There was a fight from the Musketeers we haven't seen in weeks today. Great execution, made consistent plays and defended as hard as they could. But at the end of the day, it still wasn't good enough.
Going into the half in a 39-39 tie Xavier came out charging behind Paul Scruggs great play at one point leading by 11 with 14:11 to go behind Scruggs huge three point basket. Marquette made a quick run back into the game going on a 7-0 run to make it a four point game. The Muskies were able to push back to a six point game after a nice jump shot from Zach Hankins with 7:00 to go before the Golden Eagles made a run finally taking the lead with 3:55 to go and holding the lead until the end.
Behind Star players Markus Howard and Joey and Sam Hauser's combined 72 points Marquette held on to an 87-82 victory to advance to 18-3 on the year and 7-1 in conference play. Xavier on the other hand, while getting better through the year has a lot of work to do to get out of the hole they have dug. Something historic Xavier teams have done in the past as Head Coach Travis Steele was quick to point out two seasons ago when the Musketeers went 0 for February and ended up playing in the Elite 8 of the NCAA Tournament that year.
Xavier got really big games from Paul Scruggs with 21 points on 8 of 15 shooting and Tyrique Jones getting another double/double with 21 points and 11 rebounds. The Musketeers also got solid performances from Quentin Goodin and Naji Marshall. While things were going well for most of the game, it looked like Xavier just ran out of gas and the talent of Marquette took over.
Up next for Xavier: a Thursday night trip to play the Georgetown Hoyas, a team Xavier beat earlier in the season at Cintas in a come from behind victory.
If you do want some good news from Cintas today, look no further than recruiting news. 2020 top 50 Zach Harvey feeling the love from Xavier Nation today.
Tim Daniel is the director of College Basketball Content for the 48 Minutes Network. If you want to talk College Hoops or NBA Ball with Tim give him a follow.