36 with 1:14 to play. This propelled Xavier to a 46-38 halftime lead.
Jones had an excellent first half, scoring 18 points to go along with 10 boards and a block. Marshall also had a stellar half, scoring 15 points, dishing three assists and getting a steal.
Seton Hall grabbed momentum to the start the second half, trimming Xavier’s lead to four, 49-45, by the under 16 media timeout. Xavier went through a five minute scoring drought, during which Seton Hall cut the lead to 49-47, but two inside finishes from Hankins kept Xavier ahead, 53-49.
Marshall would score Xavier’s next five points on a layup and a three to give Xavier a 58-49 lead. They led 58-51 with 9:51 left in the game.
Another Hankins score inside gave Xavier a 60-51 lead and forced a Seton Hall timeout with 9:00 left. Marshall hit another three to push Xavier’s lead to double-digits, 63-51, with 8:35 to go.
It was back and forth after that, the score being 68-56 Xavier with just over five minutes remaining. Seton Hall scored the next four points to trim Xavier’s lead to 68-60 with 3:51 left in the game.
Seton Hall cut Xavier’s lead to just 70-69 on free throws with just under a minute left. Seton Hall had two chances on their final possession to secure a win, but missed both and the Musketeers squeaked out a 70-69 win.
Marshall led the team in scoring with a career high 28 points. He was also second on the team with six rebounds and led the team with five assists. Jones was unable to score in the second half, but grabbed five rebounds to finish with 15.
Hankins also finished with double-figure points, scoring 10 while grabbing four rebounds, getting a steal and blocking a shot.